The beer William Menger brewed was so potent, his customers sometimes spent the night on the benches in the brewery. So in 1858, Menger, who’d moved to San Antonio from Germany in the 1840s, built a hotel. The hotel-brewery was wildly popular, and Menger rose to prominence as a successful businessman. Many of the early land and cattle deals were inked in the Menger over one of his lagers, which were brewed with a Mexican candy called piloncillo.
Eventually, the hotel operation overtook the brewery and was sold to J. H. Kampmann in the early 1880s. Although the building has undergone many remodels, the Menger remains a well-known historic hotel. Added to the National Register for Historic Places in 1976, the Menger’s period paintings, furniture, and ornamentation remind visitors that it was a frontier oasis for cattlemen and politicos.
Historic Menger Hotel