Straight 8

Guy Spearman was an entrepreneur who moved to the panhandle city of Pensacola, Florida in 1929. His first business venture was the Crystal Ice company, and after the repeal of prohibition in 1933, Spearman became a distributor for Budweiser and Schlitz. Draft beer required constant refrigeration, a service that he could easily provide through his ice company.  Not much later, after visiting a brewery in Mexico several times, Spearman was inspired to start his own operation in Pensacola.

Spearman Brewing Co. opened in 1935 and was deemed one of the most modern breweries in the south. The three story facility began brewing keg beer, and two years later added a bottling house that could package more than 6000 bottles a day. The brewery quickly became popular among locals, and with the onset of World War II and the resulting population boom in the coastal city, it enjoyed vast success as the only brewery in Pensacola.

Spearman produced a total of five brews, but Straight 8 was its signature. Launched shortly after the bans on “strong” beer were lifted, Straight 8 was so named because of its 8% alcohol content.

The brewery was sold in 1955, closed in 1964 and demolished in 1987. Today, in honor of Guy Spearman’s entrepreneurship and his historic brewery, the 21,700 square foot Spearman Center sits at the location of the original brewery.  Adjacent to it is the Reddy Ice plant which operates at the location of Spearman’s original Crystal Ice plant.