Thirst Emporiums Of Yesteryear

Brian Stechschulte, who by day is the executive director of the San Francisco Brewers Guild, by night wears many hats: photographer, blogger and more recently, historian. In addition to his All Over Beer website, he’s launched Bygone Beer, a beautiful look at beer history and breweriana.

In a blog post yesterday, Steam vs. Lager, he unearthed an interesting newspaper article from 1910 about the tensions between steam beer brewers and lager brewers in local bars in San Francisco. But toward the end of the old clipping, in the last paragraph, was a delicious old term for a bar or tavern that’s fallen out of favor in modern times: a “thirst emporium.” Now that’s a great term I’d love to see revived.

A quick search for the phrase reveals that it pretty much only shows up in old newspaper articles, and not that many of them, so that even in its heyday it was probably never too popular. I did turn up one print ad for a soft drink, or soda, further suggesting that it could also be applied to non-alcoholic establishments. Still, let’s start working that into conversations and writing. Bring back the “thirst emporium!”


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