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Carlos Alvarez 1950 – 2024

It is with a heavy heart that we share the news that our owner, Carlos Alvarez, passed away, last week, at his home in San Antonio, Texas. He was a beer industry icon with over 40 years of success driven by his entrepreneurship. As committed as he was to building successful businesses, it paled in comparison to his philanthropic efforts in Texas and beyond. The obituary link below highlights both sides of his many contributions. After reading it, it brought to mind the many ways he impacted our business here at Old Bridge Cellars.

Mr. Alvarez (we called him Mr. A) bought OBC in 2003 as an entry into the wine business after much success in alcoholic beverages. It became a source of passion and much pride, the longer he was in this side of the business. He had a vision and was a “North Star” for OBC. He was demanding, fair and drove us to create brands, wines and labels we didn’t know we could. He was focused on the long term and doing it the right way. Quick hit profits were less important than building brands for the long haul.

In reviewing our business with him it was never about PowerPoints, P&L’s and binders of data. We were entrepreneurs vs. corporate. It was never a presentation, always a conversation. A discussion of what is going on with our different wineries, how are our people doing and what new wineries and brands are under development. Maybe unstructured, hopefully over a good meal and a great bottle of wine (we were fortunate to have many of both). He thrived on providing packaging feedback/notes to us on our brands and looking at different wineries. His last time doing so was just a couple of weeks ago. We will miss this collaboration.

Over the past 20+ years of his stewardship of OBC, we have had many ups and downs in our business. He celebrated our “wins” (always from the sidelines) and provided resources to combat the down times and invest into competing within the marketplace. Our people and the family wineries we represent always knew he was our “Rock”. Many considered him a friend and were looking forward to the next time they could share a glass. Upon hearing of this news, I guarantee, all are raising a glass and perhaps a prayer for the Alvarez family.

Many more great things will be written in his memory and we will absorb them all and share them where we can. Carlos Alvarez was our inspiration, our benefactor, our friend.