San Diego Hysterical Society



The Air Line Beer Built

by Bobbie Bishop


Emily von Balboa broke with family tradition, getting away from boats, and got into airplanes……and brewing beer.

Train-like air travel
- Stout Air Line "Conductor" helps board passengers -

Emily's first cousin Ned came to her after returning from the La Mesa Oktoberfest. He felt that with his love for beer and her money they could successfully operate a brewery. Balboa Brewery was consummated and Balboa Stout was its progeny.

The sale of Balboa Stout was to be profitable in San Diego, the only other local brew, coming from south of the border, smelled too much like the Rio Grand river at low tide. As profits grew, Emily could fulfill her real dream and founded Stout Air Lines at Brown Field.

Stout Air Lines had Ryan Aeronautical build a fleet of planes. Construction costs were kept down through the extensive use of corrugated metal siding.

Emily who was afraid of boat travel, understood the general fear of flying at the time. To make the experience more familiar to the new flying public she had all of her cabin crew and attendants wear railroad conductor uniforms. Whenever one of Stout Air Lines planes was about to depart, a loudspeaker in the terminal would announce "All aboard."


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