Tex-Mex and taco trucks, scenic parks, easy cost of living, juicy barbecue, and 70-degree Novembers – these are a few of our favorite things in Houston. And now, we love it even more with 50-plus craft breweries. Houston’s brew numbers don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon either, which is a-ok with us! For now, here are the 7 best breweries we found in H-Town (by the way, we’re Bellhops—Houston movers and beyond).
Settled in Sawyer Yards in the heart of Houston, Holler Brewing was built by the hands of the husband-wife team, Kathryn and John Holler. Once fully invested in their dream to open their own brewery, the couple decided to live apart to gather the experience and knowledge needed to run a successful brew business. John moved to Chicago to study at Siebel Institute of Technology, while Katherine traveled down to Plant City, Florida to brew and serve beer at Two Henrys Brewing Company. They returned to Houston, the place where they had build memories together and apart as adults, to spend nearly two years planning for and building their business. Holler Brewing Company’s grand opening was in November of 2016, and since then they’ve won several Great American Beer Festival medals and added nearly 50 beers to their rotating, seasonals available on tap.
Try this: ESB
Holler’s ESB really is special. This bronze beauty won a bronze medal from the GABF. A full-bodied English ale, the malty brew billows with notes of cherry, deep toffee, and biscuit. Its clean, its complex, its slightly bitter, its extra special.
Try this brewery out mid-week and eat some meat on Steak Night Wednesdays!
If you like a large variety of drinkable beers with low ABVs and plenty of activities, games and events, then Eureka Heights is your happy sweet spot. This family friendly, dog friendly (on their outdoor patio), all around friendly brewery hosts trivia nights every Wednesday and a running club every Thursday. Join Eureka Heights and outdoorsy Houstonian for monthly bike rides. Grab a brew from the bar, chew a bite from the food trucks, play some foosball and corn hole, or rest on the patio and watch the texan sun set.
Try this: Moo Caliente
This Mexican Milk Stout has been brewed and spiced with chocolate, lactose, cinnamon, and cayenne. Its creamy but not too thick or boozy at 6%ABV. And the warming spice of cinnamon and cayenne clears and balances the brews sweet and creamy attributes. Enjoy this spicy chocolate sipper in late fall evenings at chunky picnic tables, among close friends. You’ll understand why we put it on the list.
What is the mission of the 8th Wonder? To brew fresh and flavorful brews with unblushing Texan pride and bring good fun to everyone. 8th Wonder Brewery should crawl to the top of the list for any big-time sports fans. Located just blocks away from the baseball, basketball, and soccer stadiums, this brewery will make your pre-game dreams come true. But you wouldn’t miss a game sitting at one of 8th Wonder’s tables either. TVs hang from every wall of this sports-themed taproom, streaming updates on the current games.
Even amidst this theme, though, 8th Wonder doesn’t emit a sports-bar vibe. The taproom displays the style of a craft brewer, who understands the importance of creativity, experience, and aesthetics. The business founders, Aaron Corsi and Ryan Soroka, designed a taproom where their themes are evident but not overbearing. They named the brewery in honor of Texas’ famous Astrodome sports stadium, and the 8th Wonder’s warehouse domes in a mirroring fashion.
Try this: BrewGK: A Candy Apple Kolsch (available September through November)
This light, crisp ale has been brewed with green apples, which gives the biscuity kolsch style a touch of tart cider. It drinks easy, even at 5.7% ABV, and ends clean and dry. Bring your chairs, sip this brew, munch some pulled pork from the Eatsie Boys food truck, and get your 8-game on.
Spindletap doesn’t waste time with too many beer styles. They know what’s working these days…IPAs. If you’re a hop-head, Spindletap will give you a hop body to go with it. This brewery makes them hazy, juicy, fruity, piney. They dry hop them one, twice, and a third time. And, they serve up these bitter brews with, potentially, the best pizza in the city.
Ah, now we see how they keep their tables full. And they have plenty of them.
Try this: Houston Haze IPA
Okay IPA lovers. Here’s your brew: The Houston Haze double dry hopped IPA. This brew is super juicy-fruity with guava, pineapple, and grapefruit notes from the Galaxy and Citra hops. Sip it alongside Spindletap’s wood-fired Midnight Smoker pizza made with house-smoked prime TX brisket.
Karbach emits calm, happy confidence, and usually that means they know they have something good to offer. In this case, they’re right. Karbach Brewing developed from a beer distribution company and, after years of learning how beer brewing works and what beers sell, Ken Goodman and Chuck Robertson decided to try their hand at it. But Houston locals weren’t the only ones to notice Karbach’s delicious brews and thriving brand. The Eye of Anheuser Busch also detected Karbach’s glistening success and, in 2016, invited them to join their forces. Karbach’s brews taste just as great, and their team seems happier than ever as they continue expanding their menu with tasty sippers like their 7.5%ABV Roll in the Hay Saison aged in Chardonnay barrels.
Try this: Weekend Warrior
Winning a spot on Karbach’s MainStays list, this Pale Ale blends soft caramel notes and crisp hop bitterness. The perfect brew to pair with Karbach’s seared shrimp served with smoked butter grits, roasted corn salad, and fried egg.
Welcome to the original of the Houston brew scene and the oldest craft brewery in the state. The founders of Saint Arnold Brewing Company, Brock Wagner and Kevin Bartol, sold their first keg of beer in 1994. Since then, the brewery has continued to develop and build a strong, steady stream of regulars and tourists alike. Earlier this year, Saint Arnold opened the doors of their new cathedral-inspired beer garden and restaurant. This new building offers a large, partially covered outdoor patio with a spilling fountain right in the center. Further in the building, locals find seating at dark-wood tables under high-reaching ceilings, gothic arches, and embellished chandeliers. To the left and right, local graffiti artists’ and painters’ full-wall murals display colorful saint-themed designs.
Try this: Weedwacker
Brewed since 2010, this hefeweizen-style beer is straightforward, clean, and refreshing. At least, judges at the prestigious Great American Beer Festival and those from the World Beer Cup thought so when they decided it was worth a gold medal. Give it a sip (try not to guzzle) and see if you don’t agree.
If you’re arriving hungry, pair this clovey, carbonated brew with the Curry Chicken Naan Melt. This dish is made of creamy, melted paneer cheese, curry roasted chicken, and a minted yogurt spread. Hell. yeah.
Buffalo Bayou has truly won the hearts of Houston locals. To be a little more accurate, Houston is head over heels, and this became evident when hundreds of people packed Nolda Street to celebrate the brewery’s 5 year anniversary. Now they’re building and moving to a 3-story, 28,000 square foot brewery in Sawyer Yards, which will allow them to brew 10 times what they brewed last year! Get ready for a chic rooftop beer garden with views of the city, a full-service kitchen, and more Buffalo brews than you could hope for.
So why all this success? Buffalo Bayou oozes at every seam with a genuine care for the people and community in Houston. Their enthusiasm is contagious, and if you’ve spent an evening in their taproom, you know what we’re talking about. They’re so excited to work hard for their people and so energized by the deluge of positive reinforcements the people are giving back.
Try this: Sangre
Be warned. Sangre’s tart, juicy start and desert dry finish makes this brew a tricky one to sip moderately. The 9% french-style ale has been brewed with blood orange, orange peel, and pink and green peppercorns, taking your palate for a curious and complex ride.
Try this juicy-dry to truly experience how Buffalo brews have zero boundaries.
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