Quench your thirst at one of these home-grown breweries
|Saint Arnold Brewing Company is Texas' oldest craft brewer |
Saint Arnold Brewing Co., Texas' oldest craft brewer, took over a 100-year-old warehouse on the edge of Downtown Houston in 2010. That's where Saint Arnold makes 10 different craft brews and shows off its operation to thousands of visitors annually. Guests are able to explore the new biergarten-inspired space, sample brew in the tasting room, get a peek at the tank farm, and even host private events inside the facility. Tours and tastings are offered every Saturday at 11am and weekdays at 3pm. Admission is $7 which includes a logo tasting glass.
Bombshell Blonde and Buried Hatchet Stout are just a couple examples of the brews you'll find at Southern Star Brewing Co. in Conroe. Production began at Southern Star in 2008 and has been ramping up ever since. The brewery does free tours and tastings each Saturday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. A few items such as t-shirts and glasses are also offered for sale. In 2009, Southern Star launched an annual Pro-AM (professional amateur) contest for home brewers. The winning submission's brew gets scaled up to be brewed on Southern Star's system.
Karbach Brewing Co. is the brainchild of the founders of CR Goodman Distribution Co., the group responsible for bringing labels such as Sierra Nevada, Chimay and Dogfish Head into Texas. In 2008, the partners sold their Texas portfolio to build a brewery of their own. Names like Sympathy for the Lager, Rodeo Clown Double IPA and Weisse Versa Wheat promise to become household names in Texas' growing craft beer movement. Karbach offers tasting tours through the brewery on Fridays from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays, noon to 3 p.m. The informal setting allows participants to hang out among the tanks as they're guided through the brewing process. Tours are $7.
No Label Brewing Co. in Katy has been providing tours since it opened its doors in 2010. The family-owned craft brewery produces a line of ales and lagers with names like El Jefe (a German Hefeweizen) and Pale Horse (an American pale ale). Tours and tastings are held every Saturday except the first one of the month from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is $5 for those 21 and up. No Label is also dog and kid friendly.
Located between the Heights and the Washington Avenue Corridor, Buffalo Bayou Brewery is the work of Rassul Zarinfar and his team of brewers. The focus is on creating beer that is "unapologetically Houston." The brewery opened for Saturday tours in summer 2012, adding yet another spot for brew lovers to taste unique beers in H-Town. Buffalo's flagship beer is the 1836 (named for the year Houston was founded), a copper ale that's a tad sweet but full of flavor. Tours feature an experience right among the tanks, with picnic tables, multiple serving stations and plenty of fun.
Named after the city's iconic Astrodome, the East End-set 8th Wonder Brewery produces seasonal selections and limited-edition offerings. The brewery began offering tours in May 2013. Practicing their craft in a dome-like warehouse on the edge of Downtown and in the shadow of the major sports stadiums, these brewers say they are making Houston's "craft beer for the home team." The brews themselves are unique, ranging from the Rocket Fuel (Vietnamese coffee infused Porter) to the MCA Rauch, a classic Bamburg Rauch beer.
Craft beer fans should also check out The Hay Merchant, Petrol Station, Mongoose vs. Cobra, Flying Saucer Draught Emporium, Moon Tower Inn, Premium Draught, Brewery Tap, The Ginger Man and Anvil Bar & Refuge.