When fellow Houston beer nerds Leah and Chris started discussing on Twitter what the saturation point was for new breweries in the Houston (and even Texas) area was, I got to thinking of all the new names I have been hearing and the new beers I’ve been able to try and wanted to get together a list and map for reference (mostly, I love making Google maps). I started Googling around and found Beer Me!, a great resource for breweries/brewpubs sorted by state and city.When I started scrolling through, I was almost in shock at how many are in the “planning” stage.
After I spent almost a full day being a beer detective (I rather like that title) I noticed a few common threads among all these new breweries, brewpubs and overgrown homebrewers. For one, most of the brewers want to keep production small to control quality better and undoubtedly for cost reasons. This also allows for more experimentation with different styles as you wouldn’t want to waste time and materials on a huge batch when you are unsure of the final product. I also noticed an almost even split between brewers who are trying your standard initial offerings like a wheat, amber and an IPA and others who are trying some hybrid, experimental styles. I am torn between which I prefer. Take Jester King for example, who came out swinging with their uncommon English Mild, Commercial Suicide and their monster imperial stout, Black Metal, which are both great beers and definitely not your run-of-the-mill production. Then, on the other hand, we need beers that are sessionable or everyday drinkers. Hopefully all these new breweries can create a balance between the two. Below are the newest (and new to me) breweries all over Texas. If I missed one, let me know.
Adelbert’s Brewery (Austin, TX)
According to their website, they will be focusing on bottle conditioned Belgian style beers and they are expecting their brewing equipment to arrive in June of this year. Their beer list is pretty long already and they even have suggested food pairings, a nice touch. They also post updates on Facebook.
Armadillo Ale Works (Denton, Texas)
Good for Denton! That little town needs something, anything to make it more fun (I can say this, I lived there and went to school there for a semester. Just dreadful). Their Facebook page lists their initial offerings as: Yellabelly Blonde, Hefe-What?! Hefeweizen, FUiPA (clever) and Quakertown Stout. According to their site, they want to keep production small out of concern for quality (hard to disagree with that), but no word on when they will be into full-swing production mode. They also only have a PO Box listed for their address, so the location is a bit of a mystery.You can follow them on Twitter to keep up.
Austin Beerworks (Austin, TX)
Their website only links you to their info e-mail address but the Craft Austin blog had a little snippet, saying that they opened last October and have stayed pretty quiet. I did gather that they will only have their beer in cans and kegs, perfect for the river! According to their Facebook page, their first batch of Fire Eagle (their American IPA) was brewed on April 30th. Hopefully their IPA will stand out, as there are a lot of great ones in the market and differentiation from other decent IPAs and preference for an established beer may hinder them.
Ballyhoo Brewing Company (Somewhere on the Gulf Coast, TX)
Their blog hasn’t been updated since February of this year, so I am not sure on their status. They also don’t have any location listed (Beer Me! has the location on Dunlavy Street, but not sure if that is accurate), or much information at all, for that matter. It does say however, “We are currently working to finish up the conceptual design of our brewery”. We’ll see if they make it past that stage.
The Barber Shop (Dripping Springs, TX)
Located in a historic building in Dripping Springs, The Barber shop features local beer and wine and plans to brew beer soon as well. They opened in late January of this year, you can follow their updates on Facebook.
Barton Brewery (New Braunfels, TX)
From the limited information on their blog, the brewery will also be making lye soap…. interesting. Their Twitter isn’t much help either, unless you want to know the poster’s QRANK scores.
Black Star Co-op (Austin, TX)
After 4 years of work, Black Star Co-op finally opened last December with an interesting concept, they are “the world’s first co-operatively owned and worker self-managed brewpub.” They are still taking members, you can read all about how it works here. They are open daily from 4 pm-12 am and feature what they call “rational beers” and “irrational beers”, they are brewed by Jeff Young and the styles/recipes are decided through tasting panels of members. You can check out the full list here. My next trip to Austin is in June and I have my work cut out for me to visit all the new places and Black Star is definitely at the top of the list! You can keep up with them on Facebook and Twitter.
Buffalo Bayou Brewing (Houston, TX)
As of late April, according to their Twitter, their lease is signed (location is a mystery!) and they were waiting on their equipment to arrive. They had a tasting in early May, wish I would have seen details on that! I definitely signed up for the newsletter, which is all that’s available on their website for now, hopefully more details to come. (thanks to fellow beer nerd, Casey, for reminding me about these guys!)
Cedar Creek Brewery (Kemp, TX)
Cedar Creek has more information than some of the other new breweries, but they haven’t listed any beers (or styles) that they will be brewing, but are committed to supporting the local community in their philanthropy, who they hire and being environmentally friendly by putting their beer in cans. They do have a Facebook that seems to be updated regularly, including a few posts about what they are a brewing (a session-able pale ale, for example).
Cigar Band Brewing (Galveston, TX)
This little planned brewery slipped past my amazing Google skills, I came up with nothing, except an address.
Circle Brewing Company (Austin, TX)
Last weekend at the Texas Beer Fest I had the chance to try three of Circle’s beers and really like the Hefeweizen. It had a great, not overpowering, banana element going on (read my review here). They also had an Amber and a Dry Irish Stout that was very typical of the style. We had a chance to chat with one of the brewers and of the two, their combined experience at other breweries seems like it will give them a bit of advantage. The brewers have worked at Independence Brewing and Uncle Billy’s. They debuted in January of this year and seem to be on the right track, looking forward to more of their beers.
Cornels Brewing (Beaumont, TX)
Their website (straight out of 1998) says that Cornels is a division of The Gulf Coast Brewing Company (not sure how they are related). The site has a calendar of events from 2008, so I suppose it isn’t all that “new” but I have never heard of it, so it stays. There are pictures of what looks to be a large homebrew setup and a cute story of the beginnings, but nothing else. Maybe its defunct? Waiting on an e-mail response.
Cyclers Brewing (Montgomery, TX)
Again, nothing. boo.
Dark Side Fermentation (San Marcos, TX)
This is a one-man operation in San Marcos, and currently the only brewery/brewpub (it is attached to a restaurant) in town. They specialize in Belgian-Style bottle-conditioned beers and their Facebook lists 5 current offerings: Mark of the Yeast, an Imperial Lambic Stout, Golden Mean a strong golden ale, Pale Rider, a Belgian Pale Ale, Sirius Dubbel a Dubbel and Weiz Guy a wheat beer with Oats. I just so happen to know someone with 3 bottles that I desperately want to try ;)
Deep Ellum (Dallas, TX)
Founded in 2010 with a slated opening for mid to late summer, this brewery has already had a beer at a beer dinner featuring a wit/saison hybrid style that included “pilsner and honey malts, toasted coriander, ginger, grapefruit peel, and three kinds of belgium yeast”. I would love to try this, hopefully soon! Their Facebook and Twitter are updated regularly as well. How refreshing!
Double Horn Brewing (Marble Falls, TX)
Double Horn became official just this year and is the only brewpub in Burnet County, out in the hill country. They have a good looking food menu (barbeque, venison and the like) and currently offer three of their own brews as well as other local beers. Their beers are Watermill Wheat, 1855 Pale Ale and Locked Antler Amber. You can follow them on Facebook as well. They have a Twitter, but sadly have yet to tweet. Come on guys! This is one I am putting on my “must visit” list.
Down Easy Brewing (“Secret” but the press release says Houston, TX)
Established in 2010 and as of their last press release in February of this year, they have “announced plans today to begin a private placement of preferred (Series B) stock for funding.” According to their Facebook, they are working on at least two beers, Elle Pale and Easy Does It Light Ale. I would add that making fun of “beer snobs” on their website may not be the best way to get the craft beer community to get behind you, stick to “specializing in brewing simple, tasty, un-assuming beer for those who care to join us.”
Flix Brewhouse (Round Rock, TX)
Supposedly Flix Brewhouse will be opening in July 2011, and according to their Facebook they are hiring! they plan to have 48 beers on tap with 6 of them being their own creations, as well as some serious entertainment including 6 screens and about 800 seats. That’s huge. I am thinking an almost Alamo drafthouse style going on here but a more open theater concept.
Galactic Coast Brewing (Dickinson, TX)
In May of last year, the Texas Beer blog announced that Galactic Coast Brewing was awaiting licensing, they have their funding and equipment and really, I can’t navigate their ridiculous website to find anything else.
Good Libations Brewing Company (Austin, TX)
So far the website is just a landing page with an e-mail link, no information on anything (not even city?!) available. They do, however, have a Facebook that seems to be updated regularly with the last post being about making a chocolate porter (yes, please!). It looks like they are using a small pilot system for the time being, hopefully we will see some more updates soon.
Gulf Coast Brewing (Beaumont, TX)
According to their Facebook, they have acquired their TABC license and now need label approval once they bottle two samples. I assume (from reading other updates) that these beers are called Una Mas Cerzeza and Smoking Hot Blonde. They also state that they are “brewing 3-4 bbl batches 1 bbl at a time. I am opening a microbrewery. Actually, nanobrewery. I am shooting for 100 bbl in the first year depending on sales”. That is pretty small production, I am curious to see how it will be distributed around town.
Heady Brewing (Houston, TX)
This native Houstonian trio just signed a lease in the East Downtown area and plan on brewing “Artisinal Texas Ales”. Fresh from the Craft Brewer’s Conference and getting their trademarks in March, these long-time home-brewers are ready to get started once all the paperwork is done. You can follow them on Twitter to get more updates.
Hops & Grains Brewing (Austin, TX)
This Austin microbrewery is currently awaiting TABC label approvals and will be canning their beers. Hops & Grains hopes to open in June in a massive 50,000 square feet warehouse in east Austin, of which they have rented 3,100 square feet. They have two flagship beers, the Pale Dog (American Pale Ale) and Alt-eration (another Ale), they have an interesting concept- the flagship beers are being produced on a 15 bbl system, while they have “The Greenhouse” (a 3bbl pilot system) for trying new styles and recipes. Their website is updated frequently and there is a great post recapping how he got started, his equipment and other brewing information. They are also in the all-natural dog biscuit business, aptly called Brew Biscuits. Follow Hops & Grains on Facebook and Twitter.
Jester King (Austin, TX)
These guys aren’t that new to me but they are definitely new on the scene and are making some excellent beers. They are an “authentic farmhouse brewery” and they are opening it up to tours starting May 14th. I am a huge fan of Black Metal, their huge malty, delicious imperial stout, plus how can you not get behind a beer where the brewers rock out to death metal music while brewing? They also currently offer the Commercial Suicide, an oak aged English mild and the Wytchmaker, a rye IPA. The IPA is definitely way too hoppy for my tastes but I know people who love it. You can follow these guys on Facebook and Twitter.
Karbach Brewing (Houston, TX)
Ronnie Crocker over at Beer, TX wrote a great article about one of Houston’s newest additions, Karbach Brewing, whose brewer, Eric Warner, is the former brewmaster and CEO of Flying Dog Brewery out of Colorado. They will be packaging their beers in 12 ounce cans and are currently working on a wheat beer called Weisse Versa, an IPA named Hopadillo and an unnamed German style lager. Can’t wait to see what they bring to the Houston beer scene. You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter.
Kreul River Brewing (New Braunfels, TX)
Kreuz Creek (Sugar Land/Stafford, TX)
The week leading up to the Texas Beer Fest there were several beer dinners and I chose to go to the Kreuz Creek dinner held at Brookstreet BBQ out in Missouri City, you can read my recap here. We only got to try two of the four beers that were supposed to have been at the dinner, the smoked IPA and an amber. I wasn’t really impressed with either one. The IPA needed more hops (did I just say that?) and more smoke and the amber was sort of unassuming, which isn’t necessarily bad, it could be a great summer day beer or good for a baseball stadium (they are trying to work out a deal with the new Sugar Land minor team, the Skeeters). I definitely want to try more of their beers as they are ready and would love to see more additions to the local beer scene. You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter to stay updated!
Lakewood Brewing (Dallas, TX)
Lakewood was founded in 2010 and have already landed themselves some awards this year from Dixie Cup, Masters Championship of Amateur Brewers, Limbo Challenge and the Bluebonnet Brewoff. From their Facebook it looks like they are brewing up a brown porter, a Vienna lager, an English pale ale and a dry stout, and an IPA brewed with Magnum, Centennial, Amarillo and Citra hops plus one surprise hop. Quite a list for a new brewery! Their first public tasting will be May 22nd at BrewRiot, a homebrew competition.
Moonlight Tower Brewing (Austin, TX)
Moonlight Tower is a 100% organic brewery in Austin, they are still in the start-up and research phase of the process, but already have a solid list of beers they call “Illuminated Ales”. On that list is an American Pale Ale- Wild Rye, a Bavarian-style dunkelweizen- Weize Uncle, a porter- Pennybacker Porter, a Belgian blonde- Illumination, a coffee stout- Granite Dam Espresso Stout, a rye wit/IPA cross- Deux Wit and finally an American IPA- Loop You In IPA. I like the idea of brewing uncommon styles and hybrid styles, hopefully their execution will be on target.
New Republic Brewing (College Station, TX)
I also got to try out this new Aggieland brewery at the Texas Beer Fest (read my review here) and thought the one beer, Bellows American Amber Ale, they had for tasting was less than desirable. They got the TABC label approval for the amber in early May and hopefully they’ll be tweaking the recipe more. In my opinion, the balance between the hops and malts (something I look for in an Amber) was off, they seemed to clash. They didn’t have it at the beer festival but their website lists another beer that I assume is a flagship for them, Skylight- a German Dunkelweisse. You can follow their updates on Twitter and Facebook.
No Label Brewing Co. (Katy, TX)
This family brewing team is out in the burbs of Houston and they just got their new 15 barrel system up and running. I visited them on their older system back in September of last year and had a great time at their open house. They received their TABC permit in March of 2010 and haven’t stopped growing since then. They currently have three beers on tap, El Hefe (Hefeweizen), Ridgeback (Amber Ale) and Pale Horse (Pale Ale), and they have done at least two small batch experiments, a jalapeno ale and a Panamanian coffee milk stout that I got to try at the Texas Beer Fest (read my review here). I love the fact that they are so engaged with the beer scene in town. They had a beer dinner, are putting together a field day and you can chit chat with them like old friends. They are really open to feedback and I can appreciate that. Follow No Label on Facebook and Twitter
Orf Brewing (Austin, TX)
Another Austin brewery that was supposed to be releasing products in early 2011 will specialize in “hybrid” American Ales. One interesting note on their half-working website about their brew process is that they are “using [a] boil kettle (in lieu of a melting pot) to create a whole new breed of exceptional yet category-defying ales.” You can also check out the agency that helped with label creation here. That website has more information than the Orf page, noting that the flagship beer is called Salutation Ale, a hodgepodge American Ale and that two other brews, the Rockhopper IPA and the Honey Roast (not sure of style), have also launched.
Pecan Street Brewing (Johnson City, TX)
Pecan Street is a brewpub hoping to open in May 2011, according to their Facebook. I didn’t see anything about the styles of beer they will be brewing except that they may be offering a seasonal lavender beer. Interesting tidbits: their logo was designed by Randy Mosher (wonder how much that cost?) and their brewery space was once a hardware store. Neat.
Pedernales Brewing (Fredericksburg, TX)
From the Craft Austin blog I found their press release from late last year (apparently they were very excited and wanted to shout it out) that stated that Dr. Paul Farnsworth, a professor of fermentation science from UNM- Albuquerque is their brewmaster and that they have purchased equipment from a brewery in West Virginia that was closing. They are slated to release their beers, Lobo, Lobo Bock, Lobo Negro, Ladder Truck Lager and a few classic styles, later this year. Their website link seems dead, but they are on Facebook.
Peticolas Brewing (Dallas, TX)
What originally started out as a 7 barrel system became a 15 barrel brewery with 30 barrel fermenters, even before getting approval through all the proper Dallas channels. Michael Peticolas, the brewer, “completed the Intensive Brewing Science and Engineering course offered by the American Brewers Guild”, and they have a unique approach to the styles of beer they want to brew. They want to brew several styles and see what works best for their customers, not a bad approach, though I can imagine there might be some waste if they brew a style that no one wants to drink. You can keep up with Peticolas on Facebook.
Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling (San Antonio, TX)
Bias Alert: I LOVE THESE GUYS. I had the opportunity to tour the facility last year with the Texas Girls’ Pint Out group and completely fell in love. It’s run by two brothers and their distilling partner, and you can just see the passion they have for great beer (and soon-bourbon/whiskey). I think it shows in their beer as well, they love feedback and are constantly tweaking their recipes. They have started bottling one of their offerings, La Bestia Aimable, A Belgian strong dark ale, and have even done a port barrel aged version (it was excellent). I also appreciate that they bring their kegs to Houston themselves and if they would ever do it while I am not at my day job, I’d buy them a round! you can keep up with everything Ranger Creek on Facebook and Twitter.
Seventh Sentinel LLC (Round Rock, TX)
The address listed looks residential… that’s about all I can find.
Small World Brewing (Katy, TX)
Funny that Ray over on Twitter mentioned these guys because the founders/brewers are Dynamo tailgating buddies of mine! JD & Jessica (who also own a photography business, Snaptacular!) have been beer nerds a long time and I know they homebrew a lot and recently had a new addition to the family, baby Finn! As of their announcement to start a brewery last month, they are in the initial stages of planning, where, what, how much, etc. Best of luck to these guys! You can follow their progress on Facebook and Twitter!
SME Brewing (Dallas, TX)
Nothing to see here.
South Austin Brewing Co (Austin, TX)
Yet another Austin startup brewery that going in February of 2010 with hopes of having beer ready a year from then, but that doesn’t seem to be the case now. In a blog by Patrick Beach of Austin 360, he announces the brewery, an 8,000 square foot space, and a split production plan between 750 ml bottles and kegs. He plans to brew plenty of Belgians and beers that push the envelopes of style categorization. Jordan Weeks’, the brewer, last blog update was in February of this year, so hopefully he’s busy brewing!
Sports Breweries (Frisco, TX)
I am running out of ways to say “nothing”
Strike Brewing (Houston, TX)
Texas Big Beer Brewery (Buna, TX)
This brewery located in the middle of nowhere wants to do 22 ounce bottles of high alcohol beers (oh really?) and will is considering having “a light beer for those who can’t handle our big beers and we will water them down to only 9% ABV.” HA! My kind of brewery! From the blog updates, there has already been an unofficial tasting of a Belgian Blonde Ale they are calling Big Ass Blonde (clever). Their Facebook page has a few updates, and they hope to get their beers out this year.
Thirsty Planet (Austin, TX)
This is another brewery that I got to try at the Texas Beer Fest (read my review here). They had all three of their current beers, an IPA (Buckethead, an amber (Thirsty Goat) and a wheat ale (Yellow Armadillo). The IPA was way too much for me, but like I said in my other post, they aren’t going for your average IPA. The amber was typical of the style but smelled so funky, very well done and the wheat was excellent, crisp and refreshing like it should be. I am interested to see what else they will do outside of their initial offerings though. You can follow the brewery on Facebook and Twitter.
Three Hares Brewing (Converse, TX)
They have a Facebook page, but not much to see there, as well as a website link that is dead.According to the owner’s LinkedIn page (I love the internet) it was founded in March of 2010, but it doesn’t say much else.
Treestrike Brewing (Southlake, TX)
Matthew Close started homebrewing back in 2002 and has been doing it ever since and in 2007 he decided to turn his hobby into something more. While they don’t have a commercial space yet, they are hard at work at home, “The garage houses a “beer fridge” with two tap handles. Our closets hold carboys in various stages of fermentation. We even grow our own hops along the outside of our brick chimney.” They are admittedly still a “fledgling hombrew label” but have played with several beer styles from a blonde ale to a chile beer. Will be interesting to see their progress, you can follow along on Facebook and Twitter.
Twisted X (Austin, TX)
The “Pioneers of Tex Mex Beer” had their first commercial release on May 5th and are offering three beers to start, Twisted X a Tex Mex Lager, an unnamed Tex Mex Dark Lager and Fuego a Jalapeno infused Pilsner. Since I just did a webcast with Eat More Heat focusing on spicy beers, I’d love to see how their jalapeno infused pilsner tastes in comparison to all the shitty chile beers I tasted. You can follow Twisted X on Facebook.
Vallensons Brewery (Pearland, TX)
Vallensons was founded in 2008 out of a home in Pearland, Texas. They brew 1/2 barrels at a time and hope to open a brewery in the future, and have already brewed several styles like an IPA, an oatmeal stout (the brewer’s favorite style), a baltic porter and a Scottish Ale.
Wicked Beaver Brewing LLC (Wolfforth, TX)
This brewery was listed to be at the Texas Beer Fest (read my review here) but, for whatever reason, were not in attendance. The information on their beers is a bit inconsistent between social media outlets and their website. Their Twitter says that they currently have a black ale, amber ale and are working on a cream ale, while their Facebook says they have a black ale, amber ale and a classic ale, and finally, the website only lists the black ale. I’m sure they are too busy brewing to update all their info (but it would be nice). Wicked Beaver was founded in 2009 and just got their brewer’s permit last month. Hopefully they can get some of that beer down to us in Houston, I would love to try the cream ale.
Yellow House Canyon Brew Works (Lubbock, TX)
The website hasn’t been updated in a while, but luckily for us they keep up with their Facebook and Twitter. Apparently their TABC permits were approved just last week. No word on what they want to brew or any opening date but from what I understand, after getting all the paperwork taken care of the rest is just the beer.
Zip Carlo Italian Brewpub (Fort Worth, TX)
The only thing I could find about this brewpub was an article written in September of last year talking about the progress on construction of the space. It will (would have been?) located on Magnolia Avenue and was created by Carlo Galotto. Apparently there were several setbacks, no reasons listed, up to the point of when the article was published. They plan(ned) on serving in-house made beers and italian food, but I would imagine there have been more setbacks. In an even older article from December of 2009 the details of the location and history of the building are discussed.