Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Houston Brewery Taproom Guide

I have been fortunate to call Houston home for the past three years, and during that time I have ventured to many of its finest craft breweries. For the past year, I’ve been traveling extensively for work, and each time I visited a new city I meticulously researched which breweries to visit and how their tap rooms work, as it seems each one has its own rules and quirks. As such, I figured, hey, why not write up a summary of all the breweries in Houston in case someone doesn't know where to get started, or wants to figure out how to best spend their limited time in Houston. Or maybe, you are a Houston native just trying to figure out which brewery you want to visit next. To be clear, this article is NOT a power ranking of the breweries in Houston, it is solely about the experience of visiting the brewery and sampling their on-site beers. So before I get in to it, let's get the basics of Houston down.

First, let’s break down how I grouped the breweries. Houston has the urban sprawl and it has it bad. That means you'll be driving pretty much everywhere you go, or Ubering if you've got boat loads of expendable income (which if you're in Houston may very well be true). There are two beltways around Houston: the 610 Loop and Beltway 8. From here on out, 610 will be referred to as the Loop and Beltway 8 simply as the Beltway. While within the Loop, driving anywhere else in the Loop rarely takes more than 10-15 minutes, barring traffic. Traveling from within the Loop to a location within the Beltway can take anywhere from 20-30 minutes. Getting to anything outside the Beltway from inside the Loop can vary from as little as 30 minutes to as much as an hour. Now, I'll get some flak for this but rarely do I try to leave the Loop, so leaving the Beltway can be quite the hike. Thankfully, Houston has a lot of other major highways, so even if you are leaving the Beltway, you're still only 30-45 minutes away from downtown. Keep that in mind when planning your trip! That being said, the Houston metro area covers a MASSIVE amount of land (insert everything bigger in Texas joke here) and for me to visit every brewery in this fine area is difficult. So while I did include 3 breweries in Conroe (a small city roughly 45 minutes north of Houston) on this list, I had to leave some breweries outside the Beltway off the list. This isn't to say they aren't great breweries, it just means I have yet to visit and can't accurately explain what they’re all about. But, I will update this article as I have more time to explore these breweries.

One last piece of information before I jump into it: a beer tour in Houston, and in Texas in general, does not mean the same thing it means everywhere else. Before I moved to Texas, “beer tour” meant we were going to go into a brewery and someone that worked there would tell us the four ingredients, explain wort, and show off their big shiny fermenters. This is not exactly how it works in Houston. There used to be regulations in place stating that the only way a brewery could serve beer in-house was to offer a tour, so many breweries simply ran open houses and called it a tour. The Texas standard is to offer a piece of glassware and some arbitrary amount of tokens that can be redeemed for beer (generally 1 token = 1 beer), although this is not a steadfast rule. One other thing of note, almost no breweries in Texas can sell you their beer to go. In the write-ups below, I explicitly point out any place that offers a true tour if you are interested in seeing how their beer is made. Additionally, I have tried to outline key information that you might find useful if you are planning to visit Houston breweries, including their staple beers, my favorite of their beers, and if they have food on site. Finally, anything marked with an asterisk, I consider to be one of my top five brewery experiences in Houston.

In the Loop

Saint Arnold Brewing Company *

Saint Arnold is not only the oldest craft brewery in Houston, but the oldest craft brewery in the state of Texas, and this is reflected in their beer list. They have a TON of staple beers available year round in addition to five seasonals, four Icons, and other limited edition beers. What's even more insane is their ability to produce such a large number of consistently tasty beers. While you may not be blown away by all of them, you will certainly not be let down either. Their barrel aging program, aptly named Bishop Barrel, utilizes a wide variety of barrels and beers, and is frankly one of my favorites. They also produce the Icon Series, a quarterly one-off that is more experimental. Past examples include an American Roggenbier, Honey Saison, Mandarina Wheat, and a Texas Common. Visiting the brewery itself is impressive. It's a large facility with a massive beer hall, complete with long benches where you can post up with your friends and enjoy a brew. On Saturdays, the beer hall is packed with people, so if you don’t get there early, be prepared to stand or sit on the ground. Any other day of the week there is plenty of seating. Saint Arnold has earned its stellar reputation not only in Houston but in Texas by producing a large number of high quality beers that run the style gamut.

Staples: Amber Ale, Ale Wagger, Weedwacker, Fancy Lawnmower, Santo, 5 O'Clock Pils, Elissa IPA, Endeavor, Art Car IPA, Boiler Room
Simeon's Favorites: Pumpkinator, any Bishop Barrel (one off barrel aged beers), any Divine Reserve (one off single batch beers), Art Car IPA, Summer Pils, Boiler Room
Hours: 11am-4:30pm Monday - Thursday, 11am-10pm Friday, 11am-3pm Saturday
Tours: Offered on Saturday; 4 tokens + glass for $10 (it's a taster glass, not a full pint). Also open during the week for lunch and for a pub nights on Fridays where you can buy beer by the pint. Formal tours available every day they are open at various times.
Tip: If you buy a pint glass, they will fill that instead of your taster glass, giving you even more beer.
Food: Full menu for lunch each week day, limited menu during pub nights and tours.
Distribution: Their year round and seasonal are currently in 12oz bottles and cans. Additionally, they offer bombers of assorted beers.
Dog Friendly: No.

Buffalo Bayou Brewing Co*

Buffalo Bayou has not been around very long but has already created a name for itself by consistently producing out-there beers. How about a cream ale flavored like a gin and tonic? Sure why not. What about a bananas foster inspired brew? Totally. This is what makes visiting Buffalo Bayou's tap room so interesting: you simply never know what will show up on the draft list. One week it can be an entire tap wall of fruit flavored wits while the next week, an American style barleywine and IPA's. I will be the first to tell you that you will not like every single beer they make. They simply experiment too much for a single person to love every single beer that comes out, but it's impossible not to appreciate the work they put into their creativity. The taproom itself is inside the production brewery and they set up some picnic tables in the parking lot with tents to shield a bit from the sun. Seating can be extremely limited on a Saturday tour so come early or bring your own chairs. If you are looking to try some of Houston's most unique beers, Buffalo Bayou is a must.

Staples: 1836, Great White Buffalo, More Cowbell, Sam's Daily
Simeon's Favorites: Summers Wit, Figaro Figaro Figaro Fiiigaaaro, Gingerbread Stout, Sam's Daily Variants (Strawberry Shortcake, Key Lime, Sam's Wake and Bake, Gin and Tonic)
Hours: 5pm-9pm Friday, 12pm-3pm Saturday
Tours: On Saturdays; glass comes filled with beer + 3 tokens for $10. Every Friday a pub night is offered where beers are sold by the glass. Typically during pub night, one off test batches are sold. No formal tours; however, if you ask one of the employees they are happy to show you around.
Tip: Typically, they post their tap wall on Twitter Friday evening before the tour.
Food: There is typically a food truck parked right next to the brewery.
Distribution: Their regular releases are canned, limited releases in 22oz bombers.
Dog Friendly: Yes, but must be on a leash.

8th Wonder Brewery

8th Wonder bleeds Houston. Named for the Astrodome, they have truly embraced the city of Houston. All of their beer names incorporate some part of Houston and the various cultures that inhabit it. The brewery itself is large and they arguably have the best outdoor area of any brewery in the city. Named Wonderland, it offers corn hole, bocce ball, plenty of seating, and the onsite food truck. In my mind, there is no better place to grab a beer outside than 8th Wonder. Many of their beers can fall flat depending on your tastes but their gose, Haterade, is one of my go-to beers to chug during the intense Houston summer. If you are looking to grab a brew outside or just want to bask in Houston pride, 8th Wonder has your number.

Staples: Dome Foam, Rocket Fuel, IntellectuALE, Hopston, Alternate Universe
Simeon's Favorites: Haterade, Pharmhouse, Rocket Fuel on Nitro
Hours: 11am-10pm Monday-Thursday, 12pm-1pm Saturday, 12pm-6pm Sunday
Tours: Open most of the week, $15 gets you a glass + 3 tokens or $10 gets you a plastic cup + 3 tokens. No formal tour.
Tip: Tuesday-Thursday they offer a flight of 4 beers + 1 token for $10 which is a great way to try many of their offerings without getting wasted.
Food: Eatsie Boys truck is usually on site.
Distribution: Staples available in cans.
Dog Friendly: Yes but only allowed in the Wonderland (outdoor portion). Website:

Town in City Brewing

Town in City is in an area of Houston called the Heights, located in the north-west corner of the Loop. The Heights is a neighborhood filled with eclectic shops and eclectic people, for that matter. Think of it as a paradise for aging hipsters who want to have families. Town in City is exactly what you would expect from brewery in the Heights - it is truly your neighborhood brewery. It is small, with both outdoor and indoor seating, and the indoor area very much feels like you are entering someone's home. They have food on site served out of a trailer that is permanently parked there. The bar offers their beers as well as cold brew coffee on nitro and shrubs (vinegar based drinks). Typically they have about a half dozen beers on tap with your usual array of styles. I personally really enjoy their City Porter which is extremely light bodied but still backs all the roasted flavors you would want from a porter - the perfect porter for Houston summers. Town in City is an interesting mix of brewery, hipster, and neighborhood which makes for an extremely laid back homey brewery.

Staples: Mosquito's Revenge, Chipped Tooth, City Porter, City Amber, Uncommon Cowboy
Simeon's Favorites: City Porter, White Oak Wit, Uncommon Cowboy
Hours: 3pm-10pm Wednesday-Thursday, 3pm-12am Friday, 10am-12am Saturday, 10am-10pm Sunday
Tours:Open Wednesday-Sunday, beer for sale by the glass. No formal tour.
Tip: They offer a flight of their staple beers if you are indecisive or don't want to committ to one beer.
Food: They offer a full menu of modernized bar snacks. I really enjoy their big pretzel with queso.
Distribution: Draft only currently.
Dog Friendly: Yes but must be on a leash.

Moon Tower Inn

Including Moon Tower on this list is a little strange. They are technically a brewpub, but first and foremost they are a hipster bar/restaurant. They feature a large number of taps and have an impressive menu of food. However, of those many taps, 5 typically have Moon Tower brewed beers. From what I have seen, their beers typically show a good range of variety, and if you're not big on anything they brewed, they have plenty of other local beers available. They are best known for their unique game hot dogs, such as elk with bacon and cheddar, and delicious hamburgers. No matter how many other people are at Moon Tower, it always seems like the food will take an hour to get to you- just be prepared to wait. It’s definitely worth the wait. Plus, who cares about waiting a bit for food when you are sitting outside drinking some tasty craft beer? All of the seating is outdoors so plan accordingly. On a nice day, there is nothing better than kicking back with a crazy hot dog and a cold craft beer.

Staples: No true staple beers, taps rotate quickly here.
Simeon's Favorites: 2nd Ward Stout, Amber Alert
Hours: 12pm-2am Monday-Thursday, 12pm-3am Friday-Saturday, 12pm-12am Sunday
Tours: This works like a brewpub so you can enjoy their beers or other local brews by the glass. No formal tours.
Tip: Beer here can be on the expensive side ($6-$7) and are served in 12oz plastic cups. Pay $10 once for a 16oz pint glass with a koozie (and filled with beer) and you can bring that back any time.
Food: Full menu available with game hot dogs and inventive burgers.
Distribution: No.
Dog Friendly: No.

Just Outside the Loop

Whole Foods Brewing

This is the first Whole Foods in the country to have an on-site brewery and it is surprisingly awesome. They feature a very nice modern bar serving a large selection of their house brewed beers. They have the expected beers such as pale ales and hefeweizens, but they also run the gamut of styles. While it might seem weird to have a brewery in a grocery store, it works to their advantage. They often feature food-infused beers, such as hatch chili, lemon, sweet potato, tangerine, and so on. They also produce a lot of collaborations with other Houston breweries, which makes for very interesting beer. As it is a small brewery, collaborating gives them the flexibility to have an ever evolving tap list that changes every week. The bar itself is very sleek but small, and can get quite backed up on Trivia night (Thursday). Not into beer? They also serve wine. This is the best grocery store brewery experience you will ever have (I'm not even sure if there is another?).

Staples: Post Oak Pale Ale, FlasheWeizen (taps rotate quickly here)
Simeon's Favorites: Bombay Doors, FlasheWeizen, No Escape
Hours: 1130am-930pm Monday-Saturday, 12am-930pm Sunday
Tours: This works like a brewpub so you can enjoy their beers or other local brews by the glass. Formal tours are offered on Thursday evening.
Tip: They offer flights of any four beers for $10
Food: They have bar food and if you're not interested in that, it is inside a Whole Foods....
Distribution: Currently draft only and can only be found at Whole Foods Bars
Dog Friendly: No.

Brash Brewing Company *

Brash's history is long and interesting so I will not get into it in this blurb, but for just over a year their Houston brewery has been churning out hits. Brash is best known for their hoppy beers and their stouts. If you are not into either, you may have trouble finding something you like but if you like either, boy , are you in for a treat. Their IPA's are some of the best the city has to offer and their stouts I would rank with the best of them (especially Cortado). The brewery itself has a bar wall featuring their own beers and guest beers, all of which can be purchased by the glass - works exactly the same as a bar. There is ample picnic table seating within the brewery and outside. The brewery also has copious amounts of old arcade games for your pleasure, including but not limited to BurgerTime and Spy Hunter. One important thing to note, the music playing in the brewery is from a heavy metal jukebox so if you are actively against metal, you may not have a good time. That being said, I personally do not love metal but the beer and arcade games more than make up for it.

Staples: EZ7, Pussy Wagon, Cali Green
Simeon's Favorites: Cortado, Smoglifter, Fancy Sauce
Hours: 5pm-12am Thursday-Friday, 12pm-1am Saturday, 12pm-8pm Sunday
Tours:All beer bought by the glass. No formal tours.
Tip: Bring quarters, they have a boatload of old arcade games that make for a great time.
Food: Food truck typically on site Thursday-Sunday. Outside food is also allowed.
Distribution: They have started canning a few of the staples and crowlers are available to-go from the brewery.
Dog Friendly: Yes, but must be on a leash.
Website: Brash's Facebook

Karbach Brewing Co. *

Over the past three years, Karbach has gone from a great local brewery to a force to be reckoned with. Karbach has a long line-up of staple beers as well as a wide variety of seasonals and an amazing barrel aging program. Any beer drinker, will find at least one beer at Karbach that suits them. With all this beer they are turning, the facility has grown quite a bit. The brewery itself is segmented into two parts: the Biergarten and the brewpub. The Biergarten is an open outdoor seating area that runs on the token system like the rest of Houston. This is also where you would go if you wanted to tour their large facility. When you visit the brewery, seeing their barrel aging room is a lot of fun as they are constantly experimenting with their barrel program. The brewpub is as it sounds: a full restaurant where you can buy many of their beers by the glass. They take their food program just as seriously as they take the beer so expect some solid food. If you're looking for a good dinner while you sample your beer, Karbach's brewpub is a good spot to do it.

Staples: Love Street, Hopadillo IPA, Weekend Warrior, Weiss Versa Wheat, Sympathy for the Lager, Rodeo Clown Double IPA
Simeon's Favorites: Weiss Versa Wheat, Bourbon Barrel Hellfighter (BBH), Karbachtoberfest, F.U.N. Series beers (barrel aging program)
Hours: 11am-9pm Sunday-Monday, 11am-930pm Tuesday-Saturday
Tours: Karbach offers a tour similar to the other breweries in Houston inside what is now called the Biergarten. You pay $9 for a 9oz glass and 4 tokens (one specialty token) or $12 for a 16oz glass and 3 tokens (one specialty). They also offer scheduled tours of the brewery itself; you’ll be informed of the tour times when you purchase your glass and tokens. If you are eager to go, these tours can fill up quickly on the weekends so arrive early. Additionally, they have opened a brewpub with a full menu and beers that can be purchased by the glass.
Food: Restaurant brewpub on site; I personally like the pretzel and the Korean fried chicken. Be careful though, entrees can be expensive.
Distribution: All regular and seasonal releases are canned, all limited beers are bottled in 22oz format.
Dog Friendly: Only in the Biergarten and must be on a leash.

Outside the Loop

Spindletap Brewery

Spindletap is a relative newcomer to the Houston beer scene. Their taproom is both indoors and outdoors, but primarily indoors. It is an extremely modern air conditioned taproom with plenty of TV's for watching all the games. Think sports bar meets brewery taproom. Their beer tends to focus on the hoppy end with multiple pale ales, IPA's, and double IPA's. If you're not into hops, they also brew an ESB and a Blonde. Spindletap even offers a flight if you're indecisive and want to try them all. They also offer food in the form of simple burgers and hot dogs, which are prepared by a staffer on a flat top next to the fermenters. They also allow outside food if you would prefer something else. Spindletap is a solid brewery if you're in the area, but it is hard to recommend as a destination.

Staples: Honey Hole ESB, Boomtown Blonde, Toolpusher Pale Ale, Hopper House Double IPA
Simeon's Favorites: Pecao!, Honey Hole ESB
Hours: 4pm-8pm Friday, 11am-7pm Saturday
Tours: Tours are offered Friday and Saturday, where $15 gets you a glass + 3 tokens. Otherwise you can purchase beer by the glass or get a flight. No formal tours.
Food: Hamburgers, hot dogs, and soft pretzel offered on site but you are also allowed to bring your own food.
Distribution: Staples are canned.
Dog Friendly: Outdoor area only (they have benches outside but this brewery is primarily indoors).

Outside the Beltway

11 Below Brewing Company

11 Below was founded by a couple of former oil engineers who aptly named their brewery after the size difference between a barrel of beer and a barrel of oil. Their main focus is on beers that you can drink in Houston weather and they nail it. All three of their staple beers, while different styles, are all easy to drink on a hot day without any loss in flavor. They also brew darker beers that are as aggressive as they are delicious. Negative Space is a personal favorite: a stout with its blend of cacoa nibs and ancho chiles. When visiting the brewery, they open their large garage-esque doors and let the open air flow through. There are plenty of picnic tables inside and out so you can take a load off while enjoying your beers. 11 Below is a fun brewery to visit and it will be fun to see what else they can produce as time goes on.

Staples: 7 Iron, Oso Bueno, Color Blind
Simeon's Favorites: Negative Space, Oso Bueno, Big Mistake
Hours: 5pm-8pm Thursday, 12pm-3pm Saturday
Tours: $10 gets you a plastic cup + 3 tokens. For an additional $5 you can upgrade the plastic cup to a pint glass. On Saturday, formal tours offered at various times during the afternoon.
Food: Food truck typically on site.
Distribution: Staples are canned.
Dog Friendly: Yes but must stay in the outside area.

Lone Pint Brewery *

If you're a craft beer nerd visiting Houston, Lone Pint may be the brewery you've heard the most about due to their ever popular Yellow Rose. I have been trying not to obsessively talk about beers in these blurbs, but Yellow Rose is a SMaSH (single malt and single hop) IPA and it is perfectly balanced. Regardless if you are visiting the brewery or not, if you are in Houston you owe it to yourself to try this beer. One thing I should point out about Lone Pint though, they are located in Magnolia which is a town about a 45 minute drive from downtown Houston - a drive I personally feel is well worth taking. The brewery is open air with picnic tables and with some of the friendliest beer pourers you will ever meet. All of the beer on tap is as fresh as can be and extremely tasty. Not to mention, this may be the best steal at any of the Houston area breweries: you get a 16oz glass with three pours for $10. If you are willing to take the drive out to Magnolia, do not hesitate to visit Lone Pint.

Staples: Yellow Rose, Gentleman's Relish, Tornado Shark, The Jabberwocky, 667 Neighbor of the Beast
Simeon's Favorites: Yellow Rose, Gentleman's Relish, Lily and Seamus
Hours: 12pm-4pm Saturday
Tours: $10 gets you a 16oz pint glass + 3 tokens. Formal tours offered on Saturday at various times throughout the afternoon.
Food: Food truck typically on site.
Distribution: Staples sold in 750ml bottles
Dog Friendly: Yes but must be on a leash.

No Label Brewing Co.

No Label is located in a suburb of Houston called Katy, which is roughly 30 minutes west of downtown. Katy is not your typical suburb, it's absolutely massive. The brewery itself is absolutely massive as well - they have plenty of land and it is all open seating. If you visit the brewery on a Saturday for their open tour, it will become readily apparent that you are in the 'burbs - there are hundreds of families with their children and dogs. Out of all the breweries in Houston, this is at the top of the list for most kid friendly. They handle the large crowds fairly well with two remote beer stations and one fully manned bar in the brewery itself. However, if you visit on Saturday, make sure to bring your own chair, empty space here fills up very quickly and the limited seating they provide is almost instantaneously spoken for. I personally prefer avoiding the Saturday tour and going during the week when it's less crowded and you can buy by the pint. While No Label's staple beers are fairly standard, their Off Label series, one-off experimental beers, tend to be much more interesting - these come out about quarterly. Additionally, at the brewery they offer their Hop Solo series, which is a pale ale exclusively brewed with one hop.

Staples: 1st Street Ale, El Hefe Weizen, Pale Horse Ale, Ridgeback Ale, Eleven Amp IPA
Simeon's Favorites: Elda M. Milk Stout, Perpetual Peace, Off Label Series (one off experimental releases)
Hours: 3pm-10pm Monday-Friday, 12pm-3pm Saturday, 12pm-6pm Sunday
Tours: Offered on Saturday 4 tokens + glass for $10 (it's a taster glass, not a full pint). Also open during the week where you buy by the pint. Formal tours offered at various times on Saturday.
Tip: If you buy a pint glass, they will fill that instead of your taster glass, giving you even more beer.
Food: Food truck typically on site.
Distribution: Staples and seasonal beers are bottled, Off Label beers sold in 22oz bombers.
Dog Friendly: Yes but must be on a leash.


Southern Star Brewing Company

Southern Star is the oldest of the breweries in Conroe and it shows. They have a massive facility which churns out all of their canned beers. They have a large indoor finished taproom (i.e., has air conditioning) with massive picnic tables. In the corner of the room you will find a long table where a staffer is preparing Russo's pizzas if you get hungry. They also have large amounts of seating outside. One thing to note about the taproom, they typically have beers that they also can, so if you are looking to find one-offs or experiments you are unlikely to be successful. You are, however, likely to find their stout, Buried Hatchet, on nitro which is very tasty. They also brew a wide variety of beers and their seasonals tend to be a good mix. They also have an annual beer, Black Crack, which is their Buried Hatchet aged on bourbon barrels which is worth hunting down. The only way to get on the floor and see the brewery is to take the tour, otherwise you'll be in the tap room. Southern Star has a very clean welcoming taproom and is a good place to grab a cold beer on a hot day.

Staples: Bombshell Blonde Ale, Buried Hatchet Stout, Pine Belt Pale Ale, Conspiracy Theory IPA
Simeon's Favorites: Black Crack, Valkyrie, Buried Hatchet
Hours: 4pm-9pm Friday, 12pm-6pm Saturday-Sunday
Tours: On Saturday, $10 gets you a 16oz glass + 3 tokens. On Friday and Sunday, you can buy the pint. On Saturday, formal tours offered at various times during the afternoon.
Food: Russo pizza is sold in the corner of the taproom.
Distribution: Staples are canned.
Dog Friendly: Outdoor area only (they have benches outside but this brewery is primarily indoors).

B-52 Brewing Company

B-52 Brewing is in a remote location in Conroe. In fact, if it weren't for the signs, the first time you visit you would be convinced you were going to a campground. The brewery is surrounded by trees and they have loaded the area with picnic tables and corn hole boards. They offer two versions of the tour (8oz glass or 16oz glass), each with three tastings. One of the three tastings is a specialty beer (typically their high ABV stuff). You also have the option to buy individual beers by the pint or half pint. They have a large number of taps and even feature guest taps from time to time. B-52 dabbles in traditional German style beers with their Pilsner and Berliner but also goes for it with their Golden Barleywine and their Breakfast Stout (one of my personal favorites). If you are looking for a tasty beer and some beautiful scenery to enjoy it in, look no further than B-52.

Staples: Payload Pils, Wingman Wheat IPA, Schwarzbier, Liberator
Simeon's Favorites: Breakfast Stout, Berliner Weiss, Schwarzbier
Hours: 5pm-10pm Friday, 12pm-6pm Saturday, 12pm-5pm Sunday
Tours: 8oz glass + 3 tokens for $8, 16oz glass + 3 tokens for $12. In both cases, only one of the tokens can be used for a specialty beer. Additionally, can purchase beer by the glass. No formal tours.
Food: Food truck typically on site.
Distribution: Some beers bottled in 22oz bombers.
Dog Friendly: Yes but must be on a leash.

Copperhead Brewery

Copperhead may be the smallest brewery on this list (possibly only slightly larger than Town in City). For their small size, the taproom offers an impressive variety of beers, ranging from wits to IPA's to interesting Belgian style ales. Additionally, they tend to have a couple guest taps if you don't want to taste their offerings. The taproom itself has a basement feel to it with its low drop ceiling and dimly lit booth seating. Like my basement, they offer a large assortment of board games to ensure you won't get bored even if your company is less than stellar. Being blunt, I would not make a trip solely to visit Copperhead, but if you go to Conroe to visit B-52 and Southern Star, I would not hesitate to also stop by Copperhead.

Staples: Copperhead White, Striker IPA, Medusa, Athena
Simeon's Favorites: Athena
Hours: 4pm-7pm Friday, 12pm-8pm Saturday
Tours: Everything is buy by the pint however they do offer a flight of their own beers for $6. No formal tours.
Food: Some packaged snacks available but you are allowed to bring outside food.
Distribution: Staples bottled.
Dog Friendly: No.

So there you have it, a breakdown of the breweries I have visited in Houston up to this point. As I stated before, there are a bunch more if you are looking for more places to check out. Just to name a few: Texian, Texas Refinery, BAKFISH, Saloon Door, and even more depending on how broad your definition of Houston is. It also seems as if new breweries are popping up all the time. Both Under the Radar and City Acre, as of this posting, are scheduled to open within the next month. Additionally, if you want to check out a beach at the gulf, there is a beach town called Galveston that has its own brewery offerings. Let's say you're sick of Houston (can't say it never happens), well, then check out Austin or Dallas with their wide variety of breweries (I have to admit though, Austin's got Dallas beat when it comes to beer).

Let's say you want to drink beer but don't want to visit where it's made. Houston has a great selection of craft beer bars all over town. My personal favorites are Hay Merchant, Mongoose versus Cobra, Petrol Station, and Nobi Public House. Want to take some beer home with you? Most Houston grocery stores will have a solid craft beer selection that will do in a pinch, but if you want the biggest selection I would check out D&Q Bottle Shop, Specs in Midtown (on Smith Street), or Nobi Bottle Shop (owned by the fine folks at Nobi Public House).

Houston may not be known as a beer town, but it has a good variety of breweries and beer available - you just have to be willing to drive to get it. Personally, I am extremely happy with the quality of the craft beer we have available in town, and while I am not from Houston, I take a lot of pride in this city. If you are visiting from out of town, I assure you will not be disappointed with any of the asterisked breweries above.

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