Brewery Travels – Houston

24-hour Houston Beer Tour by Rich Szydlo

Last Year, for my birthday, my wife surprised me with 24 hrs in Houston for breweries and a Vampire Weekend Concert. And by Surprise, I mean surprise – no idea where were going until I had to get on the plane, no idea we were going to the concert (or who I was seeing) until I was in line fort the venue. But we managed to get in plenty of beer and breweries, so if you find yourself with 24 hours and a taste for some new brews, Houston is a great destination.

First Stop – Jackson St. BBQ
Of course, we needed a base, and I wasn’t missing some good Texas BBQ. Jackson St BBQ is located right next to the Astros Ballpark, so make sure its not a game day. Being in the shadow if the Stadium, I tried Karbach Brewing’s Crawford Bock, a Texas special. Its in partner with the Astros’ Charites, and the label looks like the old Astros 80s star uniforms. It’s a nice amber bock, 4.5%, and just sweet enough to balance the tangy BBQ sauce.
SIDE NOTE- I’m a sucker for a good t-shirt, and I had to buy the one that said “Jackson St BBQ- We cure Vegetarianism” Haha, vegetarians…

Next Stop – St. Arnold Brewery
Yup, that St Arnold, which has the best beer garden/patio I have been to in a while. Its huge, plenty of seating, manicured hedges and walkways to separate big groups, and a cool ass fountain right in the middle. We chose the lazy lawn chairs to get a good seat to watch the Astros game on the big screen. I went with the Citrodos IPA, a lower ABV IPA, lots of aromatic hops, ended up being a really nice patio beer out in the Texas heat. The Lady went with the Raspberry AF, deliciously fruity with just a hint of tartness.

Next Stop – Holler Brewing
Holler Brewing is a small tap room in an industrial/ art part of Houston, next to a cool coffee shop. Chalkboard tap lists, garage doors open, and pretty crowded. And their lights over the bar were hop cones, pretty nice touch. We had the flight of 6, a hefeweizen, ESB, Milk stout, a Pils, and 2 IPAs. All were solid, good flavor, and I appreciated the variety of styles. Nice little off-the-beaten-path taproom, but definitely worth the stop.

One Last Stop – Platypus Brewing
This was a last minute addition, because we had time before the concert, and it was walking distance from Holler Brewing. But probably had my favorite beer of the trip. Platypus specializes in Australian styles. Which is basically any style of beer but with Australian /New Zealand specific hops. And their red ale was fantastic – nice and malty, and the Australian hops left a citrusy/grassy aroma, not too bitter. We also had the Tim Gunn Rye Saison, because my wife is a “Project Runway” fan, and I like Rye, but that was pretty fantastic as well. The space is a quirky patio with a gritty vibe, very happy to have stumbled onto this one.

One For The Road – Celis Raspberry
We had to have something for the hotel room after the concert, so a 6 pack of Celis Raspberry it is! I love Celis White, and this is brewed with a ton of raspberries. Some of the cans made it home, but they didn’t last long after that.

Hope you enjoyed the whirlwind brewery tour of Houston as much as I did – feel free to use this as a guide for your next excursion!

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