With the holidays just around the corner, there is no better way to share the holiday cheer than meeting with friends at a Texas brewery. Breweries in Texas have deep roots that can be traced all the way back to Germany. IPAs, bocks and every sipping pleasure in between can be found at a brewery near you.
Here are some of the best breweries from around the state where you can meet up with friends, celebrate Christmas, and sing Auld Lang Syne to welcome in the New Year.
One of Austin’s newest additions to an already robust craft beer scene is Meanwhile Brewery. Located in south Austin, and minutes from the airport, Meanwhile is the perfect place to gather with friends, and enjoy a tasty beverage. The outdoor sitting area is spacious, and includes a stage for local musicians to perform. Food trucks are also onsite offering Mexican food, African American BBQ and ice cream.
Other Austin-area breweries to consider include the Independence Brewing Company and Zilker Brewing Co. Although, there are so many Austin breweries — both old and new — a beer connoisseur could spend a month in the ATX, and not be able to try them all.
Texas Hill Country (Fredricksburg & Driftwood)
The Texas Hill Country is known for a wide array of wonderful wineries, but two breweries have also found considerable success in the land of wine. Altstadt Brewery opened its doors in the summer of 2018, and under the leadership of brewmaster Craig Rowan, the brewery has been winning awards for its beer. The venue is a mix of English baronial and Germanic castle. In addition to the great beer, the brewery can host large events, including weddings. Be sure to stop by the brewery for live music in the grand hall.
Vista Brewing is a destination brewery in Driftwood with a holistic approach to brewing beer, and also farm to table food. Recently, the brewery has added a San Antonio tasting room and beer garden, and a tasting room in Bee Cave.
The oldest independent brewery in Texas is the famous Spoetzl Brewery, the home of Shiner beers. Shiner is one of the most popular beers available in Texas. Since 1909, the Spoetzl Brewery has brewed Shiner beer with the artesian water unique to the southeast Texas town, and now they have started to expand the various offerings they provide. When in Shiner, be sure to stop by the brewery — the first round is on the house.
Much like Austin, Houston is home to a thriving craft brewery scene, and at the forefront is Karbach Brewing Co. Some of the brewery’s best sellers include Hopadillo IPA, Love Street Kolsch Blonde and Crawford Bock, which takes its name from a section of seats in the Astros ballpark, the Crawford Boxes. Karbach has a lively biergarten where Astros and Texans fans can come out to watch their teams play.
Houston is also home to the oldest craft brewery in Texas, the Saint Arnold Brewery, which is named after the saint of brewing, Saint Arnulf of Metz. The brewery opened in 1994, and in 2017 it won numerous national and international awards including Mid-Size Brewery of the Year. Saint Arnold is also coming up with creative ways to recycle. Guests can bring in their used beer carriers and purchase promotional items in return. Bring in 14, and they’ll give you a pint glass. If you want to shoot higher, 200,000 will get you a tie-dyed 1957 Bentley.
Located on the banks of the Trinity River in Fort Worth, Martin House Brewing Company is a dog-friendly brewery where you can meet friends after work or for a party. Founded in 2013 by three friends, and concentrating on what they call micro-seasonals, the brewery is known for its variety of eight year-round brews. Favorites include Day Break, Salty Lady and the Bockslider Toadies Texas Bock. The Bockslider has the unique distinction of being named after “Bockslider,” a track from the Toadies 1994 debut album “Rubberneck.” When you visit the brewery be sure to also try a Best Maid Sour Pickle beer.
In Dallas, head downtown to Pegasus City Brewery. Once you see the brewery’s mascot, a pegasus named Peggy Sue, you know you’re in the right place. The brewery gets its name from the iconic Mobil Pegasus which used to fly over the Magnolia building. A couple of recommended beers include the Big “D” Jamboree, the Don Law and the Great Hall Hefe.
No matter where you are in the great state of Texas, you can always find a local brewery to enjoy good friends and good beer. Prost!
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Cover photo courtesy The Spoetzl Brewery
Brian Maass enjoys live music, and sharing good times at a local brewery or winery with his wife and friends. If he’s not at a concert, then you’ll find him at a National Park photographing the amazing scenery this world has to offer. Instagram: brian_maass_adventures