When you think of this urban destination, plenty of things come to mind: NASA, the Rockets, humid weather, a bold skyline. But breweries in Houston are the real star of the show, adding flair and flavor to a burgeoning Texas beer scene.
Besides, sipping Texan beer is one of the best things to do in Houston!
Anyway, we’re giving you the rundown on each, including the style of the taprooms, popular weekly events, and what to order from both food and beer menus alike.
As the biggest city in Texas and the fourth largest in the country, Houston has attractions galore and upwards of 60 craft breweries ready to fuel all that sightseeing.
Ready to learn about the city’s craft beer scene?
16 Best Breweries in Houston
So lace up your best walking shoes and get ready to cover some serious ground as we travel around to the best of the best taste-makers and hangout spots when it comes to breweries in Houston.
Saint Arnold Brewing Company
Starting with a bang, we head first to Texas’s oldest craft brewery. Saint Arnold Brewing Company shipped its first keg of beer in 1994 and has been churning out a steady rotation of year-round, seasonal, and specialty brews ever since.
At the time, Houston was the largest city in the US without a microbrewery, and the founders sought to change that.
They ended up becoming a mainstay for decades to come and Houston’s beer community quickly followed suit.
The most popular beers on the menu include the Lawnmower, a crisp, refreshing, and slightly fruity German-style Kölsch as well as the super hoppy Art Car IPA, with its flavors of apricot, tropical fruit, and mango.
For serious beer aficionados, there exists a not-so-secret Saint Arnold Society, which offers free beer for life and a handmade, engraved mug always waiting behind the counter for your next drink.
Even for less serious sippers, the cathedral-like interiors of the beer hall and sweeping outdoor patio transform casual beer drinking into a full-blown experience.
Read next: Weekend in Houston
Lone Pint Brewery
Sure, you have to travel out of Houston’s city center to reap the benefits of Lone Pint’s fine-tuned brews and state-of-the-art beer garden.
But when you’re greeted by grassy lawns, shady oak trees, and picnic table seating, it’s entirely worth it.
Favorites from the year-round offerings are the grapefruit, pineapple, and blueberry-flavored Yellow Rose as well as the 667 Neighbor of the Beast, an American India pale ale full of piney-grapefruit flavor and a sweet peach and honey finish.
Live music, market days, and a rotating lineup of food trucks provide fun for the whole family. While the adults chat over a cold glass or two, the younger ones have plenty of space to play.
Lone Pint Brewery is a passionate, family-owned operation that uses raw whole cone hops in its brews and renewable energy to power its brewery. Incredible, right?
Buffalo Bayou Brewing Company
The self-proclaimed “most creative brewery in Houston” delivers a wide and inventive array of flavors, colors, and finishes on their beer menu.
From a Thin Mint Stout (of Girl Scout cookie fame) to a vividly orange Dreamsicle-infused brew to an IPA inspired by Texas BBQ, there’s no shortage of creative brews at this drinking destination.
The Buffalo Bayou Brewing Co. menu is constantly evolving, so you’ll never find the same things on tap twice, and each visit is an adventure in and of itself.
But that’s not all! Their recently opened 3-story, 28,000 square foot Brewtopia features full food service from a true Southern menu, TVs to watch your team of choice, and a rooftop beer garden with downtown views.
Read next: Best Rooftop Bars in Houston
Karbach Brewing Co.
While American beer has proven itself to be a serious contender on the world stage, sometimes you just can’t beat the classics.
Karbach utilizes tried and true German techniques to create traditional brews with a modern twist.
Past visitors highly recommend the Hopadillo, a super hoppy, bitter IPA, the clean, floral Love Street, and the Rodeo Clown Double IPA with its notes of raisin, bread, and citrus.
Visit the Karbach Biergarten for family fun in any season. Shaded picnic table seating with cooling fans will stave off the sweat during Houston summers, while heaters keep things toasty from October-March.
Play cornhole or Jenga, catch an outdoor concert, or just enjoy all the German-inspired brews on offer.
B-52 Brewing Company
Just under an hour outside downtown Houston, B-52 Brewing Co. serves up beers of every kind imaginable, “from clean, crisp Pilsners to big boozy stouts to tart, fruit-forward sours.”
It didn’t take long for them to make a splash on the Houston beer scene; in the first year of their operation, they were named the “Best New Brewery in Texas.”
They run a number of weekly events worth checking out, from Wednesday night movie nights to Thursday trivia and beyond, as well as rotating food trucks, live music events, and small-batch releases.
When the weather is good, more than seven acres of outdoor space and games like cornhole and giant Jenga add to the fun.
Read next: Best Distilleries in Texas
Great Heights Brewing Company
Great Heights had perhaps a more thrilling opening than they bargained for, launching right in the middle of Hurricane Harvey.
But they weathered the storm and have quickly grown into a go-to neighborhood brewery.
Not only do they provide everyone around with excellent craft beer, but they also give back to the community, donating grain used during the brewing process back to local farmers to use as livestock feed.
Among Great Heights’ bestsellers are the Fruity Pellets, a hazy beer that washes down soft and creamy with strong citrus notes, as well as the hoppy, aromatic Blue Tile IPA.
And because nothing goes better with beer than pizza, their onsite food truck is always dishing up fresh pies right out front.
Loud, proud, and certainly not afraid to speak their minds, the brains behind Brash Brewing aim to bring “big, bold, and unique flavors” to craft beer in Houston.
Expect names as outrageous as their flavors; fan favorites include the Pussy Wagon IPA, Vulgar Display of Power, and Extra Dank Willie.
Brash Brewing holds all kinds of fun and funky events, like night markets, garage sales, live concerts, competitions, and more, so keep an eye out on their Instagram.
Even if nothing is happening when you visit, a taproom full of arcade games and foosball tables is sure to keep you entertained for hours.
Of all the breweries in Houston, no one does a hazy IPA better than SpindleTap. This cozy spot is totally Texan, with a bigger-is-better approach to both flavor and fun.
Their recently opened SpindlePark features space to play baseball, kickball, basketball, soccer, lacrosse, volleyball, cornhole, and disc golf!
As if that weren’t enough, you can also putt your way through nine holes on the SpindlePutt Championship (Mini) Golf Course.
But, we digress. Heading back to the beer, we hear that their juicy, tropical Houston Haze (with notes of guava, pineapple, and grapefruit) and their Heavy Hands IPA are particularly worth an order.
Want some beans with your brew? SpindlePark does caffeine too, with coffee that is organic and ethically sourced (plus they donate 50% of the profits to causes around the world).
Texas Leaguer Brewing
Aiming to capture the joy of that all-American afternoon pastime–watching a ball game–Texas Leaguer Brewing is all about fun, friends, and refreshing drinks for everyone.
Try their classic 2 Hopper, an easy-drinking IPA, or opt for the flavorful, smooth Knuckle Bock. They even offer the Little Leaguer, a root beer perfect for any younger guests.
There is a steady stream of community, family-friendly events like steak nights, afternoon BBQs, and rotating food truck features each Sunday, so check their website before your visit and see what they’re cooking up.
Eureka Heights Brew Co.
The approachable, easygoing, and community-oriented Eureka Heights is just the spot to wind down after a day of Houston sightseeing.
Try trivia on Wednesday night or bingo every Thursday. If you prefer your beer post-workout, stop by for the Laces Out Run Club, which hosts 2, 3.5, 5, or 8-mile runs weekly and ends each route at the brewery for an evening full of $2-off brews.
As for which beers to order, fan favorites include the tropical, citrusy, double dry-hopped Mini Boss as well as the crisp, refreshing Buckle Bunny, a Cream Ale made with corn—their signature beer.
No Label Brewing Co.
Skip the modern, industrial-style Houston breweries in favor of this much more authentic experience.
No Label Brewing Co. is set up inside an old rice silo, which makes for a fascinating sight and a laid-back atmosphere.
With a near-constant rotation of live performers and food trucks, there’s really no bad time to stop by No Label.
They boast plenty of space for large groups, and the property is kid and pet-friendly (they even have a full playground out back).
Sample their take on a traditional German wheat beer with El Hefe, a sippable summer day drink with strong aromas of banana, cloves, and citrus.
Or order something flavor-packed, like the Peanut Butter Chocolate Time or the Don Jalapeño Ale, available every spring and brewed with 60 pounds of fresh peppers.
Name a more enjoyable pairing than board games and beers; we’ll wait. At Battlehops Brewing, you can sip on delicious Houston craft beers while challenging all your travel buddies to some serious competition.
Their selection is enormous, stretching all the way across one wall of the brewery and numbering more than 500 card and board games!
Grab a classic like Catan or Risk, or try something new and learn as you go. The fun continues in their outdoor area, with giant Jenga, Connect Four, and more.
To fuel your game-playing, order top-ranking brews like the Steve Pale Ale, Tropical Sour, or Zena The Impossible, a Maple Vanilla Imperial Stout.
Local Group Brewing
Chef-driven small plates and weekend brunches almost steal the show at this airy, modern Houston institution, but their carefully crafted selection of brews will always be the star.
Visitors can peek behind-the-scenes into Local Group’s 10-barrel brewhouse and full-service kitchen, which work hand in hand to deliver excellent pairings.
From the drink menu, their juicy, smooth Double Vertigo, chocolatey Midnight Prison Milk Stout, and grapefruit and hibiscus-flavored Pink Nebula are all must-trys.
As for food, start your meal with a Texas-sized pretzel, chow down on a hearty slider, and wrap things up with fried Oreos or churros.
Holler Brewing Company
Don’t underestimate this local, independent Houston microbrewery; they can make world-class lagers and ales with the best of them.
Holler’s beer list is always on the move, so you’ll find a rotating selection of fan favorites, seasonal beers, and innovative new brews.
Among Holler Brewing Co. top-rated menu items are the Dollar Pils Y’all (a crisp and clean German-style pilsner), the Good Clean Fun (an IPA with notes of mango, pineapple, and passionfruit), and the Margaret Thatcher Naked On A Cold Day (a delicate, drinkable English pale ale).
In addition to the brews, their low prices, fabulous music selection, local art displays, and food truck line-ups make this a place to settle in and stay awhile.
Compliment your delicious beer with Australian-inspired comfort food at this warm and cozy taproom just outside downtown.
Platypus also offers cocktails, ciders, liquors, and wines alongside their homemade brews, so it’s the perfect all-around destination for dinner and drinks.
Kick off your night with one of their crowd favorites, like the Ranga Red Ale with its sweet, candy-like aromas of stone fruit or the Bobby Dazzler, an Australian Blonde Ale that brings together the best of both worlds with local Houston honey and Topaz hops from Down Under.
8th Wonder Brewery
No list of breweries in Houston would be complete without a mention of the uber-popular 8th Wonder, a downtown joint that celebrates Houston’s baseball team, the Astros.
In fact, their name was inspired by the team’s home stadium, the Houston Astrodome, which opened its doors in 1965.
It was the first sports venue to be domed and air-conditioned, earning it the playful title of “8th Wonder of the World.”
This brewery’s colorful outdoor patio has tons of space to spread out, with standing areas, picnic table seating, cornhole, and a constant line-up of food trucks, including Eatsie Boys.
As for beers, visitors love the Rocket Fuel, a Vietnamese Coffee Porter infused with dark roast cold brew and milk sugar, as well as the Dome Faux’m, a foamy, pre-Prohibition style Cream Ale.
More Houston Breweries Worth Checking Out
- Megaton Brewery – Excellent pale ales and stouts. They also have a video game, pool, arcade games, and more.
- Southern Star Brewing Company – The second oldest craft brewery in greater Houston. They offer well-balanced, traditional brews.
- Galveston Island Brewing – Sandbar and award-winning ales in an inviting area for families and dogs alike.
- 11 Below Brewing Company – This brewery in North Houston has your-round beers, seasonal brews, and garden tables are available.
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