Sure, Bayou City beer connoisseurs love their stouts and porters, but it’s the pils and kölsches we know most intimately—the beverages that power us through July’s yardwork, August’s block parties, and September’s longest dog days. Here, our six favorite local lagers:
Karbach Brewing Company
An instant classic from the Spring Branch brewery that’s quickly taking over Texas, this pale ale is dry-hopped, which rounds out the bitterness of its four-hop blend into something crisp yet mellow that pairs easily with everything from Indian vindaloo to chili cheeseburgers.
11 Below Brewing
The Willowbrook brewery specifically designed this American amber ale to pair with “Tex-Mex, days that end in Y, and patios,” and it does, thanks to a balance of three malts and three hops that keep “oh-so-bueno” both toasty and crisp.
Buffalo Bayou Brewing Co.
ABV: 5.8 %
The Sam pictured on the can is none other than Sam Houston himself, for whom this bright, barely malty cream ale is named. If you’re looking to wean a friend off big-name adjunct lagers, this is the stuff to buy (and lucky for you, it’s almost as cheap as, well, the cheap stuff).
I Tell You Wit
Bakfish Brewing Co.
This crisp, sweet witbier pours the color of liquid gold, with the tart citrus and mellow banana notes of a good Belgian beer—an excellent example of the style from the brand-new Pearland brewery, which opened in March.
8th Wonder Brewery
This throwback cream ale, as the EaDo brewery describes it, is meant to evoke memories of ordering frosty plastic cups of Dome Foam beer at summer baseball games inside the 8th wonder of the world itself—the Astrodome, the first air-conditioned stadium on the planet—hence its light flavor and colorful can festooned with the red, orange, yellow and navy of the ’80s-era Astros.
Back Pew Brewing
The Kingwood brewery calls this pilsner its “most approachable” brew, though we’d also call it the most Texan, with a flavor that calls to mind the old-school Hill Country beers of our German and Czech settlers and a sweetness derived from Texas blue corn.