Katy is the forgotten stepchild of the bar and restaurant scenes for greater Houston, but things are slowly changing. With the expansion of the Grand Parkway 99, businesses are flocking to an untapped marketplace and matters are looking increasingly tastier. One of the major players in that growth: No Label Brewing Company, which has been slowly gaining steam since 2010.
Located off 1st Street, No Label is hidden away by remnants of large rice silos; luckily there's a large sign with the logo to direct travelers in the right direction. The thing that stands out as soon as you walk in isn’t the imposing silos, but the fact that there’s a children’s playground on premise. We asked one of the bartenders what it was doing there. "We’ve always been kid- and dog-friendly and being a brewery way out here in the suburbs we have a lot of families that come out here," he explained. "We wanted to be known as the most kid-friendly brewery in the city.” While parents indulge in drinks and food at one of the many picnic tables, the children can run around and make friends in the playground area.
No Label's picnic-table-filled courtyard is strategically positioned for optimal shade, be it underneath the awning, shaded by some oak trees or under the silos. The taproom is not air-conditioned, but large industrial fans diminish the Texas heat as much.
On tap there are the brewery's everyday beers, including: Ridgeback Ale, dark amber ale; Pale Horse, pale ale; El Hefe, hefeweizen; 1st Street Ale, blonde ale; Brew of H, red IPA; Eleven Amp, IPA; Hit King, hoppy blonde ale; and 1980 Kolsch, an American-style kolsch. There are also some experimental, higher alcohol limited-edition brews known as their Off Label. Current offerings include Belgo Black, Belgian dubbel; Cape Comorin, dry hopped double IPA; ’16 ProAm – 2 Versions, Belgian trippel; Sittin’ Sidehaze, New England-style IPA.
Tuesday through Sunday a variety of food trucks sate the masses. On Tuesdays, it's Tara’s Table Food Truck, which serves up 16-ounce steaks cooked to order with a baked potato and a salad. They serve up corn dogs, burgers and loaded fries. Do not sleep on their French fries—yes, they’re that good.
No Label doesn’t get as much recognition as it deserves for its involvement in the community, from hosting book clubs and yoga clubs, to welcoming families on the property and giving them a space to call their own. With more housing developments cropping up in and around Grand Parkway, suburban families are going to be looking for a brewery to claim without the hassle of driving 20 to 30 minutes out of their way, and No Label has the distinction of being that friendly neighborhood brewery.