For months the craft beer community has been buzzing about the rumored Houston release of brews from Southern Tier Brewing out of New York, and sure enough, they're now hitting our retailers and bars. One of the first establishments in town to debut the brewery's offerings was industry pioneer Flying Saucer. Wednesday evening, beer lovers packed into the downtown mainstay for a first taste of ST's coveted 2XIPA.
On the opposte end of the ST spectrum are stouts like Pumking, Creme Brûlée, and Choklat, all of which were delayed, but we should see them in bars by next week, if not this weekend. Word is that the beers, in their signature 22-ounce bombers, will be available at retailers in short order. We're all in for a treat with sure-to-come beer dinners (looking at you, Vic & Anthony's) and other events coming up to celebrate Southern Tier's arrival in Houston.
For the so-called "hop heads" out there, 2XIPA will satisfy the craving for citrus, floral, and piney hops, but the 8.2 percent alcohol by volume will surely sneak up on you. For those with less of an affinity for hops, the stouts, barleywines, and more sessionable beers are worth the wait.
Houston is such a thirsty market, and both local and out-of-state breweries have a hard time slaking Texans’ demand for new beer. Sadly, we're often overlooked in favor of cities and states with less barriers to entry--legal, economic, or otherwise. But as the craft beer scene in Houston continues to grow and evolve, and hopefully the laws follow suit, we should expect even more local breweries to enter the scene, as well as more national and international imports to join tap walls and beer shelves alike.
It’s an excellent time to drink beer in Houston.