Editor's Picks

Brew Bites: Where to Pair a Great Beer with Some Equally Good Grub

At summer’s peak, a frosty mug of crisp, cold beer is a required accessory. These bars bring the brew, along with notable nibbles.

By Jenna K. White June 23, 2016 Published in the July 2016 issue of Houstonia Magazine

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An artfully renovated 100-year-old former grocery now houses a wraparound bar with 30 rotating beers pulled from colorful, hand-carved taps. A partnership with Luigi’s Pizza, located just beyond the bar’s expansive yard and “hammock grove,” means you can order your pie and have it delivered to your seat. On weekends, food trucks and pop-up vendors add to the options.

Conservatory Food Hall & Beer Garden

A chic underground beer garden boasting 60 taps—plus a ramen bar, ’cue joint, crêperie, coffee shop, Greek café and paleta cart—may sound like the stuff of dreams, but it’s now a reality. Just follow the staircase down from Prohibition Supperclub & Bar.


The open-air bar features 30 draft beers, including a selection of casks and nitros. Pick your poison, snag a picnic table, then work up an appetite playing a game of foosball. We recommend the barbecue oysters and the Squirrel Master, a poblano-stuffed burger topped with jalapeño, pepper jack, bacon and a fried egg.

Eight Row Flint

This gas-station-turned-ice-house is better known for Morgan Weber’s inventive (and stiff) cocktails and extensive bourbon program that includes proprietary blends, but the beer list is respectable, too. Pair brews with tacos—handmade tortillas stuffed with locally sourced meats and seasonal veggies—slung from the truck out back.

The Hay Merchant

It’s not surprising that the beerhouse attached to Underbelly—from the same team—would dish out excellent fare. Though the beefy Cease & Desist Burger gets all the love, waiting in the wings is perhaps the best bean burger in town, laced with briny olives for an umami smack. Pro tip: Bring a crew and conquer the Half a Pig Head, served with taco fixings.

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Fried chicken at Karbach

Karbach Brewing Co.

This is no mere taproom: It’s also a full restaurant, turning out dishes that often include beer as an ingredient. Think Weisse Versa–battered fish and chips, grilled Weekend Warrior chicken, and Gulf shrimp and grits in a Sympathy for the Lager broth. Pair the elevated pub food with specialty brews unavailable or hard to find beyond the brewery gates.

Nobi Public House

This place is half craft beer house (65 rotations, plus bottles), half Vietnamese fusion restaurant—a terrific mash-up, as it turns out. Classic banh mi sandwiches, vermicelli bowls, noodle stir-fries and shaking beef are featured side-by-side with chargrilled-pork nachos and the Nobi Dog, a frank dressed up banh mi–style. It’s worth the drive to Clear Lake, especially if you bring back a growler full of a new favorite brew.

Town in City Brewing

While the Heights culinary scene has gotten lots of attention, somehow this modest brewery has remained low-key. There’s always four standard beers, plus a rotation of seasonal brews, on offer, along with refreshing non-alcoholic options including pineapple-lemongrass shrubs and Topo Chico spritzers. The Seoul Burger packs a subtle heat thanks to miso-and-gochujang-glazed bacon. 

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