Ice House

Hop On Our Own Mix-and-Match, Budget Brewery Tour

We're not saying it's better than other brewery tours, but also we're definitely saying that.

By Morgan Kinney July 18, 2017 Published in the August 2017 issue of Houstonia Magazine

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Our DIY brew-tour route.

Image: Shutterstock

There’s a new all-inclusive tour that carts passengers around Houston’s craft breweries on air-conditioned buses complete with swag bags, live entertainment and pretzel necklaces to help soak up the suds. It sounds like a truly amazing Saturday, and one recent weekend, we were signed up and ready—until a scheduling mishap left us waiting alone in a parking lot for a canceled trip.

Undeterred, we decided to embark upon our own, cheaper, and—dare we say—better tour. Turns out, you can avoid the triple-digit price tag for the party bus if you mix and match breweries and squeeze into an Uber. There may be fewer carbs around your neck, but the beer tastes just as good.

Stop 1: Buffalo Bayou Brewery

5301 Nolda St., $7 Uber from home base

Although we showed up expecting an actual tour, we just ended up drinking fruit rollup–flavored beer in a garage next to a cistern. Not that we’re complaining, when $10 buys you four different beers to sip alongside shelter dogs and the almost-naked members of one of those boozy running clubs. Cheap beer, cute puppies, sexy people—it was the brewery holy trinity.

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The food at Karbach is as delicious as its beer.

Stop 2: Karbach Brewing Company

2032 Karbach St., $9 Uber from BBB

We arrived at Houston’s newly-corporate-owned craft beer king to a decidedly cargo-shorts-and-strollers crowd, but we stopped caring once we ordered the soft pretzel, which, we decided, could possibly serve as a bracelet. And while we missed the tour thanks to our very open-toed Birkenstocks, an apparent safety hazard, we consoled ourselves with a whiskey stout in the air-conditioned restaurant.

Stop 3: Town in City Brewing Company

1125 W. Cavalcade St., $10 Uber from Karbach

We’re still not sure how an Oasis song followed by a Smashing Pumpkins song followed by a Butthole Surfers song plays at a bar in 2017, but happen it did after our Uber cleared the steep ramp into the brewery’s parking lot. The Wokker TX Ranger food truck awaited us at the summit, and we decided to pair a City Amber with the pork belly fried rice. It was sublime.

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Stop 4: 8th Wonder Brewing Company

2202 Dallas St., $12 Uber from TIC

After drinking a concoction that’s half blonde ale, half Kickin’ Kombucha while chatting with one of Tom Herman’s 2015 Cougars, we are happy to report those Peach Bowl rings are way, way bigger than you imagined. We are also happy to report that the EaDo warehouse’s décor is on point—we covet those original Astrodome seats—its pours are generous, and, after a necessary end-of-tour bathroom break, its facilities rank among the cleanest in town.

Stop 5: Home

$9 Uber from 8th Wonder

Total spent on Uber: $48. Afternoon nap: priceless.

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