How do you open under the radar in brewery-obsessed Houston? Do it under the cover of post-Harvey panic, on September 9, like Baileson Brewing Company did. Located on Bissonnet in Rice Village, the brewery hasn't remained undiscovered. Founded by husband and wife team, Adam Cryer (also a founder of Pinnacle Structural Engineering) and Sarah Pope, Baileson takes its name from the combination of their dogs' names, Bailey and Jameson. Their silhouettes are the logo, accompanying the slogan "Man's Other Best Friend."
The couple still keep their day jobs, so Baileson is only open Friday through Sunday. However, home brewing remains near and dear to their hearts. The brewery is housed inside an old service station, and the vibe is comfortable and relaxed with a good-sized, dog-friendly patio. The place is so inviting that even the two bartenders working on the night we visited were patrons before asking Cryer if they could help tend bar.
Everything at Baileson has a story, from the Masinghorn IPA (our favorite of the night, a west coast IPA dry-hopped with Galaxy, Citra and Mosaic hops) takes its name from blending the last names of one of Cryer and Pope’s favorite couples; to the homemade dog biscuits nestled behind the bar in an air-proof jar. Pope creates them from scratch using leftover hops from the brewing process, and they're free to all visiting pups.
Baileson averages six beers on tap, some constant, some in rotation. Of the ones we sampled, the other standouts were the Structural Stout and the El Kapitan Imperial IPA, with the latter packing quite a punch at over 9 percent alcohol by volume. On most nights, Cryer is behind the bar and will happily go over each beer with you and give you a taste. Once you've decided, you can still work in session form with half-sized pints or devote yourself to a full-sized pint or two.
Though Baileson doesn't have a kitchen of its own, both Pope and Cryer like to give other entrepreneurs a chance and have a few rotating food trucks and pop-ups offering food. When we were there, we sampled the Nguyen Brother’s Blue Smoke Barbecue, which marinate a few houses down from Baileson. There's usually a line around the corner for their world of 'cue, which includes brisket, beef ribs, kielbasa and Korean galbi bowls.
While there are a lot of places to get craft beer all over town and new ones popping up every day, the vibe and the beer over at Baileson is a welcome addition. After all, you can bring man's best friend and settle in for man's other best friend in a single sun-soaked afternoon.