Taco Town

The 12 Best Local Beers to Go With Your Tacos

What pairs perfectly with a taco from your neighborhood taco truck? A Houston-brewed beer, of course.

By Katharine Shilcutt March 28, 2018 Published in the April 2018 issue of Houstonia Magazine

Beer 8thwonder grbmx9

Image: Marco Torres

The only thing that tastes better than a cold beer with your tacos is a really, really good cold beer that makes you say things like, “Do I detect a note of grapefruit?” (Yes, you do.)


Style: German Hefeweizen
ABV: 5.4%

8th Wonder Brewery finessed subtle banana and clove notes into this wheat beer, which serve as a nimble complement to the flavors in a typical al pastor marinade: orange, pineapple, cumin, oregano, roasted chiles, and other spices. We suggest picking up your al pastor tacos from Tacos Aracely's 99¢ (8507 Irvington Blvd.).

Don't Fear the Ripa

Style: Rye IPA
ABV: 6.8%

Buffalo Bayou Brewing Company’s take on a West Coast IPA is a heavy hitter, with a hefty ABV to match the powerful citrus and pine flavors in the brew. It slices through fattier tacos with might, especially a plump portion of tacos de chicharrón from Taquería La Unica (11202 Beechnut St.) topped with a fiery green sauce.

Gentleman's Relish

Style: Brown ale
ABV: 6.2%

Lone Pint Brewery may be more well-known for its cult favorite Yellow Rose, but its malty-sweet English brown ale deserves accolades of its own—particularly for the way its caramelized notes pair with the browning on juicy, well-seared carne asada, which is just what they put in their tacos at Taquería Los 4 Primos (11009 Katy Fwy.).

Uh jmufkc

Image: Marco Torres

Brew of H Ale

Style: American pale ale
ABV: 6%

No Label Brewing Co. has a winner on its hands with the name of this beer alone: a tribute to the University of Houston, alma mater of the brewery's owners. But we aren't recommending this pairing on the strength of puns alone; this creamy pale ale amps up the flavor of whatever you're enjoying, though the citrus notes will really make your pollo tacos pop. We love the chicken at Tacos Locos (3950 Aldine Mail Route Rd.).   

Dollar Pills Y'all

Style: Pilsner
ABV: 5.4%

Holler Brewing Co. makes a crisp and clean pilsner that lets the vegetal sweetness of nopales shine through—the bitterness of a hoppier beer would clash, and an IPA would only amp up the spice levels, which are already high in the excellent nopales taco at Taquería Elena (2200 S. Wayside Dr.).

Wildcatter Wit

Style: Double Belgian wit
ABV: 7%

SpindleTap Brewery adds agave and tamarind to its Belgian brew for a tart sweetness that would even beat a cup of tamarindo from the aguas frescas selection, making it the ultimate beer to enjoy with a taco filled with mouth-watering hunks of carnitas from Taquería Brisa (21022 Aldine Westfield Rd.).

Color Blind

Style: Red IPA
ABV: 6.2%

11 Below Brewing Co. adds a sweet note of complex maltiness to its otherwise hop-forward IPA, which means it’ll stand up to the fattiness of a barbacoa taco from Tacos Mayra (10510 Beechnut St.) while also enhancing the meat’s own rich character. 

Beer tacos 7 ubuyoq

Image: Marco Torres


Style: Blac Olsch
ABV: 4.7%

This is the result of Saint Arnold’s quest to create the perfect beer to pair with a plate of enchiladas. Wouldn’t you know? It’s also excellent with a plate of tacos. The maltiness is reminiscent of classic Mexican dark beers like Negra Modelo and Bohemia, with a crispness that’s a nice palate cleanser between bites of lengua tacos, which are especially good at El Gallito Taqueria (8506 Irvington Blvd.).


Style: Pilsner
ABV: 5.1%

B52 Brewing Co. makes a delightfully straightforward pilsner that cuts right through the richness of cabeza—especially delicious in a taco from Taquería Mi Castillo (3720 Irvington Blvd.)—while imparting its own refined sweetness alongside that sweet beef-head meat.

Blood belt cuconb

Image: Marco Torres

Blood Belt Pale Ale

Style: Pale ale
ABV: 6.3%

Southern Star Brewing infused its traditional Pine Belt Pale Ale with blood orange juice, making a deep red batch of beer whose citrusy punch knocks all the gaminess out of a taco de tripitas from Taquería Miranda (2850 N. Fry Rd.), making it a more mellow experience.

Moo Caliente

Style: Mexican milk stout
ABV: 6%

Eureka Heights Brewing Company’s spicy stout is spiked with cinnamon and cayenne, lending it a heat not typically found in your average fajita meat and giving your whole meal more kick than it would’ve had before. The hearty, seasoned beef will more than stand up to the thick richness of a milk stout. Pick up your fajita tacos from El Ultimo Taco Truck, (7645 Long Point Rd.), and you’ll wonder why you’ve never paired these two up before.

Mosquito's Revenge

Style: American pale ale
ABV: 5.5%

Town in City Brewing’s own pairing notes for this well-rounded American pale ale include the words “full-fat” and “orange” and “pork,” by which they obviously mean you should be drinking it with trompo tacos from Los Meros Tacos y Su Trompo Tribalero, (facebook.com/trompotribolaro), right? Right.

Filed under
Show Comments