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
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
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.
Style: Brown ale
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.).
Brew of H Ale
Style: American pale ale
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
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.).
Style: Double Belgian wit
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.).
Style: Red IPA
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.
Style: Blac Olsch
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.).
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 Pale Ale
Style: Pale ale
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.
Style: Mexican milk stout
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.
Style: American pale ale
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.