The Dirty Dozen: 12 Houston Breweries You Need to Know About
Newbies and old standbys alike.
Brash Brewing Co.
Independence Heights | Thurs–Sun
- The beer: Primarily the heavy, high-ABV stuff like imperial stouts Smoglifter, Vulgar Display of Power, and Hammer Smashed Face.
- The extras: Arcade games; a jukebox that plays all metal, all the time; regular concerts and bad-movie nights; a Christmas celebration honoring late Motörhead lead singer Lemmy Kilmister.
- Best for: Fearless drinkers.
Buffalo Bayou Brewing Co.
Sawyer Yards | Daily
- The beer: While we think other places have taken the baton of “most creative brewery” in the city, BuffBrew still specializes in off-kilter selections like a bananas foster ale, a light and bright (not dark and rich) coffee beer, and stalwart Creamsicle—what you think it is. Our favorite: Smoke on the Bayou, made with malt smoked at local pits like Blood Bros. BBQ and Gatlin’s BBQ.
- The extras: In 2019, it opened a three-story haven for beer nerds with standout pizzas and entrees from chef Arash Kharat, multiple bars, and a stellar rooftop party area with stunning skyline views.
- Best for: Your first Houston beer tour.
8th Wonder Brewery
East Downtown | Daily
- The beer: Generally lighter (cream ale, hefeweizen), with Houston-centric names, and a roster of collaborations with Houston rappers Bun B, Slim Thug, and Paul Wall. There’s also a tasty Vietnamese coffee porter.
- The extras: Outside food, drink, and seating permitted; the huge beer garden boasts two iconic, larger-than-life sculptures by H-Town’s own David Adickes (his Beatles tribute, and his We ❤️ HOUSTON sign).
- Best for: Newbies.
Eureka Heights Brew Co.
The Heights | Daily
- The beer: Reliable as ever with offerings like the light and refreshing cream ale Buckle Bunny and easygoing IPA Mini Boss, the Heights stalwart also loves trying new things. For example: Big, boozy, bourbon-barrel beers like Stun Gravy and Nuke the Whales are fun finds.
- The extras: A great sense of humor. Over Halloween 2019, the brewery transformed into the Duff Brewery to honor The Simpsons.
- Best for: Your post-softball-game antics.
Great Heights Brewing Co.
Garden Oaks-Oak Forest | Tues–Sun
- The beer: A little bit of everything, so try out a bunch, but the brewery’s been getting into hazier, hoppier fare lately; when it’s available, try the best of those, Galactic Fruitier Pellets.
- The extras: Beanbag toss on the back patio; Thursday-night trivia.
- Best for: Beer geeks in training.
Ingenious Brewing Co.
Humble | Daily
- The beer: This is the most adventurous stuff in Houston. Think smoothie-style beers, big stouts that taste like pastries, and Berliner weisses doused with fruit.
- The extras: Modest kid-friendly lawn; can releases and special events for fans to try new beers.
- Best for: The wild-at-heart.
Holler Brewing Co.
Sawyer Yards • Weds–Sun
- The beer: Brewmaster John Holler likes old-school European styles including extra-special bitter beers and Belgian tripels, but he’ll come out with big, hazy, hoppy beers once in a while, like the mango-citrusy Just A Phazy. The Belgian IPA is great, too.
- The extras: Weekend food trucks; Wednesday steak nights.
- Best for: Passport carriers.
Sigma Brewing Co.
East End | Thurs–Mon
- The beer: No-nonsense, hoppy brews like Bonesaw and the Hoarder’s Endowment series.
- The extras: Board games; Nintendo video games; occasional events featuring local “comedy wrestling” troupe Doomsday Wrestling.
- Best for: Hopheads.
Spindletap Brewing Co.
Northside | Thurs–Sun
- The beer: This is the go-to brewery for hoppy, juicy New England IPAs. Juiceton and Diamonds in My Mouth are among the best in the region.
- The extras: Semi-regular events including chili cookoffs, crawfish boils, beer dinners, and paint nights; crispy pies from frequent food truck resident Texzas Wood-Fired Pizza.
- Best for: Haze-chasers.
Saint Arnold Brewing Co.
Fifth Ward | Daily
- The beer: They do it all, from boozy suds aged in bourbon barrels to refreshing standbys like Santo and Amber Ale. Art Car is a workhorse IPA and a go-to for many locals.
- The extras: The 20,000-square-foot beer garden with a great skyline view; outstanding fare from the kitchen. Try the Bishop’s Burger—two juicy Angus patties with cheddar, onion, tomato, arugula, and pickles—perfect with a hoppy beer.
- Best for: Families.
True Anomaly Brewing
East Downtown | Daily
- The beer: A couple NASA staffers opened this brewery in early 2019, announcing a devotion to Belgian ales, wild fermentation, and barrel-aging. Its offerings are awesomely calibrated and complex, but let’s keep it simple: These drinks are bomb. Go for Small Giant, the little Grisette with a big refreshing punch, and power, and Beryl, a beautiful raspberry and red currant sour.
- The extras: Grab a board game from the deep collection of favorites, and pair your pints with pizza from Vinny’s across the street.
- Best for: Time-worn tradition seekers.
Urban South HTX
Sawyer Yards | Daily
- The beer: This New Orleans import arrived in Houston in early 2020 promising its own Bayou City beer list, and it hasn’t disappointed. These folks, nabbed from B-52 in Conroe, can do it all: skillful fruited sours, juicy and delicious IPAs, and even crisp pilsners.
- The extras: Urban South dropped into town with a full line of merchandise including sweet hoodies, tanktops, and t-shirts. Get that beer drip.
Best for: Beer nerds who want what’s in right now.
Some of our other favorites:
B-52 Brewing Co.
Conroe | Weds–Sun
- The beer: Varies, but tart beers with fruit, hazy IPAs, and creamy stouts are specialties, along with super-creative offerings brewed with cereal and baking spices. We like the Stargazer series of dark beers.
- The extras: Weekly standard trivia nights, monthly themed trivia nights.
- Best for: Diverse palates.
Bakfish Brewing Co.
Pearland | Daily
- The beer: Generally lighter styles like golden ale, blonde, amber, and the stellar I Tell You Wit, a slightly sour witbier that’s perfect for summer afternoons.
- The extras: Regular Pickle & Pints events, during which guests play the life-sized ping pong game pickleball.
- Best for: Southbound travelers.
City Acre Brewing Co.
Northeast Houston | Weds–Sun
- The beer: Brews with subtle twists, like cilantro-tinged Hitchcock Blonde and crisp Skull Creek Kölsch.
- The extras: A fun outdoor space with a fire pit, gardens, and horseshoes; outstanding eats from chef Rick Kelsay. The Urban Cowboy—with a bacon-infused patty, American cheese, onion rings, and jalapeño ranch dressing—is the best burger at any brewery in the city.
- Best for: Foodies.
Texas Leaguer Brewing Co.
Missouri City | Fri–Sun
- The beer: Named after baseball terms, offerings run the gamut, but the best are Belgian pale ale 6-4-3 and Knuckle Bock. New beers, released on Fridays, are part of the brewery’s “farm system.”
- The extras: With its big projection screen and baseball theme, this is the place to be during Astros games.
- Best for: Sports fans.