Zdravo, that is Hello in Croatian for anyone that has ever been to Croatia. I just got back from vacation overseas, and let me tell you if you are ever in Croatia, you should check out a very good lager called Ozujsko!
Now that I am back in the states, my thirst for good craft beer has once again returned, so I did a little craft beer crawl this week. In my fridge now is a Lavender Beer (No Label), BBH Hellfighter (Karbach), Pumpkin Ale (Southern Tier), Yellow Rose (Lone Pint). Speaking of which, I think that Yellow Rose for sure holds up well in a bottle. I heard from the grapevine that those will be sold in 4 packs.
I am also now drinking an all-time favorite: Blond Bombshell from Southern Star. Seriously, that is a Texas beer guys and I am a native New Yorker. Texas may have better beer, but New York still has the best pizza (check out Famous Ray’s Pizza in Times Square if you are ever in the area).
So back to life in Houston-Life is amazing! Here are my insider tips for local brews.
B-52 Brewing Co.
This brewery is near Lake Conroe and it is breathtaking! One of the most beautiful places one can see in the city! The B-52 taproom at the brewery is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday and they also have food trucks, artisan farmers markets, live music and special beer release events. Check them out at https://www.facebook.com/B52Brewing/. Also find them on Twitter and Instagram @B52Brewing. Ask for Marin Slanina. Also, here’s a B-52 quiz for you-Which beer am I talking about? The beer has a strong coffee aroma with hints of chocolate and toffee. The appearance is intensely black with a lingering off-white to tan colored head. It tastes amazing with a very strong black coffee up front that finishes with subtle notes of dark chocolate. You’ll have to email me at Info@texasbeerbus.com to find out the answer! You may even get a prize….
Southern Star Brewery
Moving right down the road, Southern Star Brewery is the home of my official favorite summer beer! Kudos to Heather, Omar and the crew down at Southern Star for raising thousands for PTSD foundation of America. http://www.ptsdusa.org/. The Camp Hope event was amazing! #selfieplug – The Texas Beer bus donated 4 tickets and also had 50 people there on the Texas Beer Bus Tour on Saturday. This was a good one! Please take this as my reservation for a 6 pack of Black Crack please. Seriously! Rather a nice surprise is the Conspiracy Theory IPA. Normally my IPA choices are simple and quick but this beer caught my eye with a very easy drink for what can be a heavier beer.
Over at Copperhead Brewery, things are moving quickly. There is a huge sign up that points to 822 North Frazier for people to know where the brewery is. They have “Lil” Winston which is good! I am a sucker for Belgium Beer and I think that the Belgium Quad Medusa is very good! I highly enjoy it! The Medusa is now available in 4 packs around the city. I ran into the owner at an HEB sampling and they were really excited and have had a great response to the beer. I can attest to 50 people that were there Saturday and all had good things to say!
Karbach Brewing Co.
Hop Delusion is the word of the week and this year’s batch is very good! Two weeks ago we had a release of BBH here in Houston and it was a nice treat! Karbach Brewery yet again comes back with another strong version of my 2 favorite beers. Seriously guys, if you have not gone to Karbach brewery or Karbach restaurant you need to go! Those guys are so cool and friendly and it is such a great experience overall! Really love it there and the place has some true emotional ties with me.
Buffalo Bayou Brewery
I am very interested in what goes down at Buff Bayou for the Christmas in July. At the carnival event the buzzy buzzy beez were out! Had some great beers; the Maple Chili Jam was amazing! I also had a three year aged Gingerbread stout! Amazing! What a night! After traveling 2 weeks in Europe what was the first beer I had? Red Velvet Stout! It is so good! “Neil you cannot drink that in the summer!” Whatever! Lots of great beer at Buffalo Bayou Brewery!
Whitmeyer’s Distilling Co.
The single barrel here is to die for and honestly, will make your evening or day just perfect. Fill a glass with the single Barrel and a bomber of Nightmare on First Street and you are set for a very nice 5 hour window. Now, if you can throw in a slice of pizza from New York? Life is good! The peach whiskey is fantastic as well.
No Label Brewing Co.
Everybody loves No Label! No Label is getting ready for the release of their What the Hatch Ale (releases July 25th). They will also release a very small encore batch of Don Jalapeño Ale with their Hatch. Both are great to pair with burgers, wings, fries, ribs and cooking! They are also working on a Brew of H Red IPA that will be released in August at Calhoun’s Rooftop. This delicious beer will be available for draft only but don’t forget to look for the sweet pint glass! They have hired an Operations Manager, Logan Respess that just finished the Masters Brewers Program in California. And they’ve hired 2 new people for their packaging team and an office manager. They are growing fast!
Cork This! Winery
Cork This! Winery is in full production with 17 different wines all made on site. The wine is very good and they have their own wine club group as well. The owner is super cool and very friendly! The Boot Leg Red is a super good wine and their winery is a great place to hang out.
Lone Pint Brewery
Here is very exciting news I heard from the underground: Yellow Rose is or may be going into production. This will be a game changer for beer drinkers. Imagine getting a 4 pack of Yellow Rose to have with Dinner? I will go to each HEB and Whole foods and buy them all! The other day we took a group of 50 people there on the Texas Beer Bus Tour and I got so many calls after from people telling me it was so nice to have Yellow Rose from the brewery. The Tornado Shark is also an easy drink and proves again they do make other beer than just the Yellow Rose. (I am assuming you guys watch Sharknado because if you do not your missing a real gem.)
Shooting down the road to some exciting news from SpindleTap Brewery: not only can you get some good beer on tap at the brewery, but now you can buy it TO GO from the brewery and also at your local HEB! HEB has tons of the cans and let me be the first to say that the flavor in the can holds up really well to the beer on tap! I truly enjoy that Honey Hole beer; that is really good guys! The taproom has food and they have upcoming Cuban events with cigars. Rumors swirl about a Russian imperial that is coming out soon and I personally had a test batch months ago and thought it was delicious; apparently in a few weeks there will be a release of this amazing beer.
The best kept secret out there right now is Cycler’s Brewing; they are also now too available at HEB and are super delicious in the can. The plans are in the works to relocate the brewery. Look out for their new Saddle Time India Pale Lager that will be in the market soon on draft. Fall is coming and that means Bonked Imperial Pumpkin is on its way back! That one is good really good! Their Belgian Style Abi-Mi-Ale Abbey is being aged in tequila barrels and should also be out this fall.
Eureka Heights Brew Co.
Eureka Heights Brew Co is a new brewery coming to Houston! And their focus looks to be on approachable, sessionable beers. All of the beers in the core line up look like they are sub 5.5% ABV and well balanced. Their beers include Buckle Bunny Cream Ale, Mostly Harmless Pale Kolsch, and Space Train IPA. The only thing we love more than sessionable beers are stouts…and Creed.
That’s all I got for now. The Doctor is out.
Dr. Neil Dorfman
Owner of Texas Beer Bus Tours