What does a girl (Okay, middle aged woman) who drinks light beer know about specialty Texas brew? Well, admittedly not much. But, lack of knowledge on a subject rarely prohibits me from acting like I know it all. With some input from a few friends, I’ve come up with a short list of great Texas breweries.
Saint Arnold Brewing Company, Houston
Saint Arnold’s shipped their first keg in 1994. If you are a light beer drinker like me, you probably want to go with the Saint Arnold Summer Pils. Although “real beer drinkers” will want to try all the various robust hoppy options. I also recommend the Saint Arnold Homefront IPA, which is brewed to benefit Operation Homefront. This organizations helps military families and wounded warriors. I can drink to that!
Real Ale Brewing Company, Blanco
Real Ale offers handmade ales from the Texas Hill Country. They started brewing in 1996 in the basement of an antiques store on the Blanco town square. Real Ale values traditional beer styles and brewing mixed with innovation. My husband recommends the Fireman’s 4, a refreshing blonde ale, and the Lost Gold IPA, brewed with massive additions of American hops.
Karbach Brewing Company, Houston
Whenever I am out at bars (which as a 45 year-old mom of two is not that often), the Karbach I see people drinking is the Hopadillo IPA. It is dry hopped to increase the intensity of the hop flavor. Also popular is the Weekend Warrior Pale Ale. Karbach is so named because it’s located on Karbach Street. There is also a village called Karbach in Bavaria, which is perhaps where they get the Bavarian Mandarina Hops.
No Label Brewing Company, Katy
No Label started up in an old rice silo in Old Town Katy in 2009. Their Ridgeback Ale is named after their dog Hailey, and has strong flavors of caramel and roasted malts. They have dedicated their First Street Ale to the city of Katy, which has a history of rice farming. This blonde ale is brewed with a touch of rice for a clean, crisp finish.
Spoetzl Brewery, Shiner
My husband recently told me, “Light beer is out”. That seems like a bold thing to say to a woman who has actually gone into a brew pub that offers over 100 beers on tap and ordered a bottle of Miller Light. And although I am not drinking beer to earn any style points, I would like to thank Spoetzl for the Shiner Light Blonde, which is surely cooler than the beer I usually drink. Men will most likely want the Shiner Bock. These folks have been brewing since 1909, and they know what they’re doing.
Plenty more Texans brew beer and bottle it up for sale, but this should give you a good start on a fun beer tasting weekend. Don’t forget the barbeque brisket and ribs!