Best Breweries in Texas

Discussion in 'Southwest' started by NWalkerTX, Aug 14, 2012.

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  1. NWalkerTX

    NWalkerTX Initiate (0) Aug 14, 2012

    As a lifelong Texan, I've enjoyed my share of Texas brew. I came across a Texan Post article today that listed their favorite breweries in the Lone Star State. I must say I agree that all of their picks are good, but would have liked to see Live Oak make the list. If you'd like to read the full article you can find it here:
  2. LambicKing

    LambicKing Initiate (0) Apr 13, 2011 Germany

    No Freetail?
    acurtis and jesterkingbeer like this.
  3. Dajtai007

    Dajtai007 Initiate (0) Jan 15, 2009 Texas

    no Real Ale? Austin Beer Works? Live Oak?
    jesterkingbeer likes this.
  4. adamdarcy

    adamdarcy Initiate (0) Feb 26, 2008 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    I used to love Bitter End Brewery and 4th and Colorado in downtown Austin...sad to see it closed...

    And I always wonder when I see 'Jester' King - any reference to Jester dormitory at UT? Anyway, such great beer!
  5. champ103

    champ103 Poo-Bah (3,719) Sep 3, 2007 Texas
    Beer Trader

    I have a soft spot for Saint Arnold, and think some of their offerings are really good. Others not so much, but can see an argument for them. Spoetzl has no business on the list, Ranger Creek is to inconsistent, Rahr & Sons is a joke. None of the others, besides 512 and Jester King (and both are still relatively new) have been around long enough to be qualified for such a list. Live Oak not being on the top is ridiculous, same for Real Ale.

    Not saying these guys are anymore qualified than what the article said. Most are still really new as well, but for Gods sake, Spoetzl and Rahr?:confused:

    These needed to be mentioned:
    Deep Ellum
    Live Oak
    Real Ale
    Southern Star
    Austin Beer Works

    Sorry, the more I think about it, the more I think this is a crap overview of Texas breweries.
    FUNKPhD and LambicKing like this.
  6. mudbug

    mudbug Zealot (593) Mar 27, 2009 Oregon

    "Texas is known for having the biggest and the best of everything. This is especially true when it comes to Texas beer." That almost caused me to ruin my keyboard with spit up Black Butte! Oh Lardy those Texans sure think kindly of themselves
  7. Grendle

    Grendle Initiate (193) Apr 11, 2012 Texas
    Beer Trader

    Surprised this article left out Freetail, Live Oak, Southern Star, Deep Ellum & Real Ale.
    Cbing6 and thgstyle2000 like this.
  8. thgstyle2000

    thgstyle2000 Initiate (0) Mar 29, 2011 Texas

    Been wanting to drink Freetail brews. How is it? Especially the Spirulina Wit.
  9. elNopalero

    elNopalero Poo-Bah (2,546) Oct 14, 2009 Texas
    Beer Trader

    It's not worth making a big fuss about this article per se, since we all have our own personal preferences and criteria which go into our rankings. His favorite beer is Shiner and that's fine--its not BMC (Lonestar too, for Texas)--and chances are knowing that will shape your opinion of his opinions.

    If I was writing about my top breweries (in Texas or anywhere else for that matter) I'd have to decide on some criteria first. Am I writing about iconic breweries? Then Spotzel makes sense. Am I writing about influential craft brewers? Breweries with state-wide distribution? Innovators who push the envelop? Upstarts or elders of brewing? Brewpubs with limited distribution but a cult following?

    I definitely would have included some personal favorites (Freetail, Real Ale) which the author left off, but I'm not the one writing the article. Glad to see Jester King get a nod. Not convinced the just-opened spots ( < 1 year old?) would go on my list, no matter how much I liked their beer--but that would have ruled out Jester King or Freetail had I written an article like this around the times they opened.
    omnigrits likes this.
  10. driftlessbrewin

    driftlessbrewin Initiate (0) Jan 27, 2011 Minnesota

  11. WYVYRN527

    WYVYRN527 Initiate (0) Jan 8, 2007 Minnesota

    I'm a fan of Real Ale, along with Independence, of which both were left out.
  12. raffy313

    raffy313 Disciple (388) Dec 15, 2010 Texas
    Beer Trader

    First reply to this thread was enough to tell me that link wasn't worth clicking.
    cfh64 likes this.
  13. wolffman17

    wolffman17 Aspirant (249) Jul 14, 2005 Texas

    The NOT best is a much easier list to compile.
  14. omnigrits

    omnigrits Initiate (0) Jun 1, 2006 Texas

    Exactly, and the author states "Our review of the independents revealed the 10 standouts (our favorites) below", so whatever we might think of their brewery choices it's still only their opinion, and not a particularly well-written one either, grammatically speaking. What's more, if you're going to turn out any piece of writing you should, at the very least, get the names right ("Beer Greek Rodeo"). It shows you're paying attention, and mis-spelling a name is considered disrespectful by some folks. You should also have some basic knowledge of the subject matter: "and range from draughts to stouts" makes no sense.

    And don't start off any piece with such a hackneyed cliché as "Texas is known for having the biggest and the best of everything. This is especially true when it comes to Texas beer." My advice to the writer is 'don't give up your day job'.
    thirdeye11, air and blatherbeard like this.
  15. blatherbeard

    blatherbeard Initiate (0) Sep 30, 2007 Texas

    Don't know if this guys for real anyway(poster). If you notice the article has a comments section where he has the only comment, linked to another beer site, where he also only has 1 post and nothing in his profile. Could just be pimping his own article.

    Just sayin.
    air likes this.
  16. LambicKing

    LambicKing Initiate (0) Apr 13, 2011 Germany

    And I neglected to mention Live Oak, St Arnold and Southern Star...all good stuff.
  17. johnnybgood1999

    johnnybgood1999 Disciple (315) Oct 31, 2008 Virginia

  18. champ103

    champ103 Poo-Bah (3,719) Sep 3, 2007 Texas
    Beer Trader

    Winter Warmer is passable in my opinion, the barrel aged version is the best thing they have done (which is to say I finished the bottle). I was actually surprised with La Grange, a semi decent Saison. Other than saying passable, and surprised, nothing else warrants any mention. Maybe their earlier offerings I had from them are so sub par that I have a bias for the newer stuff? I don't think so though.
  19. kevinscott

    kevinscott Aspirant (224) Oct 21, 2008 Texas

    They're just the Saint Arnold of DFW. Average overall with a few highlights. I can't remember the last time I purchased anything either brewery has to offer.
    omnigrits and champ103 like this.
  20. Lutter

    Lutter Initiate (0) Jun 30, 2010 Texas

    Rahr's Bucking Bock seasonal is the worst Texas-brewed beer that has ever touched my lips. I tried it twice because I could not believe how terrible it was. That said the rest of their line is just mediocre.

    St. Arnold gets a bad wrap, but I really love their Elissa IPA, Christmas Ale and bombers.

    Back to the main subject: Jester King. They're the southern Jolly Pumpkin. I love everything those guys stand for and do. It seems like with every release their style and quality gets better and better.

    Second place is (512). I could drink (512) IPA and Pecan Porter till I popped. I've never had one of their year-rounds that wasn't consistent and of high quality.

    Third goes to Austin Beerworks. No one makes a better sessionable lager. They also do some nice draught-only releases in town including a Belgian IPA (Flying Headbutt) and sour (Einhorn).

    Rookie of the Year: Rogness. Fuck Yeah. Their Gigantaphis IPA and Yogi Amber both blew my socks off. These guys are the one to watch.

    I Need To Drink More Award: Freetail. Perfect reason for Brewpub laws to be changed. Also: Deep Ellum. Loved their IPA... more of their beer needs to make it down to Austin.

    Worst: South Austin Brewing. How are these guys still in business? Seriously. Syrupy, inconsistent, and gross beers. :relaxed:
    FUNKPhD and champ103 like this.
  21. ehsteve

    ehsteve Initiate (77) Jan 13, 2009 Texas
    Beer Trader

    My top five are, in some order, Jester King, (512), Freetail, Austin Beerworks, and Live Oak. I don't think I could narrow it down beyond this.
  22. Danielbt

    Danielbt Initiate (0) May 4, 2012 Texas

    I enjoyed Iron Thistle and Regulator. Haven't given any of their others a try, but those were good.
  23. frognot

    frognot Disciple (345) May 20, 2009 Texas

  24. BruceBruce

    BruceBruce Initiate (0) Dec 4, 2011 Texas

    Charilie's IPA from Middleton is one of the best I have ever had, Houston reg tasting all agreed.
  25. BruceBruce

    BruceBruce Initiate (0) Dec 4, 2011 Texas

    not the best for all of them, but that it was special
  26. thirdeye11

    thirdeye11 Disciple (397) Feb 3, 2009 Texas
    Beer Trader

    Their beer has gotten better since the roof collapse, and I would say significantly so. That's not to say they don't make some sub-par beers. I don't know too many seasoned craft drinkers who would go back to Storm Cloud or Bucking Bock. Or the Blonde or Texas Red.

    That being said, their Angry Goat is probably the best made beer they've ever done as a brewery. It is one of the better weizen bocks I have ever had. This beer really flies under the radar in my opinion.

    Another beer they do that's pretty good is Iron Thistle. Other than Devil's Backbone and Coffee Porter from Real Ale, it's one of the very few "seasonal" beers I like to buy from a Texas brewery.

    Their La Grange, as you mentioned is a pretty good saison. Try it with 9-12 months of age on it, and it's really delicious. Also, Snowmaggeddon is a great beer as well, plus we all know the Bourbon Barrel Winter Warmer is a great beer too. I think it was better when it was a draught-only beer and in Maker's Mark barrels instead of the newer Jim Beam barrel product that they put out, but still a really solid winter beer.

    To contribute to the overall discussion here though, the writer stated the breweries listed were their favorites. I don't think anyone could ever write an article like this to please everyone, and I don't think that's the point. The point of an article like this, is to give readers something to discover that they were previously unaware of (read: a non-brewery loving crowd). Keep in mind the target audience of a piece like this, before you get upset or offended they didn't include your favorite on the list.

  27. icetrauma

    icetrauma Devotee (472) Sep 7, 2004 Texas

    From what I've had the best overall brewerys are JK and Karbach.
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