Watered-down Mad Decent Block Party hits WhiteWater Amphitheater

Watered-down Mad Decent Block Party hits WhiteWater Amphitheater

Music: Deep into his brilliant six-part essay “How Hip-hop Failed Black America,” Roots maestro Ahmir Khalib “Questlove” Thompson dropped... By Matt Stieb 8/27/2014
How Rebates Have the Texas Film Industry Playing Catch Up To its Neighbors

How Rebates Have the Texas Film Industry Playing Catch Up To its Neighbors

Screens: See if you can spot the common thread that is pulling at the seams of the Texas film industry. On NBC’s The Night Shift, a stock-written staff... By Matt Stieb 8/27/2014
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Best New Bar/Club

Best New Bar/Club

Nightlife: Reader's Choice: 4/23/2014
Beat the Heat with Cooling Ayurvedic Foods

Beat the Heat with Cooling Ayurvedic Foods

The Summer Issue: If you are anything like me, having grown up in the hellish conditions of summers in South Texas, you are probably thinking something along the lines of “the weather this summer has been great!” But I was recently reminded that summer didn’t actually begin By Marc A. Smith 6/26/2013

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

Food & Drink

Bottle & Tap: Finding great beers in tiny Texas towns

Photo: , License: N/A

Every so often, I have a revelation while drinking beer. And it’s not just because I’m drinking one of them crazy 10-percent alcohol monsters, either. My latest: Texas’ small towns are making a lot of good beer these days.

I have always regarded craft brewing as an urban thing, and with some justification—let’s face it, you don’t generally find 70-tap, beer-snob hangouts in the countryside. But more and more, it seems like the beer in the Flying Saucers and The Ginger Mans is shipped from there.

OK, I know—Real Ale has been in Blanco coming up on two decades now, and depending on how you define craft beer, Spoetzl Brewery has made the town of Shiner synonymous with brew for more than 100 years. But those were exceptions, not the rule.

Now, small brewers seem to sprout up along the highway like bluebonnets (hopefully they’ll last longer). So many, in fact, that I haven’t been able to try them all. I might be dating myself, but I can remember when tasting every brewery in Texas could be done in a single sampler flight.

Now, outside of San Antonio, two beer makers (Guadalupe and New Braunfels) have set up shop in New Braunfels; Fredericksburg boasts both a production brewery (Pedernales) and a now-venerable brewpub (Fredericksburg Brewing) and so does Boerne (Boerne Brewing and Dodging Duck).

Similar things are happening around the state. Maybe it’s the cheaper real estate. Maybe it’s just a desire to avoid the mad rush of the city. Whatever it is, the beer being produced is often good. Sometimes, even great.

Maybe “revelation” isn’t the right word. I’ve seen this phenomenon creeping up for a while. Southern Star began canning the good stuff out in the woods of Conroe seven years ago. But now it seems to be hitting a critical mass, and it’s finally dawning on me that a lot of my beer consumption is coming from towns the size of the one I grew up in.

Last month, I made a trip out west to Alpine, finally affording me a chance to try the products of Big Bend Brewing, the new venture of former Live Oak brewmaster Steve Anderson. Predictably, everything he’s making is commendable, including a solid porter and an addictive hefeweizen.

The final punch in the face came when I tried the products of Revolver Brewing, out of Granbury (just outside of Fort Worth). I’ve only tried two of their beers, but, wow. Revolver’s flagship beer, Blood & Honey, ranks as one of the best beers I’ve ever tasted, bar none. This golden ale finished with blood orange zest and local honey is my new obsession. If a bar has it on tap, I’m buying it, end of discussion.

Remember when you were in college and you made that pilgrimage to Shiner for a brewery tour and a taste of small town life? Your options just a got a whole lot wider.

Lee Nichols blogs about beer at

Recently in Food & Drink
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus