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Bottle & Tap

Freetail expands, Shiner at Westin, and Ranger Creek gives out its first Sippy Cup

San Antonio's Freetail Expands

Freetail Brewing Co. has selected downtown Houston for its second brewpub location after nearly two-and-a-half years of successful operation on San Antonio’s north side.

Although there is plenty of room to grow in San Antonio, including the far northwest part of town or near downtown, Houston’s lack of a brewpub since the closing of Two Rows in October and enthusiastic support from the mayor and host of beer lovers made the choice a no-brainer.

It’s a $4.2-million project in a part of the city desperate for redevelopment. There are some economic incentives attached, usually unheard of for a bar or restaurant, because they are attached to a redevelopment zone. Freetail owner Scott Metzger said he is still working out financing details, but that the Houston location should be open in 2012.


What about SA?

The loss of Freetail #2 means San Antonio could still use a third brewpub. Blue Star Brewing Co. has been a destination for beer tourists, cyclists, and the neighborhood for 15 years, but it doesn’t pick up the casual stroller that far away from downtown’s core.

Developers should be eager to have a brewpub in the Rivercenter area (something Freetail once looked at).

Also ideal is the historic brewhouse building at The Pearl. The overall development on lower Broadway has become a destination thanks to the Museum Reach extension of the San Antonio River Walk, an eclectic blend of restaurants, retail, meeting and banquet space, as well as the famed Culinary Institute of America.

If someone takes the plunge at The Pearl, the brewpub will have to be uniquely San Antonian. A chain concept is unlikely to make the cut as owner Silver Ventures continues to cultivate a truly destination feel.


Shiner at Westin

The Westin La Cantera Resort will hold its first beer dinner Friday, May 27, in conjunction with the Shiner beers from the Spoetzl Brewery. Spoetzl’s Ryan Biggers will present five Shiner brews, including the new Ruby Redbird, along with reception appetizers and four seated courses for $45. Call (210) 558-2305 for reservations. You can see the full menu online at the Bottle & Tap blog on


Sippy Cup winner

Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling Co. gave its first Sippy Cup ProAm award to Austin brewer Britt Taylor-Burton. The double IPA beat out 29 other homebrews for the distinction. Now San Antonio’s Ranger Creek is planning to brew the beer as its fall seasonal offering and enter it in the ProAm competition at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver.

Taylor-Burton also took Funkiest of Show honors at the Alamo City Cerveza Fest last month for a pomegranate brew that Freetail Brewing will produce next spring.


Travis E. Poling writes about beer weekly for the Current. He is co-author of Beer Across Texas: A Guide to the Brews and Brewers of the Lone Star State. Send information about beers or beer-related events two weeks in advance to

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