Anyone who has visited the Alamo or strolled along the Riverwalk understands the history and beauty that can be found in the historic city of San Antonio.
And this, of course, includes the city’s thriving brewing scene. San Antonio offers residents and travelers an opportunity to enjoy a wide variety of beers from brewpubs, restaurants, traditional breweries and even distilleries that are making their own beer. If you’re looking to check out the craft beer scene in San Antonio, these eight breweries should be at the top of your list.
Maverick Whiskey Distillery & Brewery
It may not seem out of the ordinary to walk into a Texas drinking establishment and enjoy a shot and a beer. Still, Maverick Whiskey Distillery & Brewery has taken that premise and turned it into a refined, well-crafted experience. Every Maverick beer and spirit is created in-house, and patrons can pair the drinks with a thoughtful food menu. The establishment opened in the summer of 2019, a mere block from the iconic Alamo. The Maverick name comes from the owner’s ancestor and Texas revolutionary, Samuel Maverick. As such, every beer and spirit served at Maverick is a symbolic toast to the brave souls who gave their lives at the Alamo.
Roadmap Brewing Co.
Hannah and Dustin Baker turned a wedding gift—a homebrewing kit—into a passion project, which eventually became Roadmap Brewing in September 2018. Roadmap features 11 main beers on tap, including the usual suspects like an IPA, New England IPA and Hefeweizen. But any homebrewer will tell you that the itch to create always needs scratching. So at Roadmap, one can also enjoy beers like a German Dark Lager, an English Pub Ale and a Coffee Stout.
Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewing
For four years, this brewery and restaurant has demonstrated the sophistication that can be attained with a menu that pairs craft beer with chef-prepared meals. San Antonio’s acclaimed Chef Jeff Balfour has developed the menu for the 10th largest brewpub in the country, which boasts a custom-made brewing system. The establishment’s success has afforded Southerleigh the chance to open a second San Antonio location, which is slated to open by the end of the year. Southerleigh offers its guests 21 different beers on draft, many of which have playful names like “‘Over My Dad Body,” a light-bodied lager brewed with cocoa nibs and red Fresno peppers. Southerleigh is also the first Texas brewery to produce a beer comprised entirely of ingredients sourced in the Lone Star State, its Texas Native Pale Ale.
Dorćol Distilling Co.’s High Wheel Beerworks
High Wheel Beerworks is the brewing arm of Dorćol Distilling Company, which was established in 2013 by college friends Chris and Boyan. Instead of toiling away at a desk, the duo created Dorćol, where patrons can enjoy award-winning spirits, cocktails and well-crafted beer. High Wheel brews four different beers that are made without the use of industrially-distilled alcohol or flavoring agents: Betty, a German-style Kölsch; COQ Hardi, a Belgian Farmhouse Ale; an American style Porter; and 56, a bold style IPA.
Ranger Creek is a combination brewery and whiskey distillery, or a “brewstillery” as they refer to it. Since Ranger Creek opened in 2010, the brewstillery has produced an array of beers that pay homage to the local culture. For instance, Mission Trail Extra Pale Ale draws its name from San Antonio’s UNESCO designated Spanish colonial missions. And !Viva! 300 is a limited-edition pilsner created to celebrate the city’s tricentennial. But the brewery isn’t just about naming conventions and history. Many of the beers found at Ranger Creek take immense skill to brew. Small Batch #13 is a Belgian Dark Strong Ale aged for 24 months with Lactobacillus, Pediococcus and Brettanomyces, as well as a house strain of wild yeast. If wild ales are not your thing, you’ll enjoy a number of their regular beers, including San Antonio Lager, Love Struck Hefe and Skytrooper IPA. Even better, pair them with the brewstillery’s award-winning, grain-to-glass small-batch Texas bourbon, single malt and rye whiskey, all of which rely solely on Texas ingredients.
Freetail Brewing Company
Freetail’s passion for beer is exceeded only by its passion for community. As Freetail notes, “San Antonio is more than our hometown. It’s why we brew.” San Antonio native, Scott Metzger, dreamed of opening a brewery in his hometown, and he named Freetail Brewing Company after Texas’ official flying mammal, the Mexican Freetail Bat (it is estimated that upwards of 30 million of them reside in a cave not far from San Antonio). Metzger didn’t just open one brewery, though—he opened two, a taproom location and a brewpub. Many of the beers brewed at Freetail pay homage to the storied cultural history of Texas and San Antonio, and, its Con-Cerveza was brewed to benefit the San Antonio Zoo.
Alamo Beer Company
Alamo Beer dates back to the late 1870s, and it eventually became part of Anheuser-Busch’s Lone Star Brewing Company, a brand that once produced “The National Beer of Texas.” Prohibition, however, put an end to the production of Alamo beer, or so it was thought. Eugene Simor, a California transplant with a love of Texas beers, researched the Alamo name and discovered that he could legally brand beer with it again. He bought the rights to Alamo beer and began reproducing the beloved brew in 2003. Alamo Beer Company operates out of a new, gorgeous facility, while Lone Star’s brewery transitioned into the San Antonio Museum of Art.
Blue Star Brewing Company
Blue Star Brewing Company has been a part of the San Antonio beer community since 1996. The brewery is in a gorgeous Riverwalk location at the start of the Mission Reach, a scenic bike and pedestrian thoroughfare along the San Antonio River. The lively brewpub is a neighborhood hangout that’s suitable for watching any game and enjoying plenty of live music, including its jazz nites. Meanwhile, the beer is 100 percent organic and relies entirely on all-natural ingredients. The dedication to organic brewing doesn’t stop the brewery from offering a tremendous variety of beer, such as cask ales, barleywines, spontaneous and two-year-aged sours, and a Texican Lager.