Texas is renowned for having a large variety of different kinds of towns and cities within its borders. Whether you’re looking for a quiet, conservative town to settle down in or an artistic, vibrant city to celebrate, Texas has it all.
One of my favorite cities in Texas has to be San Antonio(see also: 14 Of The Best Hiking Trails In San Antonio). This city is loud, eclectic, and colorful.
San Antonio is bursting with culture and attractions that will blow your mind, but there’s one aspect to the city that not everybody knows about. And that is the remarkable brewery scene within the city and surrounding area.
Sure, Austin, Dallas, and Houston might be louder and more mainstream when it comes to their breweries, there’s no denying the bold and innovative beers coming out of San Antonio breweries every single day.
I’m going to spend the next couple of thousand words detailing the 13 best breweries in the San Antonio area and beyond so that the next time you’re looking for something to do after you’ve toured the Alamo and tried the river walk.
When you’re in San Antonio, you need to check out this side of their culture and explore their fascinating history of breweries.
San Antonio Breweries
These breweries range from large gathering places, to small cozy hangout spots. They each serve a variety of homemade brews, offering new and funky flavors.
If you think you’ve tried every different kind of locally sourced IPA or beer, then you should think again.
The breweries I’m about to show you are absolutely worth a trip out to give your taste buds a new experience, as well as supporting local small businesses – cheers to that!
Alamo Beer Company
Are you even in San Antonio (see also: 17 Best Beaches In And Around San Antonio)if you don’t spend a bunch of time thinking about the Alamo? Once you’ve toured it, talked about it, and learned the history, take a short walk away from the famous landmark and head to Alamo Beer Company, just half a mile away.
This beer company embodies the spirit of its namesake, crafting brews that are, in their own words: “courageous, independent, unrestrained, and true to themselves.”
You might not know what that means when it comes to beer tasting, but once you’ve tried Alamo Golden Ale, you’ll understand why they use those adjectives.
As well as their homebrewed beer, you can also order some comfort food that pairs great with a cold one – the pulled pork sandwich is particularly fantastic with their strong and hoppy Alamosaic IPA.
There’s also always something going on as they often have karaoke nights, trivia, live music or other fundraising events.
But even when there’s no special night going on, there are always fun ways to entertain yourself and your group at the Alamo Beer Company.
RoadMap Brewing Co.
All roads lead to beer. That’s the ad hoc slogan of the Roadmap Brewing Company, and they couldn’t be more right.
This independent, family-owned operation began life in a garage, but quickly became a popular downtown destination.
There is a massive variety of different beers that you can choose from, even the co-owner recommends the Minivan Dad – a double IPA with notes of tropical fruit and citrus.
However, if you can’t pick, you can always opt for the tasting flight, and find your favorite from the selection.
Once you’ve drunk enough to get the munchies, check out Roadmap’s resident food truck, Project Pollo – they serve some fantastic beer-matching food.
Back in 1883, the Pearl Brewery first opened its doors to the public. It only took 4 years for them to create an incredible recipe for a signature brew, simply called Pearl Beer.
Although there have been times throughout its long history that it seems like it would be the end of the Pearl Brewery, they’ve managed to stay open and serve the public.
In the last decade or so, and by random happenstance, the area surrounding The Pearl has ended up being redeveloped into the city’s hub of activity, bringing the brewery back to life.
There are gorgeous spaces and award-winning restaurants, and at the end of your day exploring the original architecture of this area of San Antonio, you can sit back and enjoy a frosty glass of Pearl Beer.
Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery
One name you want to make sure you keep on your itinerary is the Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery.
Not only do they have amazing food (we’re talking a menu created by an acclaimed chef named Jeff Balfour).
This venue is in the famous Pearl District and is filled with gorgeous decor, high ceilings, and brewing tanks that you can see on the upstairs balconies.
My favorite beer that I tried was the Gold Export Lager. It’s smooth, and balanced – traditionally German with the San Antonio twist.
If you’re a fan of sweeter brews, then the Gimme Some Mora, which is a tart sour, with some funky fruity notes.
Ranger Creek Brewing And Distilling
Now, this venue is often called San Antonio’s premier “brewstillery”, as they serve a range of craft beers and specialty whiskeys.
They have some crazy ales, like the Strawberry Stout – an unconventional brew that brings to mind a chocolate covered strawberry in beer form.
If that’s not your thing, then you can still get a quality lager or IPA there as well, don’t worry, it’s not all crazy concoctions.
For just $13 per person, you can take a guided tour through Ranger Creek’s drink making processes for both their brews and their whiskeys – plus you get a choice of 3 samples to try! Maybe you can taste the Strawberry Milkshake first before you buy a pint.
Blue Star Brewing Company
If you’re looking for a place that is so quintessentially Texan, then the Blue Star Brewing Company needs to be next on your list.
This place has been open for a while (since 1996) and is very close to San Antonio’s iconic River Walk.
If you’re in the mood for something hoppy, you can try their Tractor IPA, or if you fancy something a bit more dry, then the Texican is absolutely worth ordering a glass. Or two. Or three – see where the night takes you.
The Blue Star Brewery is full of rustic Southern charm, and every Tuesday is Jazz night! You can get a smooth stout beer, some amazing comfort food, and watch San Antonio’s coolest jazz cats play from 8-10pm.
Dos Sirenos Brewing
If you’re already taking a stroll down the River Walk, then you might as well pop into the Dos Sirenos brewery.
There’s plenty of outdoor space to enjoy the warm San Antonio weather and really enjoy your surroundings.
After all, the city is a gorgeous place, and you don’t want to miss out on anything.
Whilst you’re at Dos Sirenos, you can recharge your batteries with some cozy pub food that is a blend of Texan, Mexican, and German – like all the best breweries.
They host a variety of different events throughout the week, like a trivia night on a Wednesday, happy hour all day on Thursday, and live local bands playing Friday and Saturday nights.
As for the beer (which is just as fun and welcoming as the venue), I absolutely recommend the Morpheus Stout that has notes of malt, coffee, chocolate, and fruit.
Or if you’re looking for something brighter, you can try out the Zeus Juice – this is a hoppy IPA with citrus notes and some passion fruit.
For something with a European twist, check out Künstler Brewing.
As a fusion of German and Texan vibes, this brewery feels both traditional and completely modern at the same time.
You can get a great combo of different food (turns out both Germans and Texans put a lot of emphasis on their cooked meats), and wash it all down with some stout beers and IPAs.
The Bavarian-style Cashmere Hefeweizen is probably their most popular brew. It is a super warming, lovable wheat beer with flavors of bread, banana, guava, citrus, and flowers.
For those with an affinity for sweets or spice, then you can try the warm and playful Chamuco.
This beer is brewed with chocolate, vanilla, and 3 different types of chilli peppers, plus just a dash of cinnamon – If that doesn’t scream “warm and cozy”, I don’t know what will.
Freetail Brewing Co.
If you’re planning a sightseeing tour of San Antonio, then you need to be sure that you add Freetail Brewing to your list. It boasts a large collection of brews with a variety of different flavor profiles.
For example the “Soul Doubt” brew embodies an orchard, with citrus-y notes and wildflowers. Their “Bat Outta Hell”, on the other hand, is described as having a wonderful balance of herbal hops and light malt.
Every Saturday, at 3pm and again at 5pm, the Freetail Brewing Company runs tours that let you see how they actually create their beers.
They run many events like live music, trivia nights, and yoga. And, on the first Thursday of every month, the Freetail Brewing Company hosts a popular stand-up comedy night.
5 Stones Artisan Brewery
Alright, you got me. This brewery is actually about a 35-minute drive away from the city centre.
Although it’s not directly within San Antonio though, I swear that it’s worth it to get some great beers and enjoy the sights of New Braunfels.
There are great natural landscapes, with many tables spread out underneath amazing oak trees.
This isn’t just a grown-ups only event either. With lots of space to run around, live music, and plenty of food trucks, you can bring your whole crew. Kids, dogs, friends and family, everybody is welcome at the 5 Stones Brewery.
But we haven’t forgotten about the beers. You can order a seasonal and curated list of beers, all of which have been made by using locally-sourced ingredients.
The Aloha Piña is a lovely golden ale that somehow pairs pineapples and roasted jalapeños into a warming yet tropical flavor profile.
Weathered Souls Brewing Co.
You might not have heard of Weathered Souls Brewing Co, but you’ve probably been aware of their impact.
This company were actually the original creators of the “Black is Beautiful” initiative, an inclusive, pro-Black movement that has spread across all 50 states and 22 different countries.
You can feel good about drinking in a place like this. Weathered Souls is a welcoming and inclusive brewery where you’re sure to be accepted and treated like a local, even if you’ve never been there before.
If you order the “Black is Beautiful” beer, 100% of the proceeds go to local causes like the Know Your Rights Campaign, so be sure to get at least one glass when you go. For such an important beer, it’s a good job that it also tastes great.
Once you’ve sampled their most famous brew, you can move on to the New England IPA known as “Who’s Got The Juice Now?”.
If the drinking and noble causes have left you hungry, don’t worry, because the Weathered Souls also includes a Southern Comfort BBQ menu, full to bursting with delicious food that’s sure to hit the spot.
Busted Sandal Brewing Company
By now, your itinerary might be looking pretty full, but there’s no reason you can’t make this a two day affair! Because you really don’t want to miss out on the Busted Sandal Brewing Company.
Not only is the name and location unique, but the way that they actually make their beer is very distinctive.
Not only do they use 100% locally sourced ingredients, but the beer then comes out of a completely energy efficient facility that only uses renewable energy sources.
Because they only brew small batches at a time, you can trust their attention to detail and the fact that everything that they’re serving is going to have been made with care, both for the customer and for the planet.
If you’re looking for something sweet, you can try their El Robusto brew, a porter with strong chocolatey flavors, as well as roasted coffee, and caramel.
However, if that sounds a little too decadent for you, then you can always order a Slippery Rock IPA, a smooth, balanced beer with “an assertive citrus hop profile”.
Whatever you order, you can rest assured it’s going to be nice, and you know that they’re not harming the planet to bring these drinks to you.
Black Laboratory Brewery
Finally, the final brewery on our list – but certainly not least – is the Black Laboratory Brewery.
Though this brewery is still pretty new to the San Antonio streets, Black Laboratory is fast gaining a name for itself for its insane (but nevertheless delicious) brews.
But what can expect from a brewery run by two former food-testing chemists who have turned their knowledge and expertise into beer.
For example, their take on the Piccadilly (a classic San Antonio offering) includes cherry Kool-Aid, pickle juice, and chamoy blended with a blonde ale. I would have never tried this if my friends hadn’t promised that it was actually incredibly refreshing.
Don’t worry though, they still have some more orthodox ales and brews if you’re not feeling adventurous.
There you have it! 13 of our favorite breweries in San Antonio. It’s always worth going local, because these breweries can be as wild and out there as they want to be, and always reward their loyal customers.
Remember to drink responsibly and pace yourself if you plan on checking out some of these destinations on the same day. Make sure that you take advantage of the amazing food on offer in these breweries and be bold! Just like San Antonio.
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