As in much of the country, the Lone Star state has seen an explosion in craft beer production and now boasts over 300 craft breweries.
Good ol’ American lagers?
Traditional German pilsners?
Uniquely flavored Kolsch?
Check, check and check!
Finding your craft beer of choice in Texas is easy, but how to know which brewery in which to throw back that cold one?
We’ve done the work for you!
From bustling downtowns to the scenic hill country, here are the 17 Best Texas breweries.
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Everyone grab their “I Like Crafts” shirt and let’s get going!
1. No Label Brewing Company (Katy)
This popular old-town Katy brewery housed in a converted rice silo features an extensive selection of beers, all brewed on-site.
If you believe as I do that the 80s were the best decade ever (and you’re willing to show your age!), try out the American 1980 Kolsch.
On the other hand, if you’re not into big hair and leg warmers, give the traditional German Hefeweizen El Hefe a try!
Arrive early to claim a picnic table in the dog-friendly outdoor seating area, or bring your camp chairs, and enjoy the live music or entertainment.
Check the brewery calendar to catch Family Movie Night, Superhero Trivia Night, or Axe Night (a self-described night of drinking beer and throwing axes – do these two things mix well?) as well as an annual Oktoberfest.
Grab a bite from a rotating selection of local food trucks.
2. B-52 Brewing (Conroe)
Sample the fruited sours, refreshing lagers, and robust stouts that B-52 is known for, or treat yourself to the Texas Craft Brewers Cup silver-medal-winning Smoothie Tart brew.
Grab a seat at a picnic table or near one of the fire pits spread amongst the pine trees, and settle in for Comedy Night, Artisans & Nosh, or bingo.
3. Family Business Beer Co. (Dripping Springs)
Enjoy the Hamilton Pale Ale (named for the nearby historic swimming hole at Hamilton Pool Preserve) or the local favorite Imperial Stout in the large taproom with windows looking into the brewery process.
Or head out to the idyllic oak grove with its giant wrap-around porch and shaded picnic tables.
Try a pizza or artisan salad from the on-site pizza truck (also run by the Family Business) and watch the kids burn off some energy in the fenced playground with yard games like corn hole and horseshoes.
Keep an eye out for special events which include an annual crawfish boil!
4. Real Ale Brewing Co. (Blanco)
Brewing in the scenic hill country since 1996, Real Ale has developed a reputation as a producer of great American ale, some of which are only available in the tree-top taproom.
Enjoy a pint of Coffee Porter, a robust ale mixed with cold-brewed coffee (inspired by the owner’s homebrewing experiments in his college days!) or a sample flight in the outdoor seating area or while playing a classic board game available at one of the many indoor tables.
Take a free tour of the brewery or distillery (or both!)
5. Cowtown Brewing Co. (Fort Worth)
Looking for top Texas breweries that combine two of the best things the Lone State has to offer?
From a light pilsner to an imperial stout, all beer (and BBQ!) is made on-site and served in the 5000-square-foot taproom or roomy outdoor deck in a family-friendly atmosphere with live music.
Sample the popular brisket tacos or brisket nachos with best-selling beers like the Rhinestone Cowboy (a German-style Kolsch) or the Spirit World (a tangerine fruited sour), and then request a guided tour of the brewery!
6. Lakewood Brewing Co. (Garland)
Founded by a Belgian in search of a taste of home, Lakewood Brewing Company has become a favorite destination for adventurous East Dallas beer lovers.
Sample a Bourbon Barrell Temptress (one in a series, and the name alone makes it a must-try!) or the Muy Importante (a margarita lager!) while viewing the taproom’s funky artwork or enjoying the outdoor courtyard garden.
Wrap up the experience with an informative tour given by one of the very knowledgeable and friendly beer guides!
7. Southern Star Brewing (Houston)
Founded by a former brewmaster at Saint Arnold’s Brewery, this one was the first brewery in Texas to can craft beer.
Try a specialty seasonal craft beer: the Bombshell Wit, inspired by traditional 14th-century Belgian witbiers (“white beers”), or the grapefruit IPA, Coast to Coast, are sure to please.
Catch the weekend behind-the-scenes tour in which, according to a Houstonia magazine reviewer, you’ll experience “the olfactory bliss” of entering the fridge where the brewery stores the hops!
Head over on a Sunday to indulge in a lunch of crawfish and beer (try the perineal favorite Bombshell Blonde ale) while enjoying live music from the outdoor stage.
8. Middleton Brewing (San Marcos)
Offering an extensive selection of ales, Middleton Brewing has something for every type of beer drinker (and offers wine or locally made ciders for the non-beer drinkers).
Consider the classic pale ale Easy Rider or, if you’re feeling a bit more daring, opt for the green chile pepper-infused Pepperhead IPA.
After making your choice, grab a table on the outdoor patio or the rooftop deck and enjoy the live music.
And if you’re craving a delicious burger to go with that beer, you’re in luck since the brewery also houses a burger shop!
Those hoping for a bit more sophistication should try the high-end food and beer pairing featuring a multi-course dinner with an expertly selected beer accompanying each course.
9. Save the World Brewing Co. (Marble Falls)
A husband and wife give up their careers as physicians to open the first 100% philanthropic brewery in the U.S., asking customers to “drink our beer, save the world!”
It sounds like a sugary sweet Hollywood movie plot, but in the case of this unique Marble Falls brewery, truth is better than fiction!
So, if enjoying a first-rate artisanal Belgian-style ale (offerings range from farmhouse to fancy) in a cozy taproom while also doing good is your thing, get out to Save the World Brewing Company.
Order the “big 10” flight to sample ten brews, including the Great American Beer Festival gold-medal winning Prince of Peace (a triple ale combining three types of hops), the rustic farmhouse ale Heavenly Treasures, and Cherry Bonus Pastor (a Scotch ale aged on brandied cherries).
Check out the selection of gourmet cheeses and cured/smoked meats in the self-serve deli to create a custom charcuterie board to keep those beers company, and don’t miss the brewmaster-led tour!
10. Guadalupe Brewing Co. (New Braunfels)
Great brews and an on-site pizza kitchen make this brewery just outside of New Braunfels a winner!
Grab a pint of the flagship brew, the Texas Honey Ale, which uses honey from the only Amish farm in Texas, and gives all proceeds from that brew to bee research at Texas A & M.
Enjoy your beer and food (if you don’t fancy pizza, try a “sammich” from the beer garden menu) in the spacious, dog-friendly outdoor seating area.
Linger over a second round while enjoying the yard games and live music.
11. Devil and the Deep Brewery (Galveston)
Nestled downtown near the Strand Historic District, the local favorite features a variety of Belgian and American-style craft beers in a casual and friendly atmosphere.
Generally offering eight original brews on tap, the Blonde Ale is perfect for a hot summer day, or choose from a rotating assortment of single hop IPAs.
Enjoy your selection on the outdoor patio or take advantage of the open-container law in this part of town and sip your brew as you window shop in downtown Galveston.
12. Bare Arms Brewing (Waco)
Glowingly described by one visitor as “one of those iconic hole in the wall” places that happens to serve incredible beer, the focus is on unique local flavors.
Try the refreshing Creekside lager or the tasty Nebulous Tart Berliner Weiss alongside a few items off the tailgate menu featuring slow-smoked or wood-fired-grilled local meats.
If you have kids along, they’ll appreciate the numerous board games and hand-crafted sodas!
13. Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling (San Antonio)
Using only local ingredients to produce both craft beer and whisky, this San Antonio favorite’s claim to fame is as the state’s first “beerstillery.”
The Love Struck Hefe, a traditional German wheat beer with a Texas twist, and the Texas Straight Bourbon are the crowd-pleasers, so you might as well try both!
And while you’re going for two, take the behind-the-scenes tour of both the brewery and distillery, which includes several samples.
14. Saint Arnold Brewing Co. (Houston)
In operation since 1994, the Saint Arnold Brewing Company has bragging rights as the state’s oldest craft brewery.
With a fun interior, designed to look like an abbey dedicated to the patron saint of beer, and a huge family and dog-friendly beer garden with generous seating, this one is a “must-do” when in Houston!
Sample the famous Fancy Lawnmower, a true German-style Kolsch, or the classic Saint Arnold Amber Ale, a full-flavored amber ale, and consult the expansive menu for recommended food pairings.
Be sure to leave time for the popular tour which takes you through the history of the brewery and the basics of the beer production process.
15. The Texas Beer Co. (Taylor)
Serving an assortment of Texas brews out of a lovely historic building in downtown Taylor, this family-owned brewery is a local favorite with a small-town vibe.
Try the K9 Lager, a German-style lager for which a portion of the proceeds goes to K9s for Warriors, the largest provider of service dogs for veterans in the country, at the spacious indoor bar or one of the outdoor picnic tables.
Check the calendar for frequent special events such as pint nights, charity events, live music, and special release parties.
16. Brazos Valley Brewing Co. (Brenham)
A friendly small-town brewery near historic downtown Brenham and featuring the largest selection of taps in the county.
Try a flight of in-house brews, all named after popular songs: the Brown-Eyed Girl, a brown ale with hints of chocolate and caramel, and bourbon barrel-aged stout, Troubadour, are local favorites.
Add a warm pretzel or nachos from the bar, or make a selection from the rotating food trucks.
Then relax and enjoy on the shaded patio while the kiddos hit the playground with a sandbox!
17. Spoetzl Brewery (Shiner)
Tucked away as it is in the one-stoplight town of Shiner (“the town that beer built”), you’ve probably never heard of the last entry on our list of best breweries in Texas.
But you likely know of the flagship brew produced by the biggest brewery in Texas- the Shiner Bock!
While not a small brewpub like most on this list, the Spoetzl Brewery earns a mention because of its exceptional tour – striking the right balance between education and storytelling, it is widely reviewed as the best of any brewery tour.
Begin in the original brewery with a film detailing the brewery’s storied history: its 1909 founding by a Bavarian immigrant, Prohibition-era shenanigans (said founder may or may not have been arrested for bootlegging!), and the growing popularity of Shiner beers during the 1960s.
Enjoy the tour through the attached modern brewery, complete with demonstrations and fun facts (no matter where you buy it, every drop of Shiner beer has been made in Shiner!)
Conclude the tour with free samples, enjoyed at a picnic table in a shaded beer garden while the kids play cornhole on the lawn.