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In the fall of each year, lots of beer lovers flock to Oktoberfest celebrations in towns with strong German roots. Although the Texas city of San Antonio is most closely associated with its Spanish and Mexican traditions, many people don’t realize that a third of the city’s population was once made up of German immigrants. You can see evidence of this still today in the architecture of the King William Historic District and in the city’s craft brewing influences. So, whether you visit San Antonio in the fall or any other time of the year, here are eight stand-out breweries in town that have been shaping the modern craft brewing scene in Alamo City.
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Alamo Beer Company has an awesome new facility and serves a golden ale, pilsner, pale ale, IPA, and other varieties today. The brewery even hosts an Alamo Oktoberfest in the fall to celebrate dark and malty lagers, soft pretzels, and other traditional Bavarian favorites. Stop by the beer hall Mondays through Thursdays from 3-9pm, Fridays from 3pm to midnight, Saturdays from noon to midnight, and Sundays from noon to 9pm.
With roots in the mountains of Alpine, Texas and in the backyard of Big Bend National Park, Big Bend Brewing Company is opening up a new location in San Antonio. This is a part of the brewery’s expansion and next phase to bring “beer from out here” to more thirsty Texans. Slated to open up in San Antonio in late 2018, this brewery has been winning awards for excellent beers, such as its National Park Hefeweizen. The new San Antonio location will have a full taproom that serves both year-around offerings and specialty beers.
Another excellent brewery to stop by next time you’re in San Antonio is Freetail Brewing, which is the brewery of hometown local Scott Metzger. It’s named after the Mexican Freetailed Bat, which is Texas’ official flying mammal – yes, that’s an official designation! This brewery has grown from its early stages as a 15-barrel brewhouse to its current state-of-the-art brewing facility and dedication to experimentation with new and innovative brews. One favorite brew here is the Con-Cerveza, a beer with proceeds that benefit the San Antonio Zoo. Freetail’s tasting room is open on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4-9pm, Fridays from 4-10pm, Saturdays from noon to 10pm, and Sundays from noon to 6pm.
If you like a little variety in your beverages, then make a point to stop by High Wheel/Dorćol Distilling Company. Two college friends opened up this company in 2013 to pursue their passion for hand-crafted spirits. Additionally, the company brews several of its own beers, including a German-style kölsch, Belgian farmhouse ale, an American-style porter, and a bold IPA. For spirits, make sure to try the Kinsman Small Batch Apricot Rakia, an all-natural brandy that’s smooth and full of flavor. This is also a fun place to visit to try experimental cocktails. Come check it out for yourself in San Antonio’s trendy arts district of Southtown. It is open on Thursdays from 5-10pm, Fridays from 5pm to midnight, and Saturdays from 5pm to 1am.
One of the newest breweries on the San Antonio craft beverage scene is called Roadmap Brewing, which just opened its doors in September 2018. This brewery is run by a husband and wife team, Dustin and Hannah Baker. So far, they are best known for their coffee stout, IPA, German-style kölsch, and saison. But this brewery is growing quickly, so expect to see many more exciting beer offerings in the near future. Roadmap Brewing Co. is open on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4-10pm, Fridays from 4pm to midnight, Saturdays from noon to midnight, and Sundays from noon to 8pm.
Another establishment that offers San Antonio locals and visitors lots of choice in their beverage preferences is Ranger Creek. This is because Ranger Creek is both a beer brewery and a whiskey distillery that celebrates San Antonio’s rich heritage. Many of Ranger Creek’s beers are named for local landmarks, such as the Spanish colonial missions and even a limited-edition pilsner named for the city’s tricentennial. You can stop by for a tour or tasting, and the venue can accommodate private events as well. Stop by the tasting room on Fridays from 5-9pm, Saturdays from 2-9pm, or Sundays from noon to 4pm. Even if you’re elsewhere in Texas, you can often find Ranger Creek’s whiskey and beer in bars, restaurants, and stores outside of San Antonio.
Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery is another must-visit establishment in San Antonio and a stunningly beautiful venue that’s large and accommodating. This brewery is located at the Pearl and features a huge brewpub with often more than 20 beers on tap. This is a kid-friendly and dog-friendly (on the outdoor patio) establishment where you can bring the whole family for a meal while you sample a variety of locally brewed beers. Southerleigh is open on Mondays through Thursdays from 11am to 10pm, Fridays 11am to 11pm, Saturdays 10am to 11pm, and Sundays 10am to 9pm.
Brew Star has been on the local craft brewing scene in San Antonio since 1996 and is located on the San Antonio Riverwalk at the start of the Mission Reach. The brewpub is an essential stop along your exploration of the Riverwalk either on foot or by bike. Come here for a friendly and casual neighborhood hangout vibe that includes televisions to watch sports, live music, and community events. The beers here are organic and crafted with all-natural ingredients. A couple local favorite brews at Blue Star are the Texican Lager and the Southtown Sour. Stop by on Sundays and Mondays from 11am to 9pm, Tuesdays through Thursdays 11am to 11pm, Fridays 11am to 1:45am, and Saturdays 10am to 1:45am.