I have lived in Texas now for almost five years and I have finally made the trek down to Houston. It was great timing on my part actually, as Houston is fast becoming a craft beer destination. Many may argue that it already was with the iconic Saint Arnold Brewing Co. and various craft beer hot spots, but with the addition of breweries like No Label (Katy, TX right outside of Houston) and Karbach Brewing, it's a no brainer now.
Meggie and I only got to spend one night in Houston, so we had to pick and choose wisely with a combination of craft beer and food. Upon arrival, our first stop was a highly recommended joint called Hay Merchant, a kind of craft beer/sports bar hybrid with elevated pub fare. Since we weren't terribly hungry at this point, we tried their sweet and spicy crispy pig ears to snack on. Tough, and no seasoning (and zero spice) with a desperate need for an aioli led us to not want to try anymore food. I would like to go back to try more food, however, since this one item is in no way a basis for me to judge their entire menu. I will say, I was thoroughly impressed with their tap selection (along with four casks via beer engines) and its unique vibe that made me feel like I was in Austin.
Beers enjoyed: Karbach Weisse Versa, Deep Ellum Wealth and Taste, Stone Sublimely Self Righteous
There was a Spec's right across the street from Hay Merchant, so I went ahead and picked up a sixer of Karbach's Hopadillo IPA and chilled it to perfection in the hotel sink. Delicious IPA in my opinion.
Nothing that night, sushi dinner and a full night's sleep without interruption from a baby, which was glorious.
The next morning, we decided to find some coffee before going to brunch, and found a very unassuming place called Catalina Coffee, fairly near downtown and near Liberty Station bar. If you need brew other than the barley kind, this is a great place to check out. The coffee was delicious, and the bacon cheddar scone and spinach/garlic/cream cheese pastry were both divine.
After a little roasted coffee bean, I needed something a little stronger, like roasted barley. Onto the BRC Gastropub for brunch. The service was great, the beer selection was spot-on (although the pour sizes/prices were odd, 20 oz 'pints') and the food was fantastic (ooey-gooey mac n' cheese).
Beers enjoyed: Deep Ellum Double Brown Stout, Real Ale XV Anniversary (taster), Karbach Rodeo Clown (taster), (512) Pecan Porter (NITRO!)
Favorite beer of the trip: Karbach Weisse Versa
My next adventure to Houston will definitely include Petrol Station and Liberty Station. Thanks Houston for a great time. Cheers!