In true Beerventurer fashion, we’re far behind on our posts so we’re going to give a Top 5 Breweries of San Antonio – just like BuzzFeed would do. Yeah, we’re totally phoning this one in, sorry guys.
The City of San Antonio was founded by Spanish Missionaries in 1718 and was a tiny little outpost back in the day. In 2021, San Antonio is now a sprawling and bustling city boasting over 1.5 million residents with various cultural and historic landmarks such as The Alamo and the (much) newer River Walk. You’re probably asking yourself, how did we end up nearly an hour and a half south of Austin? Well, San Antonio is home to 16 breweries so lets go over our Top 5 picks in no specific order.
Back Unturned Brewing Co.
Back Unturned Brewing Co. is a full service brewpub that boasts having the best pizza in San Antonio. Did we try the pizza? Unfortunately not, we had a large breakfast before a trip to the Alamo. But we did try four delicious brews which turned our heads.
Pinche is a strong coffee flavored, whiskey barrel aged porter that is surprisingly smooth and goes hand in hand with the Double Chocolate Coconut Porter. Two porters in Texas on a hot afternoon isn’t everyone’s cup of tea so that’s where the Dream Juice 1.1 and the Hawaii 2 10 (yes that’s not a typo) comes into play. Dream Juice is a creamy tropical IPA at a lovely 7% and was perfect sipping for Andrew. The Hawaii 2 10 is more my style, a fruited sour, with passionfruit, guava and orange notes.
What to try according to Untappd: Small Batch Fruity Hazy NEIPA, Rio Reserve Barrel Aged Stout, Abuelitas Revenge (Stout) and Nightmare on Brooklyn (Pumpkin).
Black Laboratory Brewing
A surprising entry onto our Top 5 list is the small and yet so mighty Black Laboratory Brewing. The small tap room (by Texas Standards) may not seem overly impressive at a glance, and certainly not after pulling into an equally small strip mall, but be assured that big things are brewing here.
The four beers we had at Black Laboratory included the Updog (Triple IPA), Love is in the Ale (Pale), Hint-O-Mint (Stout) and our favorite the Lemon Drop (Sour). Andrew was a big fan of the Updog for obvious reasons, but the two stand out brews were the Hint-O-Mint and the Lemon Drop. We’ve had several thin mint inspired beers over the years and we’re happy to say that Black Lab nailed this one. If you’re not a fan of mint, and are of an age that remembers lemon drop candies – you’re in luck here as Lemon Drop is a face puckering homage to the old school candy.
What to try according to Untappd: Bourbon Barrely Wine, Willett BA (Black is Beautiful), Twerkin’ 5 To 9 barleywine and Mornin’ Joe (Coffee Stout)
We’re trying to remain objective here, but I don’t think that we can. Künstler Brewing is our favorite brewery of San Antonio, and probably a top 3 on our trip to Texas. The German heritage brewery showcases some classic brews, but really shines with their unique blends. While you’re here, don’t forget to supplement your beer with food from their delicious menu of shareable bites, salads and sandwiches. We recommend an order of pretzels – any of them will work.
The five brews we tried were the Chocolate Wasted milk stout, Blueberry Lemonade Brutzer, And the Academy Award Gose, Currant Times grisette and the Guava Goddess gose. The clear winners were the Currant Times and the Blueberry Lemonade Brutzer. Both beers were extremely light and refreshing, not to mention the colors were beautiful; yes a super scientific analysis of these two beers.
What to try according to Untappd: Guava Goddess, Tejano Coffee Porter, Plum Sauer and Berry Goddess
Southerleigh Fine Food and Brewery
If it’s time for some upscale pubgrub, look no further than Southerleigh Fine Food and Brewery. This completely packed brewpub unfortunately didn’t have any seating available for our group, so do yourselves a favor and book ahead because the food looked and smelled delicious.
Also, unfortunately, Southerleigh was not doing flights during our time there so we had to pint up at the bar. Lucky for us, the bartender was a class act and made sure we got to sample his favorites on draft. Penelope Porter, In the Arms of Morpheus, Coco Leche Porter and I Exist Differently in the Zeitgeist. Our two favorites were the Coco and the Zeitgeist. Coco Leche is a classic coconut milk porter – rich and creamy with copious amounts of coconut that feels almost tropical. I Exist Different in the Zeitgeist on the other hand was a crazy dark sour. If you can imagine strong oak barrel aged flavor combined with a not overly sour-sour flavor you probably still won’t come close to the profile but definitely give this beer a shot.
What to try according to Untappd: Santa Anna’s Revent Imperial Stout, A Modern Save Cherry Limeade Sour Gose, Augustus Gloop IPA, and the Coco Leche.
Honorable Mention – Agnostic Egg Nog, exactly what it sounds like.
It wouldn’t be a trip to San Antonio without a stop at the world famous Weathered Souls. Now, I’m sure some of you out there are thinking – why do I know that name, I’ve never been to Texas. Have you ever had a Black is Beautiful (BiB) brewed from any of the 1,207 breweries (in 50 States and 22 Countries)? Congrats, you’ve had a virtual collab with Weathered Souls as part of their ongoing mission to bring equity and equality to the world.
While BiB may be their claim to fame, this San Antonio brewery has 423 other beers going on to take a look at, and unfortunately we only got to try 8 during our time here… bummer. Instead of boring you with the 8 lets talk about our top 3 choices: Black is Beautiful (obviously), Check and Rwanda French Press. We’ve had dozens of BiB variants at this point but we’ve never had the original Weathered Souls recipe and we can safely say that it is easily a top 3. Really the only two BiB’s done better (in our humble opinion) were barrel aged and frankly that’s probably cheating because the original recipe is bomb.
Switching gears a little bit is Check, the fruity, spicy and “delectable fall” saison. The 8.9% effervescent ale was brewed in collab with Jester King and had heavy bubblegum, banana, black pepper and clove notes that would have been the best of flight if it wasn’t for the Rwanda French Press. Rwanda French Press is probably one of the smoothest, most delicious coffee imperial stouts we’ve ever had. Beans roasted by Longroad Coffee Co, this hazelnut infused milk stout delivers a punch that no morning office coffee can stack up against and easily earned our favorite of flight – even if you dislike coffee.
What to try according to Untappd: Double Barrel Whale Rider Imperial Stout, The Whale Rider Imperial Stout, Double Barrel Maple Cavernous Imperial Stout and Keys to the City Imperial Stout… Yes – It’s always stout season here.
Links to the rest of our Texas Beerventure
Waffle House, Live Oak + Hi Sign Brewing
Meanwhile + Pinehouse Brewing – Watch out for Electric Jellyfish!
Central District, Zilker + Lazarus Brewing – Plus a Zoo!
Hill Country – Just West of Austin!
Pour Your Own Beer in Austin! – Also, other places too.
Top 5 Breweries of San Antonio!
Top 5 Breweries of Austin, TX – kind of