The Best Breweries In Houston, Ranked

Is there anything better than being in Houston with a nice glass of cold beer? According to Culture Trip, the largest city in the Lone Star State is brimming with culture, great food, and drink to boot (of the cowboy variety, of course). Visitors can expect plenty of hospitality, as most residents take their southern manners very seriously. Those who are just stopping through might also be surprised by the diversity of experiences available in H-town. You might find yourself at a dive bar with a live poetry reading, a neighborhood cookout, or even dining at Beyonce's favorite local restaurant.

The concrete jungle is America's fourth largest city and its expansion shows no signs of slowing down (via Houston Chronicle). Amid all the growth and change, one thing is for certain: Houston has a great beer scene. And as we all know, beer makes people happy. There is something special about enjoying an ice cold beer with your friends on a sweltering day in the Bayou City. As locals, we've rounded up our favorite breweries in Houston, with a little help from the community. Whether you are just visiting or call Clutch City home, be sure to stop by a few on the list.

12. True Anomaly Brewing Company

The owners of this brewery may or may not be astronauts, which is cool enough to help it earn a spot in the rankings. According to True Anomaly Brewing Company, the founders are four best friends who first started making beer in their garage. It's a story we have all heard before ... some guys started making beer together ... but with a little twist: Their day jobs all involve space. Before their brewing days, the team worked developing space suits, managing missions, and even working as actual rocket scientists. Since Houston is home to NASA, we can trust that these guys really know their stuff.

The precision and smarts it takes to work in that field definitely transfers over to the quality of their craft, too. The decorations have a subtle space theme which doubles as a nod to the founder's work history, but also a cool local detail. Fans rave about the friendliness of the staff, but warn you can't typically get a sample of a beer before purchasing a whole glass. In addition, parking in the area can be tricky for the amount of patrons typically enjoying the venue, so to avoid the fate of some reviewers, it's probably best to catch a ride share to the venue. 

11. SpindleTap Brewery

SpindleTap Brewery is known in the Houston area for having delicious brews and a great focus on community. According to customers, one of the biggest perks of the location is the large, air-conditioned seating area. Since Houston tends to be pretty warm and sticky almost year round, having a cool place to relax and enjoy your beer is definitely a must. On nicer days, you can also take advantage of the outdoor entertainment complex with mini golf area, basketball hoops, and even a baseball field. It's a great place to bring the family because there is something for everyone to enjoy. Some visitors cite issues communicating with staff, as well as occasionally dirty restrooms as low spots.

The brewery has plenty of great flavors to choose from, including locally-named brews like Houston Haze. It also does seasonal and limited time flavors, so if you are still searching for your favorite, there will always be something new coming into rotation. The team leans heavily into their Texas roots, as the Juiceton Double IPA uses the same colors as the Astros baseball team. The logo is even an oil tower, a nod to Texas' rich history in the field. 

10. 8th Wonder Brewery

Named after the Astrodome, this brewery is a local icon. According to 8th Wonder, even the shape of the brewery's building is a dome, mimicking the beloved Astrodome. The now-condemned structure opened in 1965 to host the Houston Astros baseball games, as well as other local events like the Houston Rodeo. It's a much-loved reminder of Houston's rich history. In 2013, 8th Wonder started brewing beer in a warehouse in East Downtown, and in 2018, opened 8th Wonder Distillery near the brewery, which makes artisanal spirits and cocktails.

Reviews on Google are quick to sing the praises of the beers available on site. Some say certain flavors, like the Strawberry Shortcake draft beer, are so good they sat there for hours enjoying multiple rounds. In addition to the beer, there is great food at 8th Wonder Brewery with old arcade games available if you want to challenge your friends to a tournament. Visitors mention it's a great spot to hang out if you are waiting for something downtown, like an Astros game, perhaps. However, some guests mention that because it's an old warehouse, there are a few accessibility concerns when entering.

9. Eureka Heights Brew Co.

This place is a great spot to spend a hot day. According to Eureka Heights Brew Co., the local roots run deep. It gets its name from the Eureka Heights fault system, a series of lines that spread out underneath the city of Houston. The system is a little-known piece of local history, but that's what this brewery is all about — being unique. The brewery's website copy and social media presence is tongue-in-cheek, and you'll see that attitude carried over into the great service, too. It's fun and will keep you on your toes when you visit.

Reviewers on Tripadvisor state the brewery has all the classic offerings required for a good time. There's an abundance of great places to sit, arcade games, and equipment for the cornhole championship of your dreams, as well as food trucks galore in the parking lot. The beer is tasty, too. The only downside is that it gets a bit hot in Houston and some reviewers mention this brewery isn't as comfortable temperature wise as other local favorites.

8. Southern Star Brewing Company

Southern Star Brewing Company is the brainchild of a former employee from another popular local spot, Saint Arnold. According to Southern Star, the brewery offers twice-daily tours of the location every Saturday afternoon. This is the perfect opportunity for super fans to see where the magic happens, or newbies to the brewery scene to get a better idea of what goes into it. The overall vibe of the place is nice and relaxed, as dogs are allowed on site and you can even bring food from other places to enjoy.

Throughout the year, the brewery releases several seasonal offerings, including CyGourd (a robot-themed pumpkin ale), alongside year-round favorites, and loads of limited releases. Visitors rave about the brewery and the beer, whether you like a classic IPA or don't think you like beer at all. For indecisive visitors, the friendly team is happy for you to try samples before ordering

7. Great Heights Brewing Company

This local spot is a fun brewery with a focus on sustainability. According to Great Heights Brewing Company, it first opened its doors right in the middle of Hurricane Harvey in August 2017. It was a terrible time for the community of Houston, but a bright spot in the storm was the addition of this local business. The team does what it can to create a great atmosphere for hanging out and enjoying the finely-crafted brews. There is air conditioning (a must in Houston!), mood lighting, and the best music to groove to. You can bring your own food or grab some from a local food truck. Great news for livestock in the area: All grain from Great Heights brews is donated to local farmers to feed their animals.

All of this effort doesn't go unnoticed by those who frequent the brewery. Reviewers on Google mention they enjoy the trivia nights put on at Great Heights and agree there is a little bit of everything on offer. Stand-out beers according to fans include the Blueberry Sour and the Fruity Pellets IPA.

6. Holler Brewing Co.

Holler Brewing Co. is a great community spot. Reviewers of the brewery on Google note the best part is just how friendly the staff are. If you haven't visited many breweries before, or are overwhelmed by the options on tap, you can just ask. The crew are known to go out of their way to make sure you are paired with the best flavor for you. In addition, local visitors praise the brewery's large parking lot: Quite a big deal in a city like Houston that doesn't have much public transportation.

The tap room at Holler Brewing Co. is open seven days a week, so no matter when you get hit with a craving for a refreshing can of locally-brewed beer, it's got you covered (via Holler Brewing). If you prefer to stay sober, you can enjoy nitro brew coffee, sparkling water, and even housemade root beer. Kids are more than welcome to come along, as are furry friends (just keep them outside on the patio, please).

5. Buffalo Bayou Brewing Company

One thing is for sure about Buffalo Bayou Brewing Company: It's a great place to stop if you're really hungry ... and also want a drink. The brewery also has a restaurant serving delicious fare so you can eat and drink to your heart's content, all with picturesque and uninterrupted views of downtown through the large windows. Its location just outside Houston's theater district makes it perfect for grabbing a drink before or after a show or sports game. With a huge range on offer, Buffalo Bayou's beers include: 1836, a copper ale originally made for Texas Independence Day which became a regular on the list; Tropikal, a fruity sour beer; and Red Velvet Stout, which — you guessed it — tastes just like the popular dessert.

Rassul Zarinfar and Ryan Robertson founded the brewery, affectionately known as "BuffBrew" in 2011. The pair met when Zarinfar couldn't find the kind of beer he enjoyed locally in Houston, so he decided to make it himself (via Buffalo Bayou Brewing Company). He met Robertson who was already working in the industry in North Texas, and they started making magic. The pair's passion for their work and creating great flavor shines through in what they do and earns Buffalo Bayou Brewing Co. a solid spot in the rankings.

4. Platypus Brewing

Platypus Brewing is an Australian-owned brewery in the heart of midtown. According to the Houston Chronicle, for a while the now-former head brewer in charge of making new beers for the company did it in a unique way: On occasion, she created a new flavor profile and recipe, then came up with a name after, based on how it tasted.

Customers on Yelp are quick to praise the overall atmosphere of the Houston brewery. Open seven days a week, with a full kitchen serving daily specials, it describes its beers as being "brewed with Texan heart and Australian soul." Platypus Brewing is a great place to watch the local game, and the house has plenty of seats: There's a covered patio or a great air-conditioned indoor area. Also noted is the great hospitality of the team: Service is quick and friendly and you never have to wait long for a table or drink.

3. No Label Brewing Co.

No Label Brewing Co. is a family-friendly, award-winning brewery shaking up the suburbs. According to the Houston Chronicle, the once small-town brewery took home second place in one of the world's most prestigious beer competitions. The World Beer Cup takes place every two years. In 2022, the brewery's Cali Boy IPA earned the second spot in the Imperial IPA category. When reflecting on the win, No Label co-owner Tom Paynter said, "For this beer to be recognized as one of the best IPAs on the planet just further validates our No Label vision."

Even before the win, the brewery was struggling to keep up with high demand from fans. "Right now, we can't make enough beer as it is. All the beer is selling out, which is a fantastic problem to have," Paynter told the newspaper. "We're just doing our best to make sure that the Texas stores are stocked, and all the taps have kegs." The overall popularity of the brand earns it a spot near the top, as does its awesome location. Near the heart of Katy, Texas, No Label is found between the abandoned rice silos in the area. It's a longstanding symbol of the community, and many are thrilled it's been brought back to life. There are plenty of places to sit, food to enjoy, and great games to play (via No Label Brewing Co.).

2. Karbach Brewing Co.

Karbach Brewing Co. is a fun, dog-friendly venue in the heart of Houston. It's loved by visitors and locals alike. According to reviewers on Yelp, there are plenty of places to sit while enjoying the brews, both inside and outside. Inside has air conditioning and outside has umbrellas to keep you safe from the Texas sun. There is an on-site restaurant, so if you're hungry while enjoying a sampling of beers, it's got you covered. If beer isn't your thing, but your group is stopping in, Karbach also offers a number of hard seltzers and cocktails for you to enjoy. Because of the ample space, it's easy to book the venue for a private function, like a birthday party or team building event.

The Karbach brand is built on having a real passion for everything it brews. That, and being accessible for everyone. Karbach thinks some brewers are a bit too pretentious and it wants to make sure everyone who stops in — whether they are an aficionado or a first timer — leaves feeling welcomed and full of delicious drinks (via Karbach Brewing). We like this attitude, so they take one of the top spots.

1. Saint Arnold Brewing Company

Saint Arnold Brewing Company is Houston's oldest craft brewery. According to Houstonia, the brewery is a local institution held in especially high regard. It consistently produces delicious, high-quality brews and Houston is lucky to have it. The Art Car IPA (named after the annual Houston parade of the same name) earns top marks. Visitors can't get enough of Saint Arnold, praising the beer and the brewery tours, the great food available on-site, and saying it's a place they want to return to again and again.

The very first keg of Saint Arnold's brew made its debut on June 9, 1994. Now, you can purchase the drinks on site, or at a number of other locations across Texas and Louisiana, including bars, restaurants, grocery stores, and liquor stores. Founders Brock Wagner and Kevin Bartol are Houston natives and saw a major gap in the market in their hometown. Houston is one of the largest cities in the U.S. and didn't have its own craft brewery. The pair quickly fixed that problem and can be credited with helping to build the Houston brewery scene into what it is today (via Saint Arnold).