As summer heats up, we’re all looking for ways to cool down, and for some people, that means finding a cold beer and some shade to enjoy it in. The best Texas’s breweries are a great destination this summer, offering a space for beer lovers to enjoy their newest brews fresh from the tap for much cheaper prices than what you’d find at bars and restaurants.
603 E. Brewery St., Shiner, TX 77984
Never heard of it? We guarantee you’ve heard of the beer it brews: Shiner Bock, Shiner Prickly Pear, Shiner Haymaker…the list goes on. Located in Shiner, Texas, a small town about halfway between San Antonio and Houston, the brewery calls Shiner “the town that beer built,” and they’re probably right.
- What to do there: Go on a tour, browse the gift shop and stock up on Shiner merch, then head over to the tasting room.
Saint Arnold Brewing Co.
2000 Lyons Ave., Houston, TX 77020
It’s a local beer that Houstonians swear by, so next time you’re in the Bayou City, swing by the Saint Arnold brewery and see what everyone’s buzzing about. Before Rice University graduates opened the brewery in 1994, Houston was the largest city in the country to lack a microbrewery. Saint Arnold is known for being Texas’s oldest craft brewery and now produces over 20 different unique beers.
- What to do there: Stop by for lunch — along with a full menu of options, Saint Arnold offers a $17.55 lunch special that includes two courses and beer. If you go with a group, you can book a private tour in conjunction with lunch.
Jester King Brewery
13187 Fitzhugh Road, Austin, TX 78736
Just 18 miles south of downtown Austin sits Jester King Brewery, a farmhouse brewery specializing in wild ales and “spontaneously fermented” beers made with locally grown materials. Its long list of beers have a wickedly cool design, and where else can you buy a satyr tap pull?
- What to do there: Jester King gives tours on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, so stop by one lazy weekend to check out the brewery and visit its tasting room, where you can drink and purchase beer to take home. If you don’t want to leave the kids at home, bring ’em — all ages are allowed to tour the brewery, and pizza from Stanley’s Farmhouse Pizza is available during tasting room hours.
Southern Star Brewing Co.
1207 N. FM 3083 Rd. E., Conroe, TX 77303
Conroe’s 8-year-old Southern Star brewery was the state’s first craft brewery to offer canned beer. The brewery’s selection of beers is small but growing, and the team will move into a new facility late this year.
- What to do there: Southern Star gives a free tour at 2 p.m. every Saturday, and the tasting room is open on Friday and Saturday evenings. Your first beer is free, and you can chow down on artisan hot dogs from Oh My Darling Hot Dogs.
Cobra Brewing Co.
146 Whatley Ave., Lewisville, TX 75057
This Lewisville brewery is proud of its unique system, which uses converted dairy tanks to produce its beer. Cobra is the youngest brewery on this list, but this family-run establishment knows how to have a good time.
- What to do there: On Friday nights (and Saturday afternoons), Cobra is the place to be. Pay $10 for a unique Cobra glass and three different beers to try while enjoying live music and food that’s different every week. You won’t get bored — pool, ping pong, arcade games, “life-size” Jenga, Cornhole and darts are also available to entertain you and your friends.