June 29, 2022

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Houston’s 6 best inner loop breweries

5 min read

In 1994, Saint Arnold Brewing Company opened its doors to become the first craft brewery serving suds in Bayou City. Nearly 30 years later, more than 50 additional craft breweries have sprung up across Houston and the surrounding area. Many are located inside “the loop,” a 42-mile stretch of I-610 that circles the traditional center of Houston, considered by most as the boundary of the city’s urban core.

Keep reading for six standout Houston breweries to visit inside the loop.

Saint Arnold Brewing Company

Saint Arnold Brewing Company

Alan W. via Yelp

Saint Arnold

Core beers: Lawnmower Kölsch, H-Town Pils, Headliner Blonde Ale, the margarita-inspired Hideaway, Amber Ale, Harmony Pale Ale, Elissa IPA, Art Car IPA, Juicy IPA, Double Down DIPA and Root Beer.


Food: The brewery’s beer garden and restaurant serves a wide variety of sandwiches, burgers and pizzas daily. It also has an excellent view of the Houston city skyline—making it a great place to bring out-of-towners. 

About: Every brewery tour of Houston should start at Saint Arnold, the oldest craft brewery in Texas. When the brewery opened in June 1994, Houston was the largest city in the country without a microbrewery. The brewery is named after Saint Arnold, the patron saint of hop-pickers and Belgian brewers, who adorns almost all of the humorous cartoon beer labels. The Amber Ale—the brewery’s flagship beer and first brew—has won seven awards including a silver medal at the World Beer Championships and three bronze medals at the Great American Beer Festival. Public tours are offered daily, and Spanish tours are available the last Saturday of each month.

8th Wonder Brewery and Distillery

8th Wonder Brewery and Distillery

Lou C. via Yelp

8th Wonder Brewery and Distillery

Core Beers: TEX Blonde, CLOUD 8 Hazy IPA, DOME FAUX’M Throwback Cream Ale, High Grade West Coast IPA, COUGAR PAW Red Ale, HATERADE Gose, ROCKET FUEL Vietnamese Coffee Porter, WEISSTHEIMER Hefeweizen and HOPSTON TXIPA.

Food: While the brewery does not offer food, it does allow outside food and drinks as well as food deliveries.

About: This funky brewery in East Downtown Houston is named after the Houston Astrodome, which was called the “eighth wonder of the world” when it opened in 1965 because it was the first air-conditioned domed stadium. In 2013, 8th Wonder Brewing started brewing beer in a dome-like warehouse and later started a distillery across the street. The brewery’s interior is decorated with Astros and other baseball memorabilia including a colorful row of stadium seats. The outdoor patio—filled with picnic tables and seating areas made from shipping containers—is a prime pre-game stop before sporting events. The brewery is walkable from Houston’s professional baseball, basketball and soccer stadiums.

Eureka Heights

Eureka Heights

Amy D. via Yelp

Eureka Heights

Core Beers: Buckle Bunny Cream Ale, Mini Boss IPA, Fruity Hazy Hazy Juice Hazy IPA, Wow Factor Mandarina Pils, Mostly Harmless Citra Pale Ale, Axhat Norwegian-style Pale Ale and Wicket Awesome English Pale Ale.

Food: There is a rotating list of various food trucks on the brewery’s website, but it also allows outside food. Keep an eye out for food-related happenings on the event calendar.

About: This Houston Heights brewery opened in 2016 and was named after the Eureka Heights fault system, a series of geological faults beneath the metropolitan area. The brewery focuses on brews with a lower ABV percentage and also have a line of hard seltzers named Fizzy Pants. Their event calendar is packed with fun events like Dad Joke Tournaments and social bike rides. But Wednesday trivia and Thursday bingo are their regular weekly events along with Laces Out Running Clubs on Thursdays. Virtual tastings are also available for those who want a one-hour guided session.

Buffalo Bayou Brewing

Buffalo Bayou Brewing

Amit G. via Yelp

Buffalo Bayou Brewing

Core Beers: Crush City IPA, More Cowbell Double IPA and Dreamsicle Blonde Ale.

Food: The on-site, second-floor restaurant has an extensive menu ranging from falafel wraps to loaded carne asada tater tots. The restaurant is open daily and serves brunch on the weekends, with indoor and outdoor seating. 

About: Buffalo Bayou Brewing was founded in 2011 in an abandoned warehouse by two friends with a passion for beer and the inability to find the beer they wanted to drink. In 2019, the brewery moved into a three-story, 28,000-square-foot building and taproom. The first floor is where all the brewing magic happens, but the views of the downtown Houston skyline and Sawyer Yards trains from the third floor rooftop patio are stunning and shouldn’t be missed. The brewery also has an indoor bar and a dog-friendly patio, so you can bring your favorite four-legged friend with you. 

A Platypus Brewing beer flight.

A Platypus Brewing beer flight.

Belly G. via Yelp

Platypus Brewing

Core Beers: Bobby Dazzler Blonde, Ole Chit Mexican Lager and Freckled Dingo Pale Ale. 

Food: The brewery’s kitchen’s menu is a fusion of Australian delicacies with a Texas flavored twist including Aussie meat pies and fish and chips. One of the most unique parts of the menu is the signature sauces that can be paired with any menu item. The brewery offers evening weekday specials including Taco Tuesday and Wednesday Steak Night.

About: Two Australians and a native Texan from the Houston suburb of Sugar Land started this Australian-influenced brewery in 2009. The three well-traveled owners fused their love for both Texas and Australia together, which is apparent in the brewery’s logo and beer names. Visitors can watch the brewing process from their mezzanine, which doubles as an event space. Their outdoor seating—which has fans and umbrellas—is a welcome bonus in the summer, and built-in deck heaters and fire pits on the patio keep guests warm during the city’s short winter.         

Four different hand-crafted ales from Baileson Brewing Co. 

Four different hand-crafted ales from Baileson Brewing Co. 

Briandi L. via Yelp

Baileson Brewing Co.

Core Beers: Chosen Family Pilsner and Modern Mo’Tralaxy Hazy IPA.

Food: The brewpub partners with local food trucks and pop-ups weekly.

About: In 2015, a husband and wife team of homebrewers decided to stop brewing in their garage and open a brewpub in Boulevard Oaks. The taproom is located in a 1,600-square-foot building, a former 1950s gas station that became an automotive shop in the 1970s. The owners preserved the interior of the building as much as possible—the vintage clay masonry walls are covered in various colors of paint. The two garage doors roll up and the existing canopy over the pumps now covers the picnic tables on the patio. To keep things exciting, the brewery constantly rotates its beers. 

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