Freetail Brewing Company - 4035 N Loop 1604 W. Suite 105, San Antonio
Freetail’s story began in the realm of 2009, when beer-enthusiast Scott Metzger joined forces with Chef Gary Butler and Head Brewer Jason Davis to create a unique drinking and gastronomic experience for San Anto’s more adventurous pallets. Offering up unconventional brews donning names such as the Bat Outta Helles, Freetail’s year-round stock and seasonal options are definitely worth investigating for craft beer nerds in search of something new. We recommend the gently hopped La Rubia, Freetail’s token “blonde mistress.”
Busted Sandal Brewing Company - 7114 Oaklawn Dr, San Antonio
Rookie micro-brewery Busted Sandal entered Alamo City’s artisan beer scene in 2013, boasting an impressive lineup of traditionally crafted homebrews. The brainchild of drinking buddies Michal diCicco and Robert Garza, the 10-barrel alehouse is set apart from its competitors by its environmentally sustainable practices; utilizing wind-energy and responsible sanitation practices, Busted Sandal is a refreshing alternative to mainstream products currently overwhelming San Antonio’s market. We recommend the 210 Ale, a year-round “lightly sweet ale with a clean, crisp finish,” according the brewers themselves.
Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling - 4834 Whirlwind Dr, San Antonio
One of the top farm-to-pint breweries in the U.S. according to farmflavor.com, Ranger Creek serves up a number of locally brewed beers crafted from homegrown ingredients. Courtesy of agriculture’s little guys, Ranger Creek artfully mends strawberries and other local goods into its all-star lineup. We recommend the silver medal winner of the 2013 World Beer Championship, the Mesquite Smoked Porter. Robust in flavor, this porter is distinguished by its “aroma of cured meat, pepper, leather, dark roast coffee, and distinct mesquite wood aroma,” a perfect medley for any rebel cowboy at heart.
Branchline Brewing Company - 3633 Metro Pkwy, San Antonio
Inspired by the annual Craft Brewers Conference hosted in San Diego, Jason Ard launched his own microbrewery—the Boxcar Brewing Co.—named for his fond memories of his grandfather’s home, which sat in close proximity to a squeaky, old railroad. But, after a legal dispute with a similarly named brewing based in Pennsylvania, Ard opted to rebrand his company as the Branchline Brewing Co. And, it’s been a pretty smooth sailing for Ard since that initial obstacle. Branchline caters to both extreme craft beer fans and casual drinkers seeking lighter beverages. We suggest the Evil Owl Amber, a moderately hopped Amber Ale with nice malt profile and a full-bodied taste.
The Granary - 602 Avenue A, San Antonio
The Granary ‘Cue & Brew is tucked away in the far south edge of the Pearl Brewery, housed in a homely little building that functions as an upscale restaurant and brewery. Dreamt up by owner and operator Tim and Alex Rattray, the gastropub has made quite a name for itself since its opening in 2012. Libations created by brewmaster Alex Rattray are solid tributes to a variety of beer types, including our recommendation, the rich and complex house IPA.
Blue Star Brewing Company - 1414 S. Alamo #105, San Antonio
Founded by local entrepreneur Joey Villarreal and his wife Magdalena, the Blue Star Brewing Company. has been a hive of activity for San Antonio’s craft beer community since 1996. Shortly upon graduating from college at UTSA, Villarreal opened his first venue—fittingly named Joey’s—on the infamous North St. Mary’s strip. After the success of this first venture, Villarreal discovered an interest in brewpubs and developed his own operation, which culminated into the establishment of the Blue Star Brewing Co. Now with business booming years later, the brewery continues to churn out consistently good micro-brews that remain the talk of the town. We suggest the Texican Lager, a crisp and smooth homage to South Texas.
Alamo Beer Company - 1617 East Commerce, #6101, San Antonio
Located half a mile from its historical namesake, the Alamo Beer Company currently wields a 30-barrel production system—the largest craft beer producer in downtown San Antonio. As a result of this incredibly successful production system, Alamo’s similarly named Alamo Golden Ale enjoys a moderate degree of fame here in the beautiful city of S.A. Wielding a smooth body, crisp finish, and relatively high ABV for its type, this American blonde ale has received a good amount of praise from craft beer critics.