While the pace of Austin restaurant openings slowed down in 2019, the local craft beer scene is hotter than ever. But that doesn’t mean that beer fans should stay within the city limits.
Breweries are also pouring into the San Antonio area, with five opening in November and December, and three more planning to serve beer enthusiasts in early 2020. Hit the road with this handy guide to the Alamo City’s latest brew stops.
Back Unturned Brewing — 516 Brooklyn Ave., San Antonio
Opened on November 19, Back Unturned is the work of owner/head brewer Ricardo Garcia. Garcia and team have installed a 10-barrel system in the former downtown home of Brooklynite, capable of churning out up to 20 kegs a week. The small batches allow for endless variety in the offerings, like a recent chocolate coconut porter and a fruity farmhouse ale. Along with the brews, the spot is also earning raves for chef Jared Cattoni’s easygoing bar menu of simple salads, decadent deserts, and wood-fired pizzas.
Blue Star Brewing — 7400 San Pedro Ave., San Antonio
San Antonio’s first craft brewpub gave Black Friday shoppers a welcome gift November 29 with the debut of its second location at North Star Mall. In addition to offering its signature craft brews like Texican Lager and King Willian Ale, the site also boasts a full bar and food menu specializing in San Antonio flavors.
Silber Brewing — 39 Rust Ln., Boerne
James and Hannah Silber and business partners Erik Ureta and Audra Perkins are all certified cicerones, the beer equivalent of sommeliers. Since November 7, they have also been running Boerne’s newest brewery and taproom. True to their beer nerd status, the project features some of the most creative brews in the area like a rose saison aged in a Chardonnay barrel and a watermelon sour. The offerings make imaginative pairings for food truck fare from Bubba’s Brat Haus and other visiting mobile kitchens.
Black Laboratory Brewing — East Houston Street, San Antonio
This upcoming East Houston Street brewery comes from a microbiologist and biochemist, but don’t expect owners Tim Castaneda and Jeff Weihe to bring any mad science to the pint. Instead, the team focuses on approachable offerings like a traditional German kolsch style blonde and a specialty amber brewed with juniper and Texas honey. It’s unclear, however, when the brewery will finally be open to the public. It has been dark on Facebook since July when it announced it had received a brewing license from the state.
Dos Sirenos Brewing — 227 E. Cevallos St., San Antonio
Joining a bustling Southtown brewery scene that includes Dorcol Distilling’s HighWheel brand, Blue Star, Kunstler, and Freetail’s South Presa Street location, Dod Sirenos comes from father-and-son brewing team Michael and Jacob Sirenos. The taproom will initially focus on European styles, including a hefeweizen, a Belgian wit, a Russian imperial stout, a winter ale, and a Belgian triple. The space will also serve as a community watering hole with a stage for live music, a variety of games, and a small kitchen preparing burgers, wings, chicken, Italian sandwiches, appetizers, and desserts. According to the elder Sirenos, the brewery will be open in December, pending inspections.
Kinematic Brewing — I-10, Comfort
Though it originally opened in a business park east of Boerne in September 2015, Kinematic took a break in April 2018 to focus on construction of a new standalone site off Interstate 10 closer to Comfort. The project has taken a little longer than anticipated. Originally slated for summer/fall 2019, it now has been pushed back until early 2020. Once open, it will be a destination brewery for quick road trips, offering a family-friendly setting with lawn games and a small stage, plentiful indoor and outdoor seating, and breathtaking Hill Country views.
Longtab Brewing — 4700 Timco W. Ste. 105, San Antonio
Founder David Holland and head brewer Mike Brown became interested in craft beer while serving as Green Berets, and the name is a nod to the “long tab” or cloth patch, worn by members of the U.S. Army Special Forces. Now, the team is opening a brewpub and coffee bar on the Northwest Side. True to their love of the country, the operation will brew classic American styles and a few German and Belgian classics made with 100 percent U.S.-grown hops and grain. According to a late October company newsletter, Longtab has been busy installing a new seven-barrel brewing system, chilling system, and tap lines with hopes for an early December soft opening. The team doesn’t appear to have hit any snags, as a November 29 Facebook post shows that brewery is now hiring.
Viva Brewery — 533 Delaware St., San Antonio
Cofounders and neighbors Bobby Jones and Michael Johnson are outfitting part of a former East Side auto parts warehouse with hopes of opening the brewery and tasting room in fall 2020, but Viva has already been spotted around town offering samples at events and has announced a production partnership with Austin’s Celis Brewery. Viva will offer an approachable lineup that includes core beers Amarillo Ale (American lager), Ale Nino (pale ale), and Battle of Hops (IPA). A September press release announcing the concept made no mention of any food onsite, but the East Side warehouse development does offer space for a restaurant.