What’s brewing in San Antonio: New craft beer bars pour into Alamo City
Editor's note: The bustling San Antonio beer scene is always changing — usually with openings and closures, but there are other twists along the way. Let's discuss it over a cold one.
Beerhead Bar launches
Beerhead Bar and Eatery, a pub chain mostly familiar to upper Midwestern craft beer fans, recently made its Texas debut in northwest San Antonio.
Having opened in early January, the first Beerhead in the Alamo City is located at 19338 Babcock Road, north of Six Flags Fiesta Texas and La Cantera. It features a curated craft beer list with more than 50 brews on tap and hundreds available in bottles.
According to a news release, Beerhead offers a full-service menu with indoor and outdoor dining, including a patio featuring duel firepits. The family-friendly eatery will also host acoustic-only musical guests on most weekend evenings.
Beerhead’s kitchen has lunch and dinner menus marked by pub grub staples, such as burgers, pizzas, shareables, desserts and their signature Barbarian Pretzel. Brunch is available on Saturdays and Sundays, including the Good Morning Goodfella Pizza, Brunch-ITO burrito and tequila mimosas.
San Antonio residents Marci and John Jewett own the new local franchise, which joins fellow Beerhead Bars that operate mainly in Ohio.
“The thoughtfulness of the food menu appeals to nearly every taste, and the vast craft beer, spirits, and wine list make it a perfect place to unwind and enjoy in the growing community of northwestern San Antonio,” Marci said in a statement.
Customers at Beerhead may also get take-out or have food delivered using the Beerhead app or through their website. Customers may also take advantage of the Beerhead 365 Rewards program to access promotional discount and VIP invites to new releases and tastings.
Coffee and beer bar opening up
Northwest San Antonio has another newcomer that local beer and coffee aficionados will embrace.
Refuge Coffee and Beer Garden will be opening its doors later this January at 11011 Shaenfield Rd. According to the owners, Refuge will offer craft coffee and treats using locally sourced ingredients, and will focus on Texas craft beers, wines, and mead.
There are also plans for food trucks, entertainment, special events, and spaces that can accommodate a recreational visit or a spot to work or study.
More dry options at breweries
As more beverage-makers are meeting the wants and needs of people seeking non-alcoholic options, more San Antonio brewpubs are getting on the wagon by offering non-alcoholic beers and zero-proof spirits.
Thirsty Pups Brewery in Castle Hills introduced Sober Water, a hop water with what the owners described as having a “slight floral and grassy aroma, finishing with a slight citrus and carbonic bite.”
Idle Beer Hall and Brewery now provides a mocktail menu, including Spanish Tonic, made with Ritual zero-proof gin, Fever Tree tonic, juniper berries and fresh citrus. Idle also just added bottles of Heineken 0.0 to their offerings.
Black Laboratory’s first seltzer
CultureMap San Antonio reported last month on Black Laboratory Brewing’s decision to stop brewing beer in favor of seltzers.
While the East Side brewpub sells off the last of its originally produced beers, it introduces its first seltzer of the year, just in time for the upcoming annual San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo, which takes place a short drive from the brewery.
The Rodeo Tea, described as a hard sweet iced tea, was unveiled January 10. Rodeo Tea has 5.0 ABV and is available only on draft and to go in growlers at Black Laboratory.
Big Hops exits Cibolo
The San Antonio-based chain of craft beer bars Big Hops has closed its Cibolo location. The owners provided no details about the closure, but the franchise northeast of San Antonio was reportedly shuttered at the end of 2023.
Big Hops bars remain open at Bitters Road and West Avenue, Potranco Road, and at Loop 1604 and Shaenfield Road. Big Hops also closed its New Braunfels storefront in 2023, and Big Hops at Huebner Road appears headed for a change in ownership and name although the concept will stay the same.