What's brewing in San Antonio: Microbrewery opens in Castle Hills, two brewers merge, and more news
Editor's Note: With a new craft beer spot popping up in San Antonio seemingly every month, it's a lot of work to track all things beer in Alamo City. Here's our roundup of everything that's brewing in San Antonio.
Thirsty Pups begins pouring beers
A new microbrewery is up and running in Castle Hills. Thirsty Pups Brewery & Bottle Shop had a soft opening September 24 at 2211 N.W. Military Hwy., Suite 130. Erik Ureta, who previously worked at Second Pitch Brewing Co. and Alamo Beer Co., is leading Thirsty Pups alongside Audra Perkins. The brewers said during an in-person visit that they plan to have six to eight house beers on tap, with two already available: Crystal Lite West Coast IPA andDozer’s Nitro Best Bitter. They also have guest beverages.
According to reports, Thirsty Pups will concentrate on offering beer while customers are free to bring in or order food from other providers.
Second Pitch, Longtab win gold at GABF
Four San Antonio-area breweries were awarded medals in the 2023 Great American Beer Festival held September 21-23 in Denver.
Second Pitch Beer Co.’s Hometown Lager was a gold medalist in the American amber lager category. Hometown Lager has already garnered several beer-industry awards and honors for Second Pitch.
Longtab Brewing’s DOL received a gold medal in the American-Belgian Style Ale category.
Roadmap Brewing Co.’s Derby Day received a silver medal in the historical beer category.
North of San Antonio, Blanco’s Real Ale Brewing is celebrating having won two medals: a bronze for its Cruzer in the German-style Kolsch category, and a gold for its Real Heavy in the Scotch ale category.
Alamo Beer acquires Viva Beer
Now, both companies are fully joining forces. Alamo’s officials announced earlier in September they were buying Viva, with an eye towards expanding the marketplace and brewing capabilities for the latter label.
Co-owners Michael "MJ" Johnson and Bobby Jones launched Viva in 2019, but reached a significant milestone when they struck a deal with Alamo for brewing operations. Johnson said in a release that a merger between the two companies is a logical next step, with continued mentorship and support from Alamo owner Eugene Simor and his team.
“Eugene has been a mentor of ours since we started. With the help of the Alamo team, we know we can continue to grow the brand throughout San Antonio and beyond,” said Johnson.
Jan Matysiak, Alamo Beer’s new vice president of operations and brewmaster, will continue producing Viva’s recipes for an even larger fan base.
“I have been really impressed with how quickly Viva has grown and how the beer has resonated with San Antonio,” Simor said.
Viva’s El Camino, which features a mobile tap system, will continue to be used for events, Viva officials said.
Big Hops Huebner lives on
There had been speculation over whether Big Hops’ Huebner Road location would be closing its doors, especially since the New Braunfels location shuttered earlier this year. But representatives of the Huebner Road storefront posted September 17 on their social media channels that the location is not closing, but rather undergoing an ownership change.
“We’re still open for business as usual with all your favorite tapmasters behind the bar. We’ll still have the same incredible craft beers we all love and a fridge full of special craft beers as well. New pint nights, trivia schedules, and events are on the way,” the post stated.