Southside San Antonio Breweries and Distilleries

According to Dictionary.com, a brewery is defined as “a building or establishment for brewing beer or other malt liquors, especially the building where the brewing is done.” According to Your Dictionary, a brewpub is defined as “a bar or restaurant featuring beer that is brewed on-site.” I am a huge fan of statistics, so here are a couple that I dug up. According to the Brewers Association, there are currently 8,920 breweries in the U.S. The association also reports that the state of Texas has 371 breweries, which includes 80 brewpubs.

As for San Antonio, the Texas Craft Brewers Guild states that there are 11 breweries and 11 brewpubs around the San Antonio area. San Antonio’s South Side currently features 1 brewery/brewpub, 1 brewery/distillery, 1 gin distillery and 2 brewpubs, with 2 additional brewpubs opening their doors in 2019.

CURRENT-

Blue Star Brewing Company- Blue Star Brewing Company is an eclectic craft brewery and restaurant, brewing and serving an array of craft beers and featuring upscale pub fare, as well as live jazz music every Tuesday night. The brewpub’s mission is “to serve house-made, craft-brewed beer using wholesome ingredients.” The Blue Star Brewing Company is located at 1414 South Alamo, part of the Blue Star Arts Complex. Founded in 1996, it was San Antonio’s first brewpub. The brewery hand-crafts ales, IPAs, lagers, sours and stouts. The Blue Star Brewing Company is open 7 days a week. Their menu consists of comfort foods and pub classics, using fresh ingredients from local farms. Here are a few of their popular brews: Apache Amber Lager, medium-bodied with a slightly toasted malt flavor, Flying Pig Extra Pale Ale, a refreshing, mildly-hopped light colored ale, King William Ale, a barley, wine-style ale and Texican Lager, made especially for South Texas, featuring dry, crisp, mild flavors.

Image Courtesy of Blue Star Brewing

Dorcol Distilling & Brewing Company- Dorcol Distilling & Brewing Company is a distillery, dedicated to making fine spirits and craft cocktails and a brewery, dedicated to crafting artisan ales. The distillery/brewery is located at 1902 South Flores Street, in the heart of the Southtown Arts District. The distillery was established in 2013 by Chris Mobley and Boyan Kalusevic, two college friends with a passion for hand-crafted spirits. The brewery opened its doors in 2016, launching a line of craft beers under the High Wheel Beer Works brand. The name for the distillery/brewery came from the urban Serbia neighborhood where Boyan was born and raised.

Dorcol is located in the historical municipality- Stari Grad- in the heart of downtown Belgrade. Their signature spirit is called Kinsman Rakia, a Serbian-inspired apricot brandy. Two of their popular cocktails are the Moscow Mule, made with Kinsman Rakia and lime juice and the Negroni, made with Kinsman Rakia, Campari and Sweet Vermouth. As for their brews, favorites include the High Wheel 56, an India Pale Ale with citrus, pine and tropical fruit notes, the High Wheel Betty, a German-style beer with a crisp, light flavor and the High Wheel Coq Hardi, a Belgium-style beer that is crisp and refreshing.

Image Courtesy of Dorcol Distilling & Brewing Co.

Freetail Brewing Company- Freetail Brewing Company is a brewery/brewpub that is named after the Mexican free-tailed bat, the official flying mammal of Texas. At the Bracken Cave, in southern Comal County, an estimated 20 million of these bats call the cave home, from March through October. The brewery, open Wednesday-Sunday, is located at 2000 South Presa Street, while the brewpub, open 7 days a week, can be found at 4035 North Loop 1604 West. Established in 2008, the Freetail Brewing Company began as a 15-barrel brewhouse and today, has grown into a state-of-the-art production brewery.

Every Wednesday evening, Freetail features Sporcle Live Trivia Night, in conjunction with www.sporcle.com, the world’s largest trivia quiz website. Every 3rd Saturday evening of the month, the brewery hosts Hoppy Endings Comedy Night, featuring a lineup of favorites and regulars of The Blind Tiger Comedy Club, San Antonio’s longest-running underground comedy club. The brewery also hosts the popular Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) Festival and Bottle Release. The annual event celebrates Freetail’s bottle release of their La Muerta Imperial Stout. The brewery features several local favorite brews, including Bat Outta Helles, a Bavarian-style Helles Lager, brewed with German Pilsner and Munich Malts, Rye Wit, a Belgian-style Witbier, featuring citrus candy notes and mellow undertones and Soul Doubt IPA, featuring aromas and flavors of citrus, lost pine, orchard fruit and wildflower.

Image Courtesy of Freetail Brewing Co.

Kunstler Brewing- Kunstler Brewing is a brewpub that is located at 302 East LaChapelle Street, in the Lone Star Brewery District. Opened in 2017, by Vera Deckard and her husband Brent, is San Antonio’s first artisanal craft brewpub, which combines Texas pride with German tradition. The name is derived from the German word meaning “artist,” which is Vera’s heritage. Open 7 days a week, Kunstler Brewing specializes in crafting house-made, German-inspired brews and features German and Texas pub fare, including charcuterie and cheese plates and German-inspired salads. Kunstler features a few popular weekly events, including All Day Happy Hour Mondays and Brews & Brains Trivia Thursdays. Big Emma, a Scotch ale with a dominant, rich, sweet malt flavor and Verklemmt, a German Pilsner that is lightly grainy with soft bitterness notes, are two popular brews.

Another local favorite is Ghost Tracks Roasted Porter, an oatmeal stout that is the perfect balance of oats, grains and chocolate. The brew is named after San Antonio’s Haunted Railroad Tracks Legend, the city’s longest-running urban legend. I am totally fascinated with urban legends, so let me tell you a little about this popular legend. There have been several variations throughout the years, but the most common one takes place on San Antonio’s South Side, at the intersection of Villamain and Shane roads, which is crossed by railroad tracks. Sometime in either the late 1930’s or early 1940’s, a school bus, carrying 10 children, was trapped on the railroad tracks at the intersection. A train was traveling towards the school bus but couldn’t stop in time and collided with the school bus, killing all 10 children and the driver of the school bus. It is said that the ghosts of the children that were killed will push any vehicle, that is parked or stalled on the railroad tracks, safely off the tracks. Even though Snopes.com, the oldest and largest fact-checking website, has debunked the legend, many locals still believe the event occurred.

Image Courtesy of Kunstler Brewing

Seersucker Gin Distillery- The Seersucker Gin Distillery is a 5,000 square-foot distilling and bottling facility that is set on 6 acres of land. It is located about 7 miles from Calaveras Lake at 8501 Cover Road. The Azar Family Brands, founded by Trey and Kimberly Azar, launched its first brand- Cinco Five Star Vodka, at the San Antonio Fiesta Festival in 2011. The Seersucker Southern Style Gin made its debut in January 2017, while the Seersucker Southern Style Lemonade and the Seersucker Southern Style Limeade made their debut in March 2018. Seersucker is the world’s first, and only, Southern Style Gin and is the only gin that is made in San Antonio. Even though the facility was not officially opened yet, the Seersucker Gin Distillery provided their first tours on January 14, 2017, during the San Antonio Annual Cocktail Conference. The distillery officially opened its doors to the public on February 15, 2018.

The production area features 16,000-gallon tanks that display huge Seersucker blue and white striped labels. The area also features overhead pipes that send the processed Southern Style Gin, the Southern Style Lemonade, the Southern Style Limeade or the Cinco Five Star Vodka, to either the bottling area to be hand bottled or to the Tasting Room’s custom-made Gin Bar. The bar serves Southern-inspired cocktails, using the 3 Seersucker brands and the Cinco Vodka. The Tasting Room features a 360-degree views of the production area, allowing visitors to see the distilling and packaging processes. The outdoor, beautifully landscaped lawn features an outdoor patio with umbrella-shaded tables and blue and white striped patio furniture and a huge area that features large cozy, comfy beanbags, plush chairs/ottomans and lawn games, including cornhole and bocce ball.

Image courtesy of Seersucker Southern Style Gin

FUTURE-

Dos Sirenos Brewing- 231 East Cevallos Street, the former home of The Beach Bar in the Southtown Arts District, is the future home of Dos Sirenos Brewing, with a projected opening in late March 2019. According to their Facebook page, Dos Sirenos Brewing is a “small, family-owned independent craft brewery, striving to brew great beers for our customers.” There hasn’t been a whole lot of information posted about the brewpub just yet, but we do know a few details. Dos Sirenos Brewing was founded by Michael Sireno and his son, Jacob. Michael’s wife, Kari, is a business partner and Michael’s daughter, Abbey, will handle the creative side.

The brewery features a five-barrel system, which will produce a lineup of 8 flagship beers. Nothing has been set in stone as far as what those 8 brews will be, but according to their website, there will be some style of Amber Ale, a Belgian Wit, a Dos Sirenos Lager, a German Pilsner, a German Weizenbock, a Russian Imperial Stout, a Trident Tripel and a Weiss Guy. The menu will likely feature classic pub grub, like burgers and wings.

Image Courtesy of Dos Sirenos Brewing

Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery- While Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery isn’t new, they are opening a 2nd location at 3005 Sidney Brooks Street, at The Greenline at Brooks, a mixed-use development and former home of Brooks Air Force Base. The brewpub, projected to open its doors some time during the summer of 2019, will overlook the 43-acre Greenline Park. The original location can be found at 136 East Grayson Street, at the Historic Pearl Brewery Complex.

The new 6,000-square-foot facility will feature a 40-seat taproom and an outdoor seating area, with additional seating. Brewery tours will be available to the public, 7 days a week. A few of Southerleigh’s popular brews include the Darwinian IPA, an American IPA that features citrus and pine aromas and flavors, the Southerleigh Gold Export Lager, a traditional German lager that is balanced and smooth, with a slightly bitter malty flavor and the Texas Uncommon Ale, a California Common style of beer, brewed with mint.

Image Courtesy of Southerleigh Brewing

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