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Top-Rated Beers & Breweries in Houston: March 2016

Every quarter, Brew York New York compiles a list of the top-rated beers and breweries in NYC, using data found on Untappd. Starting last August, I’ve done the same exercise for Houston each quarter. Here’s the quarterly update for March, with a special March twist below.

A quick reminder of the methodology: To make this list, I started with all Houston-area beers with at least 100 Untappd check-ins. I then excluded any beers that have had less than 5% growth in activity since last quarter. The resulting 202 beers from 24 breweries were then weighted using a Bayesian estimate based on total check-ins and ratings. And finally: obviously all ratings should be taken lightly. Ratings are subject to the whims of rarity, perceived excitement, and even personal vendettas from groups of people. This is just a fun exercise but should not be considered a reflection of my opinion or the opinion of Houston Beer Guide.

Last time around, we only had 193 beers from 21 breweries. For the second quarter in a row, three more breweries have qualified for this list, indicative of the city’s steady brewery growth.

The Top Ten Beers in the Houston area, weighted:

Top Beers: March 2016

Atop the chart, not much has changed from last quarter. Southern Star Black Crack rose two spots, largely due to the latest successful release. And sadly, my love of Yellow Rose can’t save it from another quarterly drop. Near the bottom, however, the real excitement occurs: the first sighting in the Top 10 of a Brash beer (likely a sign of more to come), as well as the first time that a No Label beer has made the chart. This year’s Perpetual Peace release has been incredibly highly reviewed and the Single Barrel variety helped as well. Clearly a good sign from the Katy brewery.

The Top Ten Breweries in the Houston area, weighted:

Top Breweries: March 2016

Again, the top of the chart remains unchanged. Much more exciting: Brash’s rise into the Top 5, as well as Texian’s return on the chart, something obviously bolstered by their recent focus on funky & sour beers. Texian’s return dethrones Brazos Valley, which has fallen completely off the chart, something likely affected by their lack of a new qualifying beer since last quarter.

What do you think? It’s March and that means one major thing for sports fans, and a similar thing for Houston beer fans. You’ve seen the rankings above, but now we want you to vote in our own March beer bracket with the top 64 Houston beers. Check it out here!

top-rated-beers-breweries-in-houston-march-2016

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6 Comments

  1. Brandon K

    Nathan- any idea where to find the Top 10 Houston beers in retail? Went to Specs Downtown and only found the 8th Wonder. Any ideas?

    • Nathan Miller

      Brandon –

      1. BBH – Currently available at Karbach brewery on tap. I’ve also seen and heard of bottles around town at some Kroger and HEB locations. Specs carries it when it’s released but sells out within a few days.
      2. Pumpkinator – Currently out of production, it’ll be back in the Fall and then it’ll be all over town basically everywhere you buy beer. I bet some Kroger and HEB locations still have last fall’s batch though. Call around!
      3. Black Crack – This was canned this year and is still available at some suburban stores. Again, calling is your best bet.
      4. Vanilla BBH – I don’t know of anywhere that still has this. Hopefully it’ll be released again soon b/c it was delicious.
      5. Yellow Rose – Check D&Q on Richmond. They tweet every time (weekly) that more YR arrives. Also, Whole Foods and Growlers Montrose often have this in stock.
      6. BB10 – You can still find this at some bars (Little Woodrows Midtown & Mongoose vs Cobra come to mind immediately) or at the brewery itself.
      7. DR15 – Same story as BB10.
      8. Rocket Fuel – As you said, this is at Specs, and many, many other locations.
      9. Perpetual Peace – Not sure if this is still available, but I’d call around to outer-area stores and ask. No Label brewery might be able to help locate some too. D&Q might also still have.
      10. Vulgar Display of Power – This one shows up at bars pretty often. I think Revelry on Richmond just tapped a keg, and I’ve seen it at Whole Foods and various Little Woodrows locations too.

      Almost all of these are available at Flying Saucer from time to time as well.

      • Brandon K

        Nathan you are the man. Thanks so much. Great website. Keep up the good work!

      • Joshua Templeton

        This is some amazing feedback on a question. You are rocking it. Thank you.

  2. Joshua Templeton

    Nathan, I love that you take the time to compile this information. It’s pretty damn helpful for people I think. I’m constantly surfing the web to discover where beers are located and what there new to try in this great city. 8th Wonder has been doing some great things in my opinion. I do like that Rocket Fuel. Tried it in the can but I prefer it straight from the hose. (reference to draft) That Hellfighter is probably one of the few beers that I will drive around town looking for. It’s usually pretty damn delicious. Anyways, I hope you plan on keeping this updated.

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