My first 5 stops at Untapped Houston


Untapped Houston is this Saturday at Discovery Green, and you’re obviously going. You’re not? Oh. Well, you really should. It’s Houston’s best annual craft beer festival by far, and also doubles as a pretty cool music fest too. Plus, the weather is supposed to be awesome. So, yeah. You should buy tickets. Go. I’ll wait.

OK, now we can talk about the beer. It’s a huge list, both awesome and overwhelming at once. It’s one of those classic #beernerdproblems — you want to drink all the beers (and tick all the ticks) but you don’t even know where to start. That’s where this post comes in. I’ve been to a beer fest or four, and since I’m a nerd about these things, I never go in without a gameplan (and/or a spreadsheet). After a few hours of staring at the list, I’ve got a pretty good idea of what I want to drink. Maybe more importantly, I also know what I’m going to drink first.

Jester King

A pretty obvious first stop, and a repeat from last year’s first stop and first beer: 分 桃, aka Fen Tao, their peach sour. In addition to having an awesome label/name/story, it’s delicious. I’m pretty confident that this will be the first keg to blow on Saturday, so it’s a no-brainer. Don’t ignore La Vie en Rose while you’re here: this farmhouse ale refermented with “leftover” Atrial Rubicite raspberries is nowhere near as famous as AR (it also looks and tastes almost nothing like it), but it’s a great beer on its own.


I remain bitter about the biggest tease in recent Texas craft beer history (RIP, Freetail Houston), but Freetail still rocks. I’m most excited about trying their Peach Berlinercus, a blend of Yo Soy Un Berliner (their summer seasonal Berliner Weisse) and Peche’cus (their rye wit aged in wine barrels with peaches). They’re also bringing Rye Wit (what it says on the tin) and Oktobefiesta (an Oktoberfest with a twist in the form of Belgian yeast).


These guys seem to be flexing their creative muscles a bit more lately, with the most exciting project (to me, anyway) being the recently announced Fieldworks series. Three of the six Karbach beers available at Untapped will be “new to me”: Bourbon Barrel Hellfighter with Vanilla, Belgian Tripel, and Belgian Pale Ale. If you haven’t tried it yet, the Fieldworks Brett IPA is definitely worth a shot, too.

Firestone Walker

Few U.S. breweries can match these guys when it comes to the diversity of their exceptional portfolio — they make kickass “regular” beers (two of which, Pivo Pils and Union Jack IPA, will be at the fest), and they’re at the head of the class when it comes to barrel-aged monsters. They’re only bringing one of the latter to Untapped, but it’s a doozy: Helldorado, a blonde barleywine that they just released for the very first time. I missed out on a bottle, but there’s no way I’m missing it on Saturday.

Live Oak

A huge key to surviving a long day at a beer festival is making sure many of your pours are low in alcohol. There’s no better place to do this than at the Live Oak stand. Their Hefeweizen (5.2%) is world class and on the short list of “best beers in Texas” regardless of style. They’re also bringing two rarer beers that I’m excited to try for the first time: the 3.0% abv Grodziskie (a top-fermented, smoked, hoppy, all-wheat Polish style that was nearly extinct), and the 4.4% Helles Rauchlager (a pale, smoky and bitter lager brewed using a decoction mash).

You’ll note that I’ve only suggested 15 of the 250 or 300 beers that will be available on Saturday. That’s no knock on many of the breweries/beers that went unmentioned. There’s going to be a TON of good stuff out there. Just to name a couple more:

-Saint Arnold is bringing their delicious new Art Car IPA and their eminently crushable (and also delicious) Boiler Room Berliner Weisse. They’re also serving some Divine Reserve and Bishop’s Barrel big guns at scheduled times. Expect lines for those.

-8th Wonder and Buffalo Bayou are each bringing staples (Rocket Fuel and Hopston; 1836 and More Cowbell), rarities (Mission Control and AstroTurf; Peppermint Gingerbread Stout and Whiskey’d Smoke on the Bayou), and Cream Ales (Dome Faux’m and Sam’s Daily).

-Brash has released four Houston-brewed beers (all of which are really good), and three will be at Untapped: Cortado Imperial Coffee Stout, Cali Green IPA, and Pussy Wagon Imperial IPA.

Hell, that’s just some of the Houston stuff. There’s so much more. KBS! Red Bud! Commissar! BA Narwhal! BA Bigfoot! The Calling! Saison-Brett! Yellow Rose! Sorachi Ace! Abyss! Burton Baton! 120! Zoe! La Folie! Cali Belgique! Golden Monkey! Outer Darkness!

You get the point. If you made it this far and you’re still not going, you confuse me. But I’m not giving up on you. Go get those tickets. See y’all on Saturday.



Beer nerd. Erstwhile beer blogger. Mexican Houstonian.

Related Articles

  • Hard Seltzers Have Landed at Houston Breweries

    Hard Seltzers Have Landed at Houston Breweries

    The summer of 2019 was the summer of White Claws and Trulys. They were the perfect option for a low-calorie, light, refreshing beverage for people who may not like beer. Hard Seltzers could barely stay on the shelf at the grocery store. The big beer brands took notice, and the summer of 2020 was the

  • Introducing the Texas Coast IPA

    Introducing the Texas Coast IPA

    Happy Texas Independence Day! Today we celebrate our home state with the anniversary of the adoption of the Texas Declaration of Independence.  25 million Texans celebrate our liberty and honor the founding generation of Texans who secured it for us.   I can’t think of a more perfect day to announce an upcoming initiative we are

  • What to Expect When You’re Expecting Not to Drink

    What to Expect When You’re Expecting Not to Drink

    What better way to start off a new gig than by not doing the thing you were hired to do? Well, here we are, with my first submission for Houston Beer Guide being of some non-beers as I’m in the midst of my decision to take part in Dry January. Which I have to admit

  • Goodbye 2020 – Hello 2021!

    Goodbye 2020 – Hello 2021!

    Greetings Houston!  I’m proud to announce that Houston Beer Guide is making a triumphant return in January with new contributors, ready to document and share Houston’s finest craft beers, exploding beer culture and expanding beer scene.  We aren’t real professional journalists, just passionate beer lovers that want to give Houston’s beer community a voice. We


  1. E. Caves

    Nice recs. looking forward to trying those “new to me” as well Karbacs.
    Do u know know of any promo/discount codes for tickets to untapped?

    • Jose Luis Cubria

      Just seeing this comment, sorry if you tried posting before the fest and we missed it. You should still be able to track down a lot of those beers around town, though. Also, keep an eye out for promo codes for the Untappeds around the state — Dallas and San Antonio are both in November. Twitter may be your best bet.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Name *

Email *


Houston Beer Guide

Please excuse our enthusiasm. We're not professional journalists, we're just passionate beer lovers. Our goal is to give Houston's beer community a voice. We hope you'll listen.


  • bryan-soliz
  • cody-miller
  • james-weiss
  • josh-wharton
  • lazeric-white
  • sylvia-benavidez
  • tristin-marcks


  • sylvia-benavidez
  • tristin-marcks

Enjoy our site? Follow us to see more.