Great Beers and Food Make Local Group Out of This World
With their official grand opening February 28th last year, Local Group Brewing has had a difficult first year in business. I fortunately got to check them out then and was looking forward to trying more of their beers and food. Then the pandemic and ensuing shut down went into effect, and ended all plans. I have been waiting with anticipation to try them again, and finally got to try them out and let you know how great they are.
I started with a flight of four of their beers, Gravity Dancer, Magic Flip, Hop School 1, and Loud FX. These are styles that I feel a brewery should have on tap and knock out of the park, and Local Group didn’t disappoint.
Gravity Dancer is a 4.9% ABV oatmeal stout that was roasty with a great mouthfeel, and just enough bitterness to go with the food.
The Magic Flip is a 5.2% ABV dry hopped lager that was a perfect warm afternoon beer. Light and refreshing with a hint of hop character to make it interesting.
Loud FX is a pleasantly bitter amber that was made delightful by being served on nitro, giving it a little more mouthfeel than you typically get with an amber.
The last beer was Hop School 1, a hazy pale ale. Usually I am not a fan of hazy pale ales, as I feel they are just watered down hazy ipas without the mouthfeel you want in that style. This beer showed me how they should be done. It had a creamy mouthfeel with great tropical fruit and citrus.
I finished with their 6.3% hazy/juicy IPA Cloudy Eyes. While it wasn’t as hazy as you would expect with the style, it tasted great, like what I think of as a central coast beer – a great juicy hop character with just a hint of bitterness to clean that palate and make it great with food.
My brother had their collaboration with Holler Beer, Diamond Hands. It is an American brown ale and made me remember how much I love that style, a hint of bitterness with the roasty and chocolatey malt was amazing. If I wasn’t there for lunch, I would probably have had another flight as there are that many more beers I can’t wait to try, including a west coast IPA and a fruited sour.
As for food, we each got the March burger of the month, the Hot Mess Express. I implore you sometime this month to have this burger. It is their in-house made bun with a 6oz 44 farms patty topped with the chili they make in house, crushed fritos, buttermilk ranch, fresno peppers, and spicy mayo. With the name, I ordered this burger expecting a mess and it to fall apart. To my happiness it held together. There was the perfect amount of chili that played alongside the peppers perfectly with the patty and sauces, my stomach is rumbling just thinking about it. The other stand out on the menu are their poutines. They have three versions, one with duck confit gravy and cheese curds, one with the chili and queso and curds, and one vegetarian one with goat cheese, black truffle butter sauce, and a fried egg. My brother and I split the duck confit version and it was amazing, easily enough food for a meal in itself.
The atmosphere was amazing as well, with great homages to space exploration, which is where they get their name, coupled with a great view of downtown. My only real complaint of the whole thing was how few people were there. The great food and wide variety of styles makes this a great option for lunch or dinner.
If you find yourself inside the loop looking for a beer and food, look no further. With a wide range of beer options and a great food menu, Local Group has touched down in the Houston beer scene as a brewpub worth visiting.
Cheers, and happy drinking!