Lost and Found at Under the Radar Brewery
This week’s mid day adventure of Houston craft brewing takes me to Under the Radar, located in a small neighborhood bordering on the far south side of Midtown, and the far north side of the Museum District. A little pocket of space in this vast city that, well… that flies under the radar.
I pull into the brewery early on a cold, rainy morning. No one in the neighborhood is stirring. This was a trip to parts and places unknown. THIS is why I love what I am doing.
Upon arriving at the brewery, I observe the General Manager Paul Smyers walking behind the large metal fencing around the outdoor patio area, getting stools set up in the rain. Paul graciously opens the
gate to the patio and lets me inside. We make our way inside the brewery, and the smell of beer in a boil tank overtakes my senses. It’s two hours roughly before the brewery opens on this dreary day as Paul and I start talking about the history of Under the Radar.
Under the Radar was first conceived by founders Ned Davis, Mike Norfleet and Herb Garcia. I am told that the trio first met through their interest in home brewing and a love of the Houston Dynamo. According to Paul, the story goes that the friends would make homebrew for Dynamo game day
tailgates, and quickly became popular amongst the other tailgaters who realized they had interesting beer with them. In 2015, the three decided to take their love for home brewing and the local support and turn it into a commercial brewery. A year later Under the Radar was open for business, and has been faithfully serving the neighborhood and Houston at large since. Paul and I continued to talk about the brewery, the challenges of brewing in an open warehouse without climate control, and the effects that the open elements end up having on the beer being made. We opined on the challenges of breweries having to adapt to constantly changing consumer sentiments of craft beer, the always ongoing competition and cooperation with other breweries in the Houston craft beer market, and finally how someone can think a hefeweizen smells like hotdog water to some people. I swear at the end of our conversation that Paul was an old friend that I hadn’t seen in years.
During our discussion, Paul poured us samples of several beers, with my favorite being Calvin and Hops, a Spring seasonal White IPA (a mix between an American IPA and a Belgian Wit beer) that is 6.4% alcohol by volume. The name Calvin comes from the resident brewery dog, Calvin that can found wandering around the tap room on most weekends. Always looking for attention and treats from anyone willing to offer.
Paul shakes my hand and excuses himself to finish attending to set up before the brewery opens. I find myself outside sitting alone under a tarp with my beer, jotting down notes from my discussion with Paul. Those two hours have passed since I arrived, and I am still not sure of where I am, but certainly Under the Radar with good beer.
Under the Radar is located at 1506 Truxillo Street, Houston Tx. 77004
@undertheradarbrewery on Instagram
www.undertheradarbrewery.com on the Web