Texas’ craft beer scene is still in its developmental stages but hundreds of ambitious men and women are working hard to make Texas the premier state in the union for microbrewed beer. One man who is helping the craft beer revolution is Scott Metzger, owner and CEO of San Antonio’s critically acclaimed Freetail Brewing Company. Here are the facts:
Location:4035 North Loop 1604, Suite 105, San Antonio
Hours of Operation: Sunday, from Noon to Midnight; Monday from 4pm to Midnight; Tuesday through Saturday from 11:30am to Midnight
I visited Freetail Brewing in October, 2011 and found it easy to find, family- friendly, and every bit a restaurant as much as a brewery. The brewpub is located just outside the 1604 loop, in an elevated position that allows for nice views of downtown San Antonio and surrounding areas. A small windmill in back of the building makes it easy to find. The windmill, I was told, is non- functioning and only for show, but it does aid in the location process.
One of many pleasant surprises at Freetail Brewing is the large number of beer products offered. Freetail has produced dozens over its few years of existence and many have been retired and/or were featured only as seasonal products, but there are still a large number in the active rotation. When I visited, there were about twelve Freetail products on tap and a recent check of the Freetail website reveals the following malt beverages presently available:
Round Earth West Indies Pale Ale
Prickly Fairy Peril
La Muerta 2011
Quite an impressive list, wouldn’t you say? Not all beers listed will be available at all times, but Freetail Brewing tries to keep ten to twelve products flowing at any moment. And the products themselves are just as interesting as their creative names. There is a pleasant surprise in every sip at Freetail Brewing Company.
Food is an important component to any brewpub and Freetail Brewing certainly takes its food seriously. The menu is divided among:
Sandwiches and Wraps
Prices are reasonable at Freetail Brewing and many of the menu items seem tailor- made for a specific Freetail Beer. The stone- hearth pizzas are not only delicious and great with beer, they have been recognized by critics for their distinct craftsmanship and amazing taste.
Entertainment at Freetail Brewing is provided by nine high- definition television sets and two 100+ inch screens. With such a large number of screens, guests can treat themselves to non- stop sporting action and, depending on popular demand, other television programming as well. And if you would rather partake in an outdoor atmosphere, consider moving to the outdoor patio and watching the sun set while enjoying your food and brew.
Freetail Brewing is supportive of the craft brewing industry in Texas and it backs that support through its “guest” brewery taps: Kegs of craft beer from a Texas craft brewery, tapped and ready to drink. The guest brewery varies, but some of the featured breweries have included St. Arnold, 512 Brewing, Live Oak Brewing, Independence Brewing, Real Ale Brewing, Southern Star, and others. This is a nice gesture on the part of Freetail Brewing and it shows the businesses’ commitment to Texas craft beer industry.
Freetail Brewing presently maintains only its only location in San Antonio, but it has plans to expand in due time. Houston residents may recall that Freetail Brewing was planning to expand to the downtown area this year, but was forced to place its plans on hold. I asked owner Scott Metzger about this when I visited and he said that Houston has not been completely ruled out. The expansion has only been placed on hold until other concerns are addressed.
Freetail Brewing is certainly a place of distinction and it has several rewards and special recognition to prove it. Beer Advocate ranks it as the number one brewpub in all of Texas and it has been recognized by the San Antonio Express- News Critics Choice in 2009 and was awarded a Silver Medal in 2010 as the “Best Place for a Cold Beer.” San Antonio Magazine selected it as the “Best Place for a Beer” in 2009 and 2010, further solidifying its position as San Antonio’s finest craft beer establishment. Some of its malt beverages have also enjoyed special recognition and continue to win the hearts of critics and casual beer fans in San Antonio and beyond.
San Antonio is a city loaded with historic charm in a state noted for its independence and colorful past. Brewing has a strong history in Texas and is presently in the midst of a full- fledged revival thanks to the brewing creativity and ambitions of hundreds of men and women across the state. Scott Metzger’s Freetail Brewing Company is a perfect example of what can happen when ambition meets creativity and his brewpub is one you don’t want to miss if you happen to visit the San Antonio area.
To read other articles like this, visit Examiner.com