Texas is a large state. Driving from east to west along the interstate highway can easily take 13 to 15 hours, provided you don’t get busted for speeding or something else along the way. It’s easy to put the pedal to the metal, as they say, when you’re driving across so many open miles of interstate highway, but there is a far more enjoyable and less costly way to get “busted” in Texas and it makes for the perfect midway, cross- Texas road trip break. It’s Busted Sandal Brewing, located at 7114 Oaklawn Drive in San Antonio, TX.
Busted Sandal is a small operation consisting of a tap room and brewhouse. The tap room space is limited and cannot hold very many guests, but it is cozy nonetheless, making it more than suitable for sampling beers, catching the latest Spurs game, and meeting new people. The brewhouse is directly behind the taproom and is easily accessible through an ordinary doorway. Tours are conducted periodically, whenever the interest arises and enough people are present.
Busted Sandal Brewing offers its beers in draft form and in cans, with retail sales throughout the greater San Antonio area. They also fill growlers here in the taproom, so bring your growler along with you, for beer to go.
Beer on Tap
Busted Sandal had a good number of beers on tap when I visited. Here is a summary of the beers I sampled, alphabetical by name, followed by my Untappd rating on a five point scale:
- 210 Ale, Blonde Ale, 3.75
- El Robusto, Porter, 3.75
- El Robusto Barrel Aged, Porter, 4.25
- Fire Pit Wit, Witbier, 3.75
- Hopdong, American IPA, 4
- Jeffeweizen, Hefeweizen, 3.75
- Slippery Rock, American IPA, 3.75
- Vigo the Carpathian, Imperial Stout, 4
Overall average rating: 3.88
I like what I sampled at Busted Sandal and I was particularly partial to the darker beers. The El Robusto Barrel- Aged Porter was my overall top pick, but in truth, every beer was good and worthy of a second helping.
Remember Busted Sandal
San Antonio, Texas has been a late bloomer to the craft beer scene. Unlike nearby Austin, which can claim approximately 40 breweries in its metropolitan area, San Antonio is home to only about 12. You have to search a little longer and drive a little further to find home- grown beer in San Antonio and craft beer lovers may very well sense a feeling of puzzlement that a city of this size has so few breweries of its own.
I was fully aware of the slow response in San Antonio to the craft beer revolution, but I also knew that several noteworthy breweries existed within the city. I had heard of Busted Sandal Brewing through my attendance at beer festivals and judging from the beer I sampled, I knew Busted Sandal had something going for it. I made it a point to add this San Antonio operation to my short list of Texas breweries slated for a visit.
Busted Sandal Brewing is located very close to Interstates 410 and 10, northwest of downtown. Exiting Interstate 410 at Fredericksburg Road and then turning right on Oaklawn, you will see a sign telling you that the brewery is located in a small retail/industrial complex. You will then need to make a quick right turn to get to the brewery. Not knowing that it was up- front, I continued to drive and came across a recreation center called Thin Air. I had to turn around and go back and discovered that the brewery is located in front, very close to Oaklawn.
Busted Sandal has been around for a few years now and continues to grow. The tap room at present is not very large, but don’t let that discourage you from paying a visit. I arrived here late on a Saturday and while there were only a handful of people present, they were all very friendly and ready to chat about anything. I took time to talk to Mike DiCicco, the founder of the brewery, who was a great person for conversation. Whether you want to know about the brewery, San Antonio happenings, or anything else, Mike is ready to chat. He also took some time to conduct a tour for the handful of people present and in doing so, effectively filled me in on Busted Sandal Brewing and its future.
Like I said, I knew about Busted Sandal previously thanks to the brewery’s presence at beer festivals. The first Busted Sandal beer I ever tried was Slippery Rock IPA and it made a positive impression; enough that I wanted to try more. Busted Sandal’s distribution is growing, but I knew that it was still confined to the greater San Antonio area so the only way I would get to try any new beer was to take a trip westward from my base in Houston. I was impressed at the number of beers on tap when I visited and I liked every beer I tried. My only wish is that Busted Sandal would expand distribution about 150 to 200 miles to the east. In due time, this could very well happen but for now, you can only find this brewery’s product if you visit San Antonio or happen across their beers at a large beer festival.
A state the size of Texas has many things to offer and the craft beer scene continues to grow and improve each year. San Antonio is still playing catch- up, but there is much to be said for the established breweries that call this historic city their home. It makes for a great excuse for a road trip stopover so if you find yourself stuck in the car on a long, cross- Texas, Interstate 10 excursion, forget remembering the Alamo- remember Busted Sandal Brewing instead. And tell them Great Beer Now sent you.