Visiting Texas-- what beer to try?
In San Antonio, I would be on the lookout for beers from Freetail Brewing - draft only except for special release bottles.
Austin has a number of good breweries, but I would make sure to try beers from Jester King. Bottles and draft available. Also, Live Oak, particularly their hefeweizen. Draft only.
Houston has Karbach. Cans and draft. And Saint Arnold, probably the easiest to find (draft and bottles) but not my favorite, though some of their beers are very good.
Uh, while Shiner from the Spoetzl Brewing Co. was once a small, local Texas beer, it is owned by Gambrinus (a company that made it's money primarily as one of the 2 US importers of Corona) and is distributed in most of the US - only HI, OR, ID, NY and the New England states currently don't get the Shiner beers. http://www.shiner.com/main.php?page=w...
If not too late, check out the Pecan Porter from (512). St. Arnolds Divine Reserve series are usually good as well.
The Petrol Station in Houston was kind of off the beaten path but had a fantastic beer selection, really knowledgeable and friendly bartenders and an excellent pastrami sandwich. I had read recommendations for the burgers there (lamb, I think) but it was an hour wait for burgers when I was there.
If you are looking for a place to sit and drink a few beers in austin, I would also suggest Uncle billy's Brew and Q. There are 2 locations. I've never been to the Lake Travis location, but it is noted for it's great view of the lake.
The BBQ that i have had there was ok, though not in the league with the best BBQ in the area, though. But the beer is great. I haven't been in a while, but they always have a different seasonal beer along with the regulars. The Brewmaster Brian Peters was one of the founders of Live Oak Brewing Co., which also makes great beer.
There is one caveat. Brain and the other brew master (Amos Lowe) are leaving in early 2013 to open their own brewery in south Austin. Accd to this article they are still there though:
Addendum to my previous post:
The Lake Travis location is closed for the season,
And this, from Austin eater:
"Michael Waters, formerly of Independence Brewing Company, will take over the suds detail at the Billy's Barton Springs location"
So, dimsumgirl, if you like Independence Brewing company's beers, then you'll probably like his beers, too.