Like in most major cities, the craft brew revolution means San Antonians are swimming in fine, locally made beer. And if you find yourself downtown, you can sample almost all of them in one fell hoppy swoop.
Since bikes and brews are a perfect pairing, I suggest you cycle your way through some of the best beers San Antonio has to offer. One word of caution: There’s a lot of beer in and around downtown, and some of these breweries offer some high-octane stuff. Plan right, pace yourself, eat along the way and you should be able to keep your wheels straight ahead:
Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery/ The Granary ‘Cue & Brew
136 E. Grayson St., Suite 120, southerleigh.com/ 602 Avenue A, thegranarysa.com
The Pearl will get you off to a very boozy start with two breweries so close you won’t yet need the bike. Granary’s beer list is shorter – three staples and a house seasonal – but it packs an interesting, complex punch, especially the coffee IPA, which is remarkably light and crisp for a beer with such a bold coffee kick. Southerleigh’s beer list, however, has serious range – from a sake-style beer with serious tang to its #HatchTag (the only time I’ve ever wanted a refill on a pepper beer). The only thing I’d avoid between the two is Southerleigh’s strangely sweet cream ale. Otherwise, you’ll probably want to drink everything on both lists. Which means you’ll want need food to control the buzz. Good thing one of these joints is a Bon Appétit-lauded barbecue joint. And good thing it’s not a far ride to the next stop on the list …
Alamo Beer Co.
202 Lamar St., alamobeer.com
Bike up and down the Hays Street Bridge to burn off some of the food and beer (oh, and to enjoy the best view of downtown San Antonio) before stopping at Alamo for a pint. Alamo keeps it simple, with what’s probably the least assuming beer list of the bunch. If you go soon, you can sample their Oktoberfest, which is full-bodied and slightly nutty, but not heavy enough to bog you down as you trek to the next stop.
Blue Star Brewing
1414 S Alamo St., bluestarbrewing.com
By this point, it’s definitely time for more food, and it’s only a short ride to this two decade-old Southtown brewpub. Depending on what state you’re in by round four, you can snack on some garlic and parsley fries or go all out for a burger and beer. You can’t go wrong with the Green Tractor IPA.
HighWheel BeerWorks inside Dorcol Distilling & Brewing Co.
1902 S. Flores St., dorcolspirits.com
Why not make the second-to-last stop a little classy? While Dorcol might be best known for its award-winning Kinsman Rakia apricot brandy, the bar sports a short list of in-house artisan ales. The Betty, a refreshing traditional Kolsch-style ale, might just be the perfect cap to a long, hot day of booze-cruising. But we’re not done yet…
2000 S. Presa St., freetailbrewing.com
Freetail gave the downtown beer-loving crowd a new weekend watering hole when it opened up its South Presa tasting room in late 2014. You can grab a Freetail staple like its Bavarian Bat Outta Helles lager or get a little weird with something like the tart Watermelon Bexarliner.