Beer is a family business for Alex. He said his father has been homebrewing since he was 10, and his younger sister, Sydney Porter, is the head brewer for Southern Yankee.
Before moving to Houston 11 years ago, Alex lived all around the U.S. because his father was in the Navy, he said. The name Southern Yankee Crafthouse acknowledges Houston is a city of transplants.
“Not everybody’s Southern. There’s a whole lot of yankees around,” Alex said. “That’s who we are, too.”
The husband-and-wife duo brought their first concept, the brewery Southern Yankee Beer Co., to the north end of Houston in 2018. They then opened Southern Yankee Crafthouse in a remodeled 1920s house in Montrose in September 2021.
Alex describes the crafthouse’s menu as elevated pub food. Its main offerings are pizza, beer and specialty cocktails. However, the menu includes a number of sharable options, salads, sandwiches and desserts.
“It’s a big menu for how big our spot is,” Alex said.
The crafthouse introduces a new beer or two created by Sydney every week on average. Executive Chef Matt Baum frequently puts on specials, and the menu rotates seasonally. Patrice attributes the continuous changes to being located in Montrose.
“There’s intrinsic motivation here to do different things,” she said.
Patrice said she appreciates the authenticity of Montrose, noting the crafthouse and its staff embody it.
“It’s a home for people of all types and interests,” she said. “We fit within that.”
The crafthouse keeps the number of TVs to a minimum, instead creating space for people to talk to one another over a meal or a drink, undistracted, Alex said.
“We want to be your average weeknight, weekend spot that you go to hang out with your friends. It’s casual but elevated,” he said.
The Porters said they see a lot of regular customers at Southern Yankee and enjoy watching them build relationships with the waiters and bartenders.
“It’s that neighborhood kind of vibe,” Patrice said.
Patrice said an integral part of the crafthouse’s mission is comfort, both for their team and their customers.
“No matter what you’re looking for, you can find something that you’ll enjoy here and then feel comfortable while you’re here,” Patrice said.
Southern Yankee Crafthouse
1312 W. Alabama St., Houston
Hours: Sun.-Thu. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-midnight