Craft beer continues to grow in the state as the Texas Craft Brewers Guild promotes brewery industry growth.

The gist

The Texas Craft Brewers Guild, a nonprofit trade association for the state’s craft breweries, launched its new Brew City, Texas program March 28 to foster economic development and further the state as a beer destination. The program has 12 members, including Sugar Land and Galveston in the Greater Houston area, said Caroline Wallace, executive director of the Texas Craft Brewers Guild.

The program has two options for cities and municipalities to join, including:
  • Craft beer destinations: cities known for their craft beer scenes
  • Emerging brewscapes: small communities looking to stimulate economic development by attracting their first brewery
Sugar Land is one of three emerging brewscapes, while Galveston is one of nine craft beer destinations, Wallace said.

Zooming in

Sugar Land is poised to open its first brewery, Talyard Brewing Co., at 1033 Imperial Blvd. this July, bringing a new 3.5-acre family-friendly environment with quality beer and food. The creation of the brewery in Sugar Land came from the idea of enjoying craft beers in the backyard with good friends, co-owner Keith Teague said.

“We had a passion for craft beer and had a desire to have [a destination brewery] in Sugar Land,” he said.

Talyard Brewing Co. will feature a 20-barrel brewhouse with a large beer garden with shaded seating, a pickleball court, a playground and a stage for live entertainment, as previously reported by Community Impact. The restaurant will feature “Texas comfort food,” including handhelds, pizza and desserts, Teague said.

Another area brewery, Texas Leaguer Brewing, brings baseball-themed beers, such as 2 Hopper, an American IPA, and Ghost Rose, an American light lager, and even offers a kid-friendly Little Leaguer Rootbeer. Beyond the brews, owner Nathan Rees said he aims to provide a space for community members to come and hang out to catch up with friends or enjoy a game on the big screens.

Texas Leaguer Brewing opened in Missouri City at 13503 Pike Road in September 2017. Since its inception, Rees said he has seen the industry take off across the Houston area with more breweries beginning to emerge.

“I’ve seen a lot of change in the industry over the last 10 years,” he said, “When we opened, we were the 21st brewery in Houston, and that number has tripled since then.”

By the numbers

In the Houston area, Buffalo Bayou Brewing Co., CounterCommon, Wicked Boxer Brewing, Indigenous Brewing Co. and Twisted Acre Brewery have closed, though Wallace said even with the closures, she is still seeing health in the industry as the number of breweries across the state have grown exponentially.

“We’re seeing signs of a maturing industry where maybe a brewery does close but then maybe a new brewery concept goes right back into that space,” she said. “I think this is a really good time for this program to get serious about economic development and get serious about bringing in new audiences to come and experience breweries.”
According to 2022 data from the Brewers Association, Texas ranks high compared to other states in:
  • Number of craft breweries: 407 (sixth in the nation)
  • Economic impact: $4.55 million annually (third in the nation)
  • Barrels of craft beer produced: 1.3 million (fourth in the nation)
The guild has approximately 50 brewery members across the Greater Houston region, Wallace said.

Get involved

The public is encouraged to download the mobile Texas Brewery Passport app, which offers a full list of over 200 guild brewery members. The app allows users to add stamps to their digital passport to earn badges and collect points to redeem for prizes and merchandise, Wallace said.

“It’s a really great tool if you love visiting breweries,” she said. “It’s location-based, so you can find breweries near you at any ping whether you’re at home or you have a work trip somewhere in Texas.”

What happens next?

Enrollment is ongoing for both craft beer designations and emerging brewscapes, Wallace said. Cities and municipalities wishing to get involved should complete the form here.