Buffalo Bayou Brewing Company

Buffalo Bayou Brewing Co.
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If you try Buffalo Bayou’s brews—and we recommend you do—you’ll most likely agree with the description of their slant, “Drown ideology in beer.” As far as most breweries go, especially Houston breweries, although they pay homage to old-time recipes and processes, these guys also like to break the rules a little. And in that, they represent Southeast Texas culture quite well.

Like most Houstonians and other Texas swampland inhabitants, Buffalo Bayou Brewing Company reflects the Texas republic’s ruggedly independent, outlaw spirit: "Just have fun, and do it how you want, not necessarily how it’s 'supposed' to be."

The Houston skyline and the Buffalo Bayou.
The Houston skyline and the Buffalo Bayou. Katie Haugland

And Buffalo Bayou does just that: they have fun. Established in 2011, Buffalo Bayou has quickly made a name for itself as a forward-thinking, fearless brewery. Their company is definitely not a big corporation, but it’s also not a hyper-niched, micro-micro bru haus. It’s an urban brewery, but it’s southern and laid back. And even though they know darn well how to make a proper, really good beer, they use their expertise to pioneer new tastes for Texan beer lovers.

Buffalo Bayou Brewing Co.

Their brews are divided into two categories, Heritage and Secessionist, and both of them are distinctly Houston. One classic, and one progressive. The Heritage series includes three old-guard styles. Their “1836” copper ale is favored by many Houstonians as their signature beer, and it’s a favorite menu item in Houston restaurants like Local Foods . It’s full of deep, earthy, and roasted malty flavors . Next, the Great White Buffalo is a citrusy witbier that’s perfect for, as the brewery describes it, “Houston’s warm season: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, and the first three weeks of December.” And their third Heritage brew, More Cowbell, is very drinkable but pulls a strong punch with 9% ABV and awesome hoppy notes.

Buffalo Bayou Brewing Co.

While their Heritage selection is highly respected for their attention to classical brewing, Buffalo Bayou’s Secessionist series is where things really get interesting. With more than 20 different brews, their outlaw, mad-scientist tendencies are at play, and they’re successful. Without mentioning them all, this series spans a range including everything from the very popular, sweet Black Raz—with its raspberry and dark chocolate flavors—to their crazy 11% ABV fig concoction, Figaro Figaro Fiiigaaaro, to a pleasing Chai Porter, and everything in between. Another big hit among locals, especially in spring and summer, is the Ginger Citrus IPA (they apparently didn’t feel like coming up with a witty name for that one, but it’s still good).

With its broad variety and fun take on things, Buffalo Bayou is a refreshing change of pace. Perhaps that’s why, every year, more and more local pubs and restaurants carry Buff Brews. And, just like Houston, we think that once you get to know it, you’ll definitely like it.

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