I Need Beer: Who’s The Best Local Amarillo Brewery?
For better or for worse, I love beer.
If I'm outside grilling or hanging with friends, I like to throw a few down.
I get tired of drinking the same ol beers over and over though. I became a true beer drinker in Fort Collins, CO. Home to some incredible breweries such as New Belgium and Odell, I was spoiled when it came to killer craft beers.
I've never been able to duplicate the success of living there though when it comes to craft beers. I'm always willing, but hesitant to try local craft beers these days. Simply put, I haven't found anything that can rival those 2 breweries.
So does Amarillo have one that I can frequent? Will I find a beer here that can rival those breweries?
I looked up the breweries in Amarillo so I can get an idea of where I should be looking to do some taste testing. Here are the ones I seemed to land on to check out.
PONDASETA BREWING CO.
So this is the one that seemed to have the biggest following. I decided to dig into their beer menu online and see what they offered. Most breweries usually offer up only 3-4 beers at a time, so I had to be sure.
Well I can safely report back after my research that is NOT the case here. With 12 different beers on tap, 2 cans and even a bottle of a stout beer, I see plenty on here to spend a day tasting different brews.
Of the drafts they had listed, I have to say there is one that wildly intrigued me. Not because it seems to be the flavor of beer I dig, but because they used an ingredient that I'm not sure I've ever seen a beer use before.
"Watermelon-Becky" is the name of the brew, and it's the watermelon that sucks me in. I've never seen someone infuse that into a beer. According to their website, they start with their house blonde ale called Becky. Then they referment the beer with watermelon juice to give it it's finish.
I gotta say, this interesting combination is just enough to drive me in there to check it out. Just remind me not to go in with high expectations, I don't want to be let down by this one.
Also, remind me to try the highly rated Clay Day IPA on tap. It's one of the highest rated beers on their website, and billed as a West Coast IPA...which is how I like em.
SIX CAR PUB & BREWERY
Moving on to the next brewery I found, Six Car. Remember when I said most breweries usually only offer up 3-4 at a time? Point and case here.
Looking over the (limited) options they had, I saw a Marzen, IPA, Kolsch and a Hefeweizen.
I'm not a big Marzen or Kolsch fan, so really I'm down to 2 options at Six Car. I think I have to lean to the Hefeweizen to try out.
My favorite beer of all time comes from Odell Brewing in Fort Collins. It's called Easy Street Wheat. Hands down the best wheat/Hefeweizen beer I've ever had. It's an unfiltered wheat that when stirred up properly adds SO much body and flavor.
Because of this, I'm SUPER picky about my wheat/Hefeweizen beers. I've had maybe 2 that have had a chance at rivaling Easy Street, but I'll always try it out when I see it on the menu.
The Hefe at Six Car is called "Droughtbuster" and it's a collaboration with Old Tascosa Brewing. There isn't much info on Six Car's site about the beer. They say it's light bodied and loaded with flavor. While I can appreciate that, I'd like to know a LITTLE more about it. Guess I'll just have to stop in to check it out.
BIG TEXAN BREWERY
Ok, so I know a lot of Amarillo says "The Big Texan" is a tourist spot, and you may not be wrong on that. However, they do have their own brewery there AND they offer a ton of options.
Looking over their site, I counted 11 different styles to sip on. I can say that I've already had one of them, and came away somewhat impressed.
I partook in a Palo Duro Ale when my family and I went to have dinner there one night. I didn't have high expectations because I thought to myself, how good could the craft beer taste at what is considered a tourist spot?
Maybe it was that thinking that allowed me to enjoy it more than I thought I would, or maybe it really was just a pretty darn decent beer. Good balance and flavor, not too hoppy (like some pales can get) and not too high in alcohol content, which is where things can really go wrong if it's not balanced well.
It was good enough for me to want to go back and try a couple different ones.
The "El Hefeweizen" promotes that unfiltered wheat I like so much, and the "Rattlesnake IPA" claims to have those floral hops that give the IPA a different punch. Maybe it's time to go grab a steak and a couple of beers.
So who's your favorite? Where am I going to enjoy myself the most? Let me know, just don't steer me in the wrong direction.
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