The Top 10 Texas Beers of 2012

Categories: Booze, Brew Blog

dr122012.jpg
Saint Arnold Divine Reserve No. 12: enjoyable fresh and suitable for aging.
Taking a look back just four years to former Houston Press food critic Robb Walsh's list of Top 10 Texas beers from 2008 shows what a difference a few years make.

While the list holds some very solid selections, like Pale Moon and Live Oak Pilz -- as well as one carry-over to this list-- the sheer diversity and depth of what is available now highlight the slim pickings on that list. Need further proof? His No. 1 pick, Elissa, isn't even the second-best IPA that Saint Arnold brewed this year.

To compile this list, we looked through hundreds of Texas-brewed beers available this year, researched beer review sites like Ratebeer and Beer Advocate as well as the Great American Beer Festival medal results for Texas breweries the past two years. Then, after careful consideration, we took all that useless crap, threw it out and picked our ten favorite beers this year.

Honorable Mention: Deep Ellum Darkest Hour

The beer that put Deep Ellum on our radar late last year also happens to share its name with a completely awesome metal band -- a band with a Houstonian as a member, no less. We've been waiting for the re-release of this seasonal for ten months. The last batch lasted about a week in Houston and with good reason: It rocks.

10. Saint Arnold Divine Reserve No. 12

This years's Divine Reserve release gets props for a couple of reasons. Much like DR 11 (which has been re-released as Endeavour)f Divine Reserve that was enjoyable for the casual beer drinker yet complex enough to satisfy the beer nerds. It's also enjoyable fresh -- something we simply don't feel DR 9 and DR 10 can claim -- as well as being suitable for aging.

beer-peacemaker-2_250x461.jpg

9. Austin Beerworks Peacemaker

As we remember it, a handful of ABW's year-round brews could have made this list, but since Austin Beerworks pulled out of Houston, we can't really remember what they taste like. A friend was nice enough to bring back a stash of our favorite, Peacemaker, recently. Drinking the white can was kind of like hooking up with our ex: It turns out she was as awesome as we remember, but the whole experience kind of just stirs up bad memories, so we just stopped halfway through and cried ourselves to sleep.

8. Live Oak Hef

Texas's strong German heritage isn't quite dead yet, especially if Live Oak has something to say about it. This is the old standby. The only carry-over mentioned in Walsh's original article, Live Oak Hef isn't just one of the best beers in Texas, it's arguably one of the best Hefeweizens in the entire country. If you don't like this, you don't like beer.

7. Jester King Le Petit Prince

It seems Jester King may have started to really get a grasp on its wild yeast and souring bacteria flavor profiles. We've seen some great stuff in their last three or four releases. We all know Jester King brews great beer, but things have been a bit uneven the past ten to 12 months, and -- if we are being honest -- we aren't quite over the death of Black Metal. If Le Petit Prince is any indication, Jester King is headed in a good direction.


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30 comments
icepigs
icepigs

Royal Scandal wins a gold at GABF, but doesn't even crack the top 10 here?

AmandaconQueso
AmandaconQueso

@CynicalHouston surprised not to see anything from ranger creek or buffalo bayou.

Loquesto
Loquesto

@CynicalHouston Scots Gone Wild was without a doubt my favorite TX beer of 2012

SirRon
SirRon

Who are these people down here!? dO I HAVE TO SAY IT!!?? TERRible. This column has gone to sh!t. *weeeennnk*

nathanmmiller
nathanmmiller

@CynicalHouston great list; another great article. Sad drink'n didn't make the list though. I love that stuff.

CurseOfBenitez
CurseOfBenitez

.@JoshuaAJustice @astrosguy unfortunately, your "take a top 10 and put it into 3 pages" format caused me to only read page one. #DesignFail

timblack2
timblack2 topcommenter

le petit? not so much. that is their weakest beer. literally and figuratively. and as much as i love buried hatchet, i thought you were going for "new" beers on  this list. i don't know anyone who liked DR12 out of the gate. it was way too hot and has benefited from some aging. decent picks overall but i would have put a newer Real Ale on here. i have yet to have a deep ellum i like and not including ANY buffalo bayou? for shame.

thequesoqueen
thequesoqueen

Leaving any Deep Ellum off the list is an oversight! Also, BB Hibiscus Wit made my summer.

mike5342a
mike5342a

What, no fcking Lone Star? 

J.A.Justice
J.A.Justice

I had an incredibly hard time making this list.  I left off at least 15 other beers that you could easily make a case for, including Das Wunderkind!, SS Pro-Am 12,  BB Gingerbread Stout, Revolver Bock, BB1, Deep Ellum Farmhouse Wit, RA 15, half the Mysterium Verum series... 

IndieBrewer
IndieBrewer

@CynicalHouston Good list but I think @SouthernStarBC Pro-AM 2012 is missing. Love that beer when fresh.

crazyfool999
crazyfool999

@CynicalHouston no gingerbread stout no care.

CraigHlavaty
CraigHlavaty

@CynicalHouston I like whatever you and Rascoe like.

CynicalHouston
CynicalHouston

@CurseOfBenitez @astrosguy Well if three pages made you mad, perhaps you'll be better with the amount of fucks I give.

J.A.Justice
J.A.Justice

@timblack2 You saw 512 Pecan Porter and Live Oak Hef and got all the way to Hatchet and still thought I was going with new beers?  

kshilcutt
kshilcutt moderator editor

@thequesoqueen Honorable mention! (Personally, I wish Wealth & Taste had made the list.)

loquesto
loquesto

Scots Gone Wild was without a doubt my favorite TX beer of 2012course @J.A.Justice

CynicalHouston
CynicalHouston

@AmandaconQueso @Loquesto I had a hard time putting a beer so limited on the list. RA barrels were spread very very thin this year.

CurseOfBenitez
CurseOfBenitez

.@CraigHlavaty @JoshuaAJustice @astrosguy cool link to a non-applicable meme, bro!

astrosguy
astrosguy

@CynicalHouston @curseofbenitez ANYTHING is better than a slideshow. Besides, I could read a novel about TX beers. Cheers! #3pagesZeroFucks

JoshuaAJustice
JoshuaAJustice

@astrosguy @CurseOfBenitez @CraigHlavaty you forgot to add "bro" to the end of that tweet. Mixed memes validate errthing. #profeshaccount

astrosguy
astrosguy

@CurseOfBenitez @craighlavaty @joshuaajustice I really need OUT of this convo. #innocentbystander

CraigHlavaty
CraigHlavaty

@CurseOfBenitez @JoshuaAJustice @astrosguy I demand documentation. LOL.

luckiexstar
luckiexstar

@CurseOfBenitez am I supposed to hate or troll you now as a houstonian? :(

luckiexstar
luckiexstar

@CurseOfBenitez lolol he snapped at you from his "non-professional" account.

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