27 Dec Texas Craft Beer Report 2019: Summary for Houston Beer
The Texas Craft Beer Report 2019 had a lot of Houston breweries showing up. There’s still much information to be reported, and there are some flaws to work out for 2020.
We read about beer, we review beer, and we share beer with anybody that’s thirsty, so why not do the same with a beer report?
Texas Craft Beer Report: The Facts
Hopalytics, an independent analytics group dedicated to providing more defined data and data analysis to craft brewers, recently released the inaugural Texas Craft Beer Report.
The report was generated from votes by over 900 craft beer consumers and 100 professionals from within the industry.
Data was collected from the four biggest markets in Texas: Austin, Dallas/Ft. Worth, San Antonio, and, of course, Houston. The list of breweries was pulled from members of the Texas Craft Brewers Guild, so some of your favorites may not have even been considered – like Southern Yankee, for example.
The purpose of this report is to offer a better analysis of the Texas craft beer market by weighing data from 4 categories: consumer reputation, reputation for producing the best beer, excitement for the next 12 months, and contribution to the Texas craft beer industry.
The first category, “Consumer Reputation and Taproom Experience”, asked voters to select a brewery that they believed was performing best overall in Texas. They were to consider factors such as food options, live music, and kid and dog-friendliness.
The second category was “Reputation for Producing Best Beer”. What made this one interesting was not only its very subjective title, but also the differences in how consumers and brewers voted.
It turns out that consumers favored breweries that were producing newer styles of beer (haze craze, pastry stouts, etc.), while brewers tended to favor breweries that focused on more traditional styles.
Texas Craft Beer Report: The Results
Out of this list of 40 breweries, our Houston area represented with 11 breweries:
Saint Arnold Brewing Company (#5)
B-52 Brewing Company (#7)
SpindleTap Brewery (#9)
Ingenious Brewing Company (#15)
Brash Brewing Company (#16)
Sigma Brewing Company (#30)
Lone Pint Brewing Company (#31)
Eureka Heights Brewing Company (#34)
8th Wonder Brewery (#36)
Baa Baa Brewhouse (#38)
Copperhead Brewery (#39)
The third category, “Excited for the Next 12 Months,” asked which breweries consumers and brewers were most excited to see beer from in the next 12 months.
The data was very similar to the reputation category, with consumers voting for breweries focused on constant small-batch releases while brewers chose breweries dedicated more to traditional styles.
In our area, we took home 10 of the 40 spots:
B-52 Brewing Company (#6)
SpindleTap Brewery (#8)
Ingenious Brewing Company (#11)
Saint Arnold Brewing Company (#14)
Brash Brewing Company (#28)
Baa Baa Brewhouse (#29)
Copperhead Brewery (#32)
City Acre Brewing (#35)
True Anomaly Brewing Company (#37)
Southern Star Brewing Company (#38)
The last, and least weighted category, was “Contribution to Texas Craft Beer.” Voters selected breweries based on their perception of how they contributed to the growth of craft beer in our state through actions such as innovation and development of future Texas brewers.
Houston had 3 on the list of 20:
Saint Arnold Brewing Company (#1 – tie)
SpindleTap Brewery (#15)
B-52 Brewing Company (#19)
So what does this all mean for Houston breweries?
A lot actually! Out of the top 50 breweries, we earned 22% of the spots.
Saint Arnold Brewing Company (#3)
B-52 Brewing Company (#5)
SpindleTap Brewery (#9)
Ingenious Brewing Company (#14)
Brash Brewing Company (#18)
8th Wonder Brewery (#33)
City Acre Brewing (#34 – tie)
Copperhead Brewery (#37)
Eureka Heights Brewing Company (#42)
Baa Baa Brewhouse (#44)
Lone Pint Brewing Company (#46)
That’s a solid list!
We also had another 10 more breweries in the top 51-100 (listed alphabetically).
By being ranked in the top 100, it meant that a brewery was ranked in roughly the top 23% of breweries in the state.
Look at Houston go!
Texans are passionate about craft beer and honest in their opinions and criticisms, so here are a few of ours.
Texas Craft Beer Report: Room for Improvement
For this report to mean more next year, it has to be publicized more. We got an email about it back in September, and we wanted to help make it bigger, but we missed Hopalytics’ reply. We feel partially responsible for this one, and we’ll do better to make sure it’s more publicized next year.
Which brings us to the second improvement, a bigger sample size. A thousand people is a pretty small sample. Considering that the respondents were spread across 4 major metros, it diminishes the power of the results somewhat. Again, it’ll be bigger next year. You’ve got our word to do our part!
The fact that it went to only the 4 major metros is a bit confusing since it’s ranking all of Texas. If it’s all Texas, why not send it to all of Texas?
There were some disparate results that left us scratching our heads. We love Brash’s beer, but to say they have a great taproom experience and name them alongside places like 8th Wonder, SpindleTap, and SAINT ARNOLD? This is probably a result of the small sample size, and it says more about the voters than it does Texas or Houston beer. Sorry, Brash.
Another disparity we saw was if a beer style is 5th on the top 7 beer styles, how does a brewery that mainly does that 5th style win best brewery in Texas, especially when the ranking of the beer was so heavily weighted at 40%? It just seems counterintuitive.
Aled Owens, the facilitator of the survey, shared this bit of insight with us “The one interesting fact that jumped out at me about the survey overall – which might help explain both the Jester King #1 when wilds & sours was reported low, and the type of person responding to the survey – is that only 55% of people put the same brewery as “best overall” and “making the best beer” – and I think that’s why Jester King did so well. A lot of folks who did not highlight “wilds & sours” as a beer style they liked to drink actually put JK as the top overall brewery. I think this shows we had people completing the survey who value everything else that Jester King bring to the TX craft beer scene, even if they don’t like “Wilds & sours” and they answered the question objectively.”
Similarly, how can anyone make any real educated guess on what a brewery will do in the next year when many of them don’t know what they’re doing next month? This one’s more about the breweries than the report, but it seems like a frivolous metric.
Lastly, brewers and consumers don’t always agree on what to be excited for in the next year or even what makes good beer GOOD. That was wild to us.
But regardless of the differences in opinions, both parties DO agree that craft beer in Texas is thriving.
Something leads us to believe that next year every single one of these things will be improved.
Aled also shared with us that the report wasn’t all-inclusive of all the data that was recorded. They plan to release smaller, more specific reports throughout the year based on further examination of the data. Sounds nerdy AF. We’ve got our retainers and suspenders ready because we looove the nerdiness.
Texas Craft Beer Report: Conclusion
We’re eager to try new beers and breweries and to help out with the 2020 report when the time comes. We’ve been quietly working on a Houston Craft Beer Survey that’d lead to a similar, but different, report. Check it out. Full disclosure: the Hopalytics team is way better at this than we are, despite our critiques!
Houston carries its weight in Texas. With 65 breweries and growing, we have incredible things going on in craft beer. Plenty more to come too.
Our breweries offer unique taproom experiences, cater to individuals and families alike, support our outstanding food truck industry, and, most importantly, brew solid beer.
We’ve loved what Hopalytics put together and we’re already looking forward to next year’s Texas Craft Beer Report. Most of all, we loved seeing Holler Brewing win the best brewery in the world, unanimously chosen by their moms. We need more mom votes next year.
You can see the full report at Hopalytics.com.
Beers to you, Houston