Hot summer days call for cold summer brews. Luckily for Lubbock, the craft beer scene has taken off in the past several years, bringing some beautiful brews along with it. I spent a few days hopping from happy hour to happy hour to get a taste of the profiles of beers local breweries have to offer. From canned beer to glasses by the tap, y’all are in for a refreshing treat.
4.2% ABV | 8 IBU
Two Doc’s + Doc Chilton…it only makes sense to make the Two Doc’s Chilton Gose. They nailed this beer on every point. It tastes exactly like the famed Lubbock cocktail. What makes this magical is the fact that there is no fruit or extracts of any kind added, making the natural flavor surface from the kettle souring and fermentation processes. Gose style is an old-world-style brew from a small region in Germany that had almost been forgotten. But, over the past decade, it’s made a powerful resurgence in breweries across the United States. If you’re looking for something salty, tart and refreshing that tastes like Lubbock, order a growler of this Gose.
*Due to the recent public health crisis, Two Doc’s Brewing Co. will be take-out orders only for the foreseeable future.
7.6% ABV | 60 IBU
The Brewery LBK’s Lieutenant Dan might be my favorite beer. It also may be the chewiest beer on this list. A first wort hopping of a unique blend including Ahtanum, Ekuanot and the experimental HBC 472, builds a depth of flavor. After it cools, a whirlpool hopping maintains the aroma without any bitterness. In the end, you get a perfectly round hazy IPA with banana-forward tropical fruit notes that make you want to sit outside on a summer night and watch the sunset. It’s a hug in a glass. Named for the acclaimed Gary Sinise role, a portion of the proceeds from the purchase of this particular blend go to support the Wounded Warrior Project. “Four Dan cans, please!” That’s what I say.
6.2% ABV | 23 IBU
Triple J has been brewing Raider Red since before I was of legal age to drink it and this Depot District staple has aged quite well. Looks can be deceiving with this beer. It has a deep crimson color but comes across crisp and refreshing. The malty sweetness brings a cherry cola note, making it a perfect poolside pal, especially if your current companion’s last name is “Light”. There’s a reason this brew has been around for 15 years and continues to be a fan favorite.
4.8% ABV | 38 IBU
Are you ready for a sneak peek of Lupe’s Peak from Mano Negra? Lubbock’s newest brewery is just weeks away from pouring its first beer and if the rest of them are like Lupe’s Peak, you will not be disappointed. This “almost IPA” is pretty straight forward with two grains and two hops, but it’s bursting with flavor. A fragrant floral attack mellows into caramel and honey notes with a little grapefruit from the Citra on the end. It’s simply a solid beer. You can taste the love the brewer adds in while visiting his brewhouse. Daniel started brewing nine years ago in Puerto Rico and has spent the past six years in Lubbock perfecting his craft and pursuing his dream of opening a brewery.
4.3% ABV | 17 IBU
Plains Brew Co. Amber is one of the most prolifically available local brews in town. You can find it at several local restaurants, grocers and beer stores. For someone who is testing the waters a little deeper than the light beer shallows, there’s not a better beer in town to pick up instead of your usual standby. This amber drinks light and crisp but has malty subtleties that keep it interesting. It’s an approachable, crushable session and it fits nicely in a cooler.
After cutting my teeth on Portland’s microbreweries and learning some history in the neighborhood brewpubs of Saint Louis, finding seriously amazing beer brewed in my hometown gets me excited about the future of craft beer in Lubbock. Share your favorites with us using #LiveLoveLubbock!
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