Editor’s note: Brien is a well-traveled Houstonian and Army Combat Veteran with an extremely wide range of talents and interests including the NFL (Packers), Irish History, and writing. Follow him on twitter @ODonalsVanguard
By BRIEN O’DONAL
It’s been about two and a half years since my first visit to the B-52 Brewery in Conroe. In that time I can’t say I’ve ever had a beer I didn’t like or an experience I didn’t enjoy. Nestled on a few acres of land are a set of fabricated buildings that house the brewery and the patio bar where some folks can enjoy the cover and the TVs. Most of the area is used as a large biergarten. There is plenty of space and many picnic tables for people to spend the day with family and friends. That’s what my friends and I do every time we visit. It’s a day of picnicking, beer and games. B-52 is the type of atmosphere for everyone even if you don’t drink beer. Every time I am there I see entire families enjoying themselves in a fun way.
I know that everyone loves a good atmosphere and a good time but the real reason we go to a brewery has to be the beer, right? Let me assure you that you won’t be disappointed in that regard. They brew several styles of beer and in all my visits I still don’t think I’ve tried them all. My favorite; and one I feel like I could enjoy all day is the Breakfast Stout. For a dark beer, it is remarkably light and easy to drink. The coffee and dark chocolate flavors make this one of my favorite beers and when I leave the brewery I try to bring a few bottles home with me. There is such a creamy rich flavor that it’s the kind of beer that goes well with a relaxing afternoon. And to make it even better, they have a Bourbon Barrel Breakfast Stout for those of you who love that addition to your beer. The stout still maintains it’s great flavor but the infusion of taste from the bourbon barrel gives it a punch that lets you know you only get a couple of these.
My other favorite beer is The Liberator. This Doppelbock style has a nice kick to it and even though it has a higher alcohol content it’s still a smooth tasting beer that it easy to enjoy. I have at least one of these every time I make a visit. As much as I love some of the other brews there is such a great flavor in the Liberator it is hard to pass up. Between this and the Breakfast Stout, my beer lineup is pretty much set.
If those styles are not for you don’t worry. There is also the delicious Payload Pilsner, and the Wheat IPA. I’m not an IPA drinker so I’ve only had that once. The pilsner on the other hand, I have tried more than once. It is a pretty good pilsner and if you like lighter beers with great flavor then go for it. It’s the kind of beer you can enjoy on a sunny day without getting a heavy feeling. But if you really want something special they have a lot more to choose from. Take a drive out to Conroe and spend a day with your friends.
When I leave for the day I try to stock up on a few bottles to take home with me. I have searched the stores in my area and they are not available. I only know of a few stores in the Conroe area and a few restaurants in the Woodlands that carry their beer. I wish there was a wider distribution but I can only assume that will come with time. For now, I would suggest to all beer lovers take a day trip north and enjoy the great atmosphere and great beer at B-52 Brewery. You can find them online at b52brewing.com, follow them on twitter @B52Brewing or find their Facebook page. They have plenty of special events and beer release parties throughout the year so keep your eyes open for the date that best suits you. You can also be like me and my friends and spend multiple weekends there throughout the year.