11 Below Brewing Company

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TOP  TEXAS CRAFT BEER

BY MIKE PUCKETT

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11 Below Brewing Company is located on the north side of Houston just a few blocks east of Hwy 249. This large, open-air brewery sits in a business park which allows for plenty of parking, space and of course… scrumptious food trucks!

I recently tried the 11 Below Brewing Oso Bueno at a local craft beer joint, and thought it was great. The brewtender let me know they had a really dialed-in thing at one of the newer craft breweries here in Houston. Let’s just say they had me at brewery. Ha!

A buddy and I took a trip out to visit 11 Below after the buzz just got too much to BEAR (Oso Bueno reference). I had to see what these guys were up to. On the day I got here, they had recently finished building their new canning line. What great timing!

Nothing says Saturday more than a cool breeze flowing through the bay doors, football on the large projector, shiny stainless steel tanks and the fine aroma of hops filling the air. Yep, Saturdays at the brewery are my favorite day of the week!

Come to find out, the founders of the brewery have backgrounds in oil and engineering which explains how the name 11 Below came about. There are 42 gallons in a barrel of crude oil, but only 31 gallons in a barrel of beer. So, it’s 11 Below… get it? I bet your friends don’t know that. Just a little something to talk about on Craft Beer Friday!

Oso Bueno is the first beer that 11 Below has decided to can. Keenan Zarling, the Head Brewer, said this was just the first of many. Great news, guys!

I try not to focus on the beer itself in my features, as I believe they all have their place. I like to focus on the environment and the experience instead. However, all that being said, I am going to make an exception in this case. I feel very strongly that the Oso Bueno is fantastic. You get sweet notes of caramel and toffee, along with a balanced hop flavor. See it, try it and let me know what you think!

This was just the first of many trips I have planned out here to 11 Below. Everyone was really friendly, knowledgeable and entertaining. Every Saturday, there’s a brewery tour by the head brewer and local personality. They have a large projection screen so you can watch sporting events. If you’re a more “hands-on” type of person, they have darts, ping-pong and even giant life-size Jenga if that is your fancy. I will say it once again… EVERYTHING tastes better in the brewery and here at 11 Below, it couldn’t be any more true. Pay them a visit and see for yourself!

PHOTOGRAPHY: MIKE PUCKETT

Good Eats Houston says you need to taste the beers below at 11 Below Brewing Company…

7-IRON

A blonde session beer that’s big on flavor and extremely drinkable, 7-Iron™ has a delicate malt profile with plenty of American hop flavor and aroma to make you down for another round.
Availability: Year-round

STYLE: SESSION ALE LET’S PLAY TAG: #ANOTHERROUND 
ABV: 4.5% IBU: 13 PAIR WITH: FLOATING THE RIVER, TAILGATING, BARBEQUE SRM: 5.0 OG: 10.6P MALTS: 2-ROW, VIENNA, DEXTRIN MALT, WHEAT MALT HOPS: WARRIOR, GALENA, MOSAIC, CHINOOK

Oso Bueno

Our American Amber is brewed for the summers and cuisine of Texas. Subtle sweet notes of caramel and toffee, along with a balanced hop flavor create a beer that’s so refreshing and delicious it can only be called… Oso Bueno

Availability: Year-round
STYLE: AMERICAN AMBER ALE
LET’S PLAY TAG: #BEARPUNS
ABV: 5.3% IBU: 22
PAIR WITH: TEX-MEX, DAYS THAT END IN “Y”, PATIOS
SRM: 15.3 OG: 12.0P
MALTS: 2-ROW, CRYSTAL, RYE MALT
HOPS: WARRIOR, CENTENNIAL, WILLIAMETTE

 

COLOR BLIND

Color Blind marries deep malt character to juicy hop flavors and aroma to make one bad-ass Red IPA. With heavy handed hop additions of Mosaic being bolstered by rich caramel malts, we’re sure the hop heads out there will see things our way.

Availability: Year-round
STYLE: RED INDIA PALE ALE
LET’S PLAY TAG: #BETTEROFFRED
ABV: 6.2% IBU: 64
PAIR WITH: THAI CURRY, PUB TRIVIA, DEBATING SEMANTICS
SRM: 20.0 OG: 14.4P
MALTS: 2-ROW, MUNICH, CRYSTAL, CARAFs
HOPS: WARRIOR, CENTENNIAL, FALCONER’S FLIGHT, MOSAIC

NEGATIVE SPACE

Rich, intense, and uncompromising, this Imperial Chocolate Milk Stout is testament to the big, decadent flavors of chocolate and roasted malt. Aged on cacao nibs, cinnamon, and ancho chiles, Negative Space fills a void in your life you never knew you had.

Availability: Seasonal
STYLE: IMPERIAL CHOCOLATE MILK STOUT
LET’S PLAY TAG: #FILLTHEVOID
ABV: 9.5% IBU: 15
PAIR WITH: MIDNIGHT BONFIRES, ANCHO FUDGE PIE, WARM SNUGGLES
SRM: 70.0 OG: 22.7P
MALTS: TWO ROW, WHEAT MALT, CRYSTAL, CARAFA, CHOCOLATE MALT
HOPS/SPICES: WARRIOR AND 2015 SPICES: CACAO NIBS, CINNAMON, ANCHO CHILES

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Address: 6820 Bourgeois Rd, Houston, TX 77066

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11 Below Brewing Company

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