After a number of soft opening weekends, Houston’s new Under the Radar brewery finally made a blip on everyone’s screens with their Grand Opening party this past weekend. The core lineup of 5 beers has been showing up around town to good reviews, so it was high time fans were able to visit the source.
Opening the gates at an ambitious 10 am, visitors could buy a pint glass and tokens for beer, mosey on back to the taps, then grab a table in the beer garden or under the tents in the lot next door, where additional taps were set up, as well as a stage for bands, and a couple of food trucks to keep everyone sated.
I of course was drawn first to the Mid-Frequency IPA, a broadly palatable American-style IPA, with a malt body a shade darker than most, hopped with Columbus, Centennial, and Chinook, then dry-hopped to give it that characteristic floral nose. You might take it for an easy all-day drinker, but 7% will catch up to you. I could have stuck with that one, but trying to hit for the cycle, and enduring a muggy, humid Saturday, I gave the Radar Love hefeweizen and the Dirty Blonde a go, both light and refreshing on a hot day.
Founders Herb Garcia, Ned Davis, and Mike Norfleet all come from the business world, but have substantial home brewing experience. They’re starting conservatively, planning to grow organically before getting ahead of themselves. The modest biergarten will be fantastic as the weather starts cooling off, while there’s still plenty of room to expand. And they’re not sinking funds yet into a canning or bottling line, rather distributing to draft retailers first.
Saturday evening I paid a visit to Midtown’s new Axelrad Beer Garden just around the corner, and passed by Under the Radar where the party was still going strong. Their affabrous lineup can be found around town, and now enjoyed straight from the source. The bands were jamming, the beers were flowing, and the brats and burgers were sizzling from Deutscher Fleischwagen and the Burger Joint; congrats to the Under the Radar crew on their official opening.