Trying all of the craft breweries in the area wasn't an option during my abbreviated visit this summer, but I'm glad I didn't skip Freetail, which celebrated its first anniversary this weekend. Located in a small shopping plaza off a beltway that's easy to drive by if—like me—you don't know San Antonio well, Freetail serves pizza and large, freshly-made sandwiches in addition to a rotating selection of beers.
An inexpensive sampler seemed like a great way to get a better sense of their full range so I asked for a small pour of Interloper Stout, Torper Porter, Tadarida IPA, and Verano Sin Fin Saison along with a half pint of their year-round Freetail Ale. While I did enjoy all five styles, if I found myself in the vicinity again soon, I'd probably go for the malty, medium-bodied porter with its notes of coffee and caramel over the slightly less successful saison. A stronger beer at 6.4% ABV (vs. the porter's 5.6%), the Verano Sin Fin poured a cloudy yellow and had the fruity aroma I would expect from a saison, but lacked in spiciness and struck me as overly bitter in the finish. Finally, while it wasn't exactly the ideal drink for a hot summer afternoon, with a deep, roasty aroma, smooth mouthfeel, and smoky-sweet finish, the 6.2% Interloper is definitely a stout worth trying. Happy brewing, Freetail—here's to another year of beer.