Another Year, Another Beer

I look forward to coming home for Thanksgiving every year, although with gray skies in Baltimore, a part of me wishes my family could spend the holiday in San Antonio. The sun makes this Texan city particularly appealing when temperatures on the East Coast dip into the 40s, and on top of that, I discovered that it also has a youthful, yet accomplished beer scene.

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.

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