UHCL The Signal
The official student newspaper of the University of Houston-Clear Lake

REVIEW: Saloon Door Brewing raises the bar on craft beer

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On your marks, get set, drink! Saloon Door Brewing has a wide selection of craft beer on tap lined up and ready for beer connoisseurs and amateurs to try.

Saloon Door, located off Magnolia Avenue in Webster, has given the Clear Lake area a taste of craft beers since April 2016. The inside of the “Taproom” isn’t cluttered with tacky decorations or anything that comes out of a chain restaurant. The interior’s nod to the ‘rustic-Texas’ look is upheld well with the corrugated metal paneling. The Edison lighting and rope lights wrapped around the exposed ductwork give off a soft light. The décor is nice but can use more color on the barren, main wall.

Saloon Door offers a range of unique styles and flavors of craft beers that makes me think, “how did they make that into beer?” For the beer tasting, I got a taster flight, which consists of five, four-ounce beers of your choice for about $12. My flight had the “Tasty AF” Peanut Butter Chocolate Stout, Chocolate Milk Stout, “River Ace” IPA, Brown Ale and a Citrus Vanilla blend.

Saloon Door Brewing's interior showcases the rustic-Texas look with corrugated metal paneling and rope lights wrapped around the exposed ductwork. Photo by the Signal Reporter, Alex Petty.
Saloon Door Brewing’s interior showcases the rustic-Texas look with corrugated metal paneling and rope lights wrapped around the exposed ductwork. Photo by the Signal Reporter, Alex Petty.

My favorite was the Citrus Vanilla blend, which was the most smooth, flavorful and enjoyable beer I have ever had. The blended beer is a mix of Persnickety Citrus Wheat and Catty-Corner Vanilla Cream Ale, and boy, do they mix great. Subtle tones of the vanilla and citrus come together evenly without one overpowering the other. The last drink was as enjoyable as the first and is a beer I will definitely enjoy again. I recommend this beer to start and end with.

My second favorite was the “River Ace” IPA. The River Ace has a refreshing orange scent and a mild carbonation. The first drink is very clean, crisp and doesn’t have the heavy flavor of hops like most IPAs. While I do favor this beer, I would not start out with the River Ace only because it can give a little kick in the back of the throat; its best to start with the Citrus Vanilla blend.

The “Tasty AF” Peanut Butter Chocolate Stout was the most unique tasting beer of the night. It has a very strong, enticing smell of, what else, chocolate and peanut butter, but is lack-luster when it comes to the taste. After the first sip, the Tasty AF has muted flavors of chocolate and peanuts. Although it wasn’t bitter, I don’t recommend starting with this beer because it can almost serve as a meal by itself – hold it off until the end.

The Chocolate Milk Stout is the sibling to the Tasty AF. While the two share an almost indistinguishable taste and smell, the Chocolate Milk Stout has more of a dark chocolate flavor that lingers on the palate. The Chocolate Milk and Tasty AF can be consumed interchangeably without the drinker noticing; make this one the second or third beer of choice.

The Brown Ale is for beer veterans, not for amateurs. The Brown Ale has an earthy, malt smell with a bitter, toasty flavor and wood-like undertones. This ale is drinkable but so strong it got rid of all the other flavors in my mouth. I don’t recommend the Brown Ale.

The "Tasty AF" Peanut Butter and Chocolate taster beer from the flight sampler offered at Saloon Door Brewing. Photo by the Signal Reporter, Alex Petty.
The “Tasty AF” Peanut Butter and Chocolate taster beer from the flight sampler offered at Saloon Door Brewing. Photo by the Signal Reporter, Alex Petty.

My only issue with Saloon Door is the location. Located between Interstate 45 and State Highway 3, next to the City of Webster Public Works facility, Saloon Door can be easily passed since it blends in with the warehouse/business backdrop. Although the parking wasn’t too bad since I went on a weekday, I can see where it can be an issue if it gets too busy because the parking spaces are quite compact and limited.

If you aren’t a beer fanatic but have the urge to taste some beers, then I recommend bringing a beer-savvy friend with you – the beer choices can be overwhelming and somewhat confusing. Saloon Door Brewing is a suitable place to visit if you want to try new beers in a relaxed, comfortable location or to meet up with friends and enjoy a pint during the weekday.

For upcoming events and weekly food offerings, check out Saloon Door Brewing on Facebook. If you can’t make it out to Saloon Door Brewing, visit these local establishments that have Saloon Door on tap.

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