Triple J’s Brewery and Chophouse, LBK Brewing, The Crafthouse, Eskimo Hut – also Bier Haus Lubbock, World of Beer, Two Docs Brewing
We arrived in Lubbock earlier than anticipated after a slightly dismal visit to a disappointing Roswell, NM. Although we were aware that, as a mid-sized college town, Lubbock was likely to be a little more lively, we were surprised and impressed by the scope and excitement of beery treats on offer.
Triple J’s Brewery and Chophouse
On rolling into town we went straight to Triple J’s to whet our whistles from the road, and, rightly or wrongly, felt a little warm and fuzzy to be back in Texas. Triple J’s is a large, traditional-style brewpub and steak house with a family-friendly atmosphere in the centre of Lubbock. Flight pours came in adorable mini tankards that can’t have been more than 4oz and were only a couple of dollars apiece so we felt obliged to try all seven available. Triple J’s brew standard, easy-drinking session beers covering most major styles including Rye, Marzen, Red, Pale and Wheat beers. While they might be a little generic for my rather outre tastes, they were all perfectly drinkable and happily thirst-quenching after our long drive, my favourite being the tarry, lightly smoked South Plains Porter. We didn’t eat at Triple J’s but they have an extensive, if slightly pricey, menu of American fare, and the place was bustling on a Thursday evening. A solid local hangout with live music at weekends.
LBK is a gorgeous new brewhouse, less than a year old, that is shining a hipster light on downtown Lubbock. We were tipped off about LBK by the fab folks at The Shack BBQ (do not miss this if you’re in town!), and were delighted to find some tip-top craft beer action complete with gleaming steel tanks, fab service and a slick, stylish space.
We couldn’t resist the temptation to try all eight beers on tap (flights come in fours) and were impressed with the choice on offer, covering classic styles with experimental elements. The most successful of these was the delicious Smoked Pineapple Ale, which was a super-Caribbean-barbecue joy, and a nice nutty-caramel Brown Ale. If the measure of a brewery is its IPA then LBK are totally on the right track – I would say that Lubbock has a locally-made IPA to rival other Texas go-tos and it’s just a matter of time before this gloriously hopped fella makes it into cans and starts getting out and about around the state. Of course, LBK is a brand new brewery and still cutting its teeth. The Chilton Witbier and Honey Blonde were a little on the watery side, but these are early days and LBK is brimming with excitement and potential. Their taproom is open every day except Monday so if you’re in town, you’d be foolish to miss out.
The Crafthouse is a craft beer gastropub on Lubbock’s busy 34th Street which has a nicely curated selection of local and national beers on offer, serves flight pours and serves modern American fare including, much to my delight, Gulf Coast oysters! We went for a slightly hung over lunch and the rather tasty fish fry was sufficient for both of us (plus a couple of oysters, those well-known hangover cures!), and even though I don’t normally care for fries, the deliciously crunchy, skin-on Crafthouse offerings were too good to pass up.
But back to the beers – we certainly didn’t expect to encounter an Ommegang Games of Thrones Queen of the Seven Kingdoms Sour out in Lubbock, and goodness me it was delectably smooth and elegant. A sweet, zingy and refreshing Sixpoint Lil’ Raspy Raspberry Sour cut through our fish fry perfectly and a big, full Oktoberfest from locals Rahr & Sons gave a nice contrast. We were also able to get our greedy mitts on Lakewood’s Peanut Butter Temptress which is nothing short of liquid Reece’s Pieces and made for a most satisfying dessert! What a great spot to get your hands on some high quality brews.
Our time in Lubbock was running short but I was determined to squeeze in a trip to one of the three branches of Eskimo Hut in the city, and hell yeah was I glad I did. Coming from Austin, Eskimo Hut is Lubbock’s equivalent to the mighty Whichcraft, a high-end bottle shop with carefully curated taps for crowlers, growlers and in-store consumption. I practically started skipping on walking through the door – Eskimo Hut’s selection was everything I hoped it would be, big on selection packs, Texas beers and a nice out-of-state selection. The superbly knowledgeable chap who served me was proud to inform me that they stocked the best craft beer selection in West Texas, and I was more than happy to take him at his word. He took the time to talk me through everything available to go and on tap, and I’m pleased to say I made some exciting new beer-discoveries as a result, including Dallas’ Manhattan Project Brewing which is unfortunately not available in ATX yet, and Louisiana’s Great Raft Brewing, both of which I can’t wait to try more of. I came away loaded up with some top class beers, and pricing was super-reasonable. Boom.
Further research has shown me that there are, in fact, branches of Eskimo Hut all over Texas, just not in Austin, so I shall be keeping eyes peeled for them on all my out of town travels and recommend that anyone reading this does likewise. Oh, and they serve frozen daquiris to drink in or to go. We all need more of this in our lives!
Sadly our day-long sojourn in Lubbock didn’t allow time for us to visit as a many beery spots as we wanted to! The Plains Brew Co. also has a taproom just outside central Lubbock, which is unfortunately only open on Saturdays. However, a few places around town do stock their beers and we tried their outstanding flagship Amber Ale at The Shack BBQ (see above) which I would highly recommend – I normally don’t blink twice at an Amber but this is truly their king.
The Bier Haus Lubbock and World of Beer are both craft beer bars that look full of promise, and Two Docs Brewing are due to open their taproom before the end of the year. Honestly, Lubbock beer rocks – we’re planning a return trip!