Brewery Review: 8th Wonder Brewery

November 2017 – 8th Wonder Brewery
Wonderland
Founded in 2013, 8th Wonder is one of the more established area breweries, yet one that continues to move in incredibly novel directions!
The brewery was founded by a group of friends, Ryan Soroka, Matt Marcus and Alex Vassilakidis, whose first venture is the popular food truck, Eatsie Boys, which now occupies a space at the brewery.  The trio was joined by brewer, Aaron Corsi, and 8th Wonder was born.  The brewery occupies a converted warehouse in the East Downtown (EADO) neighborhood in an area that’s close to Toyota Center, Minute Maid Park, and BBVA Compass Stadium, as well as Discovery Green and the George R. Brown Convention Center, making it a popular spot for pre and post game libations.  The theme of the brewery could be described as “Houston Sports” — 8th Wonder being a nickname for The Astrodome — and names of many of their brews fitting the theme. Inside, there are lots of local sports memorabilia, including seats taken from The Astrodome, as well as artwork linked to the Houston Astros and our other teams.
8th Wonder features a sizable, inside taproom with an adjacent part of the building housing the brewroom, but the huge outdoor area, dubbed Wonderland, is what stands out here.  There is plenty of outdoor seating, the aforementioned Eatsie Boys food truck, cornhole, and a stage for frequent shows.  There are cool seating spaces made out of recycled shipping containers, and the outdoor space is also pet-friendly. A new addition, huge statues of The Beatles, as well as some cool art work add to a fun atmosphere.  Promotional vehicles including a vintage jeep and an M35 Deuce — a retired Army cargo truck which 8th Wonder used to help with Hurricane Harvey rescues — are also present.

 

8th Wonder uses a token system: for $15 you get a glass and three beer tokens.  You can bring back your glass, and then, three beer tokens are only $12. (There are also a couple other options with a plastic cup if you don’t want to spring for the glassware).  Tours are available Monday through Friday at 7:00 p.m.  There is a fairly extensive variety of beer options with most ranging in the middle-of-the road or lower ABV.  There are also a few non-alcoholic options.  During my most recent visit, there were 16 beer options available with only three exceeding 6.0%.  All of their year-round beers, Dome Faux’m, Hopston, Alternate Universe, Intellectuale — and my personal favorite, Rocket Fuel — were available.

Rocket Fuel, a “Vietnamese Coffee Porter” is made with cold-brew coffee from Greenway Coffee Company and milk sugar. It’s an excellent, low alcohol Porter that’s great for those who love roasty, coffee flavors but don’t want something heavier. I’m not sure if this is their flagship beer or not, but it’s what I think of first in the 8th Wonder line-up.  The remaining options were seasonal and limited release beers; of these, Quadruple Dry-Hopped Hopston, Haterade, and Astroturf  are the ones that stand out.  Astroturf, an Amarillo dry hopped version of Dome Faux’m, provides a nice hop pop that combines well with the smooth drinkability of a cream ale.  Haterade is a refreshing Gose that balances citrus, salt, and a sour excellently. Side Hustle, a version aged in tequila barrels, was also available.  There should be something available for everyone, unless you only crave extreme beers.
The atmosphere tends to skew a bit younger than many local breweries, but there’s your usual variety of the types of people that enjoy our local beer scene. Lately, I have seen many professionals from local businesses and social groups utilizing the private rooms at the brewery for their events.  Frequent nights of Yoga and Hops — which is on Wednesdays and some Saturdays — are another reason to visit.  8th Wonder also caters to music fans with usually at least a couple nights a week featuring live music.  They also often have larger musical events with multiple performers and have featured such acts such as The Skatalites, Paul Wall, and Bun B.
8th Wonder’s next big event is a CD release party for the first studio album for local band Heapin’ Helpin’.  This will be celebrated in a weekend long event called Extra Gravy Weekend, starting with a pre-party on 11/17, the CD release party on 11/18, and ending with the Gr8 Taco Challenge on 11/19.
The future is bright for 8th Wonder as they continue to expand and add to their ventures.  They have recently added distribution to the Galveston area and San Antonio and plan to open a distillery located in the former Paul Revere Rum Distillery location at 2201 Dallas St., right across the street from the brewery.
There seems to be something for everyone at 8th Wonder with a great variety of events, a large line-up of beers, convenient location, unique atmosphere, and the impressive Wonderworld.  8th Wonder Brewery is highly worth visiting.
Hours: Mon-Sat 11am-10pm, Sun 11am-6pm
Address: 2202 Dallas St, Houston, TX 77003
Website: http://8thwonderbrew.com/
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