First Look: Walking Stick Brewing Company
Walking Stick had their soft opening on 12/1 which unfortunately I missed, but I was able to check out the brewery this past weekend. Their location is less than a block of Petrol Station and right across the street from Wakefield Crowbar and Great Heights Brewing Company. Decant Urban Winery is set to open across the street soon making this block a craft drinking destination. Parking can sometimes be a little tight in this block, so it’s nice to see that Walking Stick has their own sizable parking lot that’s accessible from both Wakefield and Judaway.
Walking Stick is currently outdoors-only, which was a little bit of a challenge with gray skies, a little wind, and a temperature of 45 degrees but I was very impressed with their beer garden, which happens to have a cool back story. Some of the equipment related to the backstory can be seen within the beer garden. There’s plenty of picnic bench style seating and a couple of cool seating areas that are set up for children, including a cool wooden rocking horse. It’s a large outdoor space with plenty of room to roam for you and your dog. Walking Stick also has a fire pit which was the popular spot during my visit.
The bar is housed in a converted shipping container on one corner of the property. There are a few more buildings on the property, one of which holds the brewhouse, which is immaculate and impressive, and another which is their giant walk-in refrigeration unit. There are signs of further construction on the property which may be for restrooms as currently they have a fancy portable restroom unit set-up. They do not have a kitchen but will feature food trucks. There are also cornhole boards and large versions of Jenga to play.
Walking Stick owns a farm in Florida where they grow ingredients used in their beers, including hops.
Walking Stick had six brews available during my visit, each named after a 14’er (a nickname for Colorado peaks that exceed 14,000 feet in elevation) reflecting the owners’ love for their home state of Colorado and mountain climbing. Beers are available a la carte for $5 or $6 and in flights. My favorite was Sunlight Saison, an easy drinker with tons of flavor at 4.5% ABV. Sunlight has a nice complexity with notes of citrus and spice. Massive Brown Porter was a close second favorite with a sweet, enjoyable blend of toasty and biscuity malt flavors. It’s my type of session brew, not too strong at 5.4%, but still full in dark malt flavor. Castle (Not So) Pale Ale is citrus forward, moderately bitter and balanced. As described it’s not so pale in color, probably a little more malty, but basically it’s a West Coast APA.
Conundrum Grapefruit IPA continues with the citrus-forward theme. After an initial punch of citrus, the malty body takes over. It seems like much of the citrus flavor comes from grapefruit vs. hops and it‘s on the malty side of the IPA style spectrum. Blanca Witbier IPA is spicy with plenty of coriander flavor followed by citrus notes. Lastly, Crestone ESB features a sweet biscuity profile with a nice punch of the distinct earthy and floral flavors typical of English hops. It appears Walking Stick plans to can all six of these brews at some point in the future. They also have at least two more beers planned, Longs Peach NEIPA and Sneffels Black and Blueberry Stout.
I enjoyed all six beers and felt Walking Stick did a solid job in providing a balanced line-up of quality, accessible brews. The beer garden is fantastic and I look forward to visiting when it’s a little less chilly out.
We’ll be back with another First Look shortly after the next local brewery opens. With so many breweries seemingly close to opening (I’m looking at about 4-5 that could open in the next few months) I’m sure I’ll be plenty busy. Cheers!
Address: 956 Judiway Street, Houston, Texas 77018
Phone: (833) 261-4377
Hours: Nothing official yet, check Facebook