First Look: Fortress BeerWorks
We’re back with yet another new brewery opening. I enjoy announcing when a town or area within the greater Houston area gets their first brewery and I’m happy to share that this time it is Spring who has their first brewery in the form of Fortress BeerWorks. Bryce@HoustonBeerScene was lucky enough to snag passes, and nice enough to bring me along, to their soft opening event on March 20th, which was followed by their official Grand Opening on the 21st.
Locating the brewery takes a bit of a keen eye. Look for their sign on Spring Cypress Road and then follow the dirt road to their brewery which is a bit tucked away from the street. Excitement for this brewery must have been pretty high, as their regular parking lot was full within 30 minutes of the soft opening. Luckily, after a little miscommunication, I found parking in the huge field behind their parking lot. I doubt they will have any parking issues here as long as they’re always able to use their field, as Fortress occupies a large piece of land.
The brewhouse and taproom are located in a large industrial building that has been transformed into something akin to a giant icehouse. The building has huge cargo doors that can be opened to give the taproom a full open-air feel. The inside of the building features beer hall style seating and a large bar. The brewhouse can be viewed to one side of the bar. They also have a nice-sized patio with more communal seating and some outdoor bar games. The taproom is nice, but I really enjoy that the location feels much further from the freeway and busy streets than it truly is, tucked in with pine trees on both sides.
Fortress debuted with a line-up of four beers that represent a good selection of accessible and mostly sessionable styles. Fortress Blond Ale is a malty take of the style with a nice, subtle fruity note. It’s smooth and easy drinking, as expected. I’m usually not too big of a fan of the style, but Fortress’ take stood out as more flavorful than most.
Watchtower Wit also fell on the malty side for the style. The flavor has a light, malty sweet grain flavor that meets a fruity element with citrus being most prominent, but I don’t get the coriander notes I usually expect. This is another easy drinking beer that has enough flavor to keep me interested.
Battering Ram SMASH IPA is a basic but quality IPA. It’s also their largest beer so far at 6.2%. The hop profile is citrus which is backed by a solid malt backbone. Strangely enough, this is the 3rd beer in a row I felt fell into the malty side of its style. It’s the type of straight-forward IPA I really enjoy as a counterbalance to all of the bright, juicy and hazy brews that are everywhere right now.
Lastly, Fortress Nitro Stout is a 4.6% English Stout that packs a lot of flavor for such a low ABV. Dark roast flavors dominate with notes of coffee. It’s on nitro, but thankfully, dialed down to such a degree that not all of the bitterness is swept away in creaminess.
I love Fortress BeerWorks’ secluded location within the pines. They have put together a sweet spot that feels way further from the city than its actual location. When the weather is good, this will be a killer outdoor spot. The four beers they’ve introduced so far are all solid, if accessible, brews that represent a nice start. All in all, the future looks bright for Fortress BeerWorks as they’ve added another exciting new spot to our scene. We’ll be back soon with a First Look for Megaton Brewery who had their Grand Opening on March 30th.
Address: 2606 Spring Cypress Rd., Spring, Texas
Hours: Thurs/Fri 4-9pm, Sat 12-9pm, Sun 12-6pm