Local Spotlight

How Houston Cooks: 8th Wonder Brewery Makes Cre8ive, Houston-Centric Beer for All

Every so often, we'll be bringing you videos that take a behind-the-scenes look at restaurants, breweries, marketplaces, bars and any other spots that define Houston food and drink. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.

Back when 8th Wonder Brewery first opened in early 2013, the goal was just to make beer, just to get production up and running.

"A year from now, we hope to double our brewing capacity," said 8th Wonder co-founder Ryan Soroka in an interview a few months before the brewery opened. Then he changed his mind: "Scratch that. In a year, we hope to be brewing. Period."

These days, 8th Wonder is definitely brewing. The young company's innovative beers can be found all over the city, and the brand is rapidly expanding thanks to a growth in recent years of Houston pride. The company, whose name comes from the nickname for the Astrodome ("The Eighth Wonder of the World"), is all about promoting the city and all of its idiosyncrasies.

Most of the beer names themselves are a nod to Houston. There's "Hopston," a Texas IPA; "Dome Faux'm," a cream ale; "Brew GK," a collaboration with rapper Bun B of UGK; and "Brewston," a dry-hopped pale ale that "embodies the city of Houston."

In addition to returning to old school manners of brewing with beers like the "Alternate Universe," an old-world style German altbier, 8th Wonder likes to get a little crazy with some of the added ingredients. This should come as no surprise to folks familiar with the fellas behind 8th Wonder. Aaron Corsi, a lecturer at UH in areas like distilling and beer appreciation, serves as brewmaster, while Matt Marcus, Alex Vassilakidis and the aforementioned Soroka of Eatsie Boys cafe and food truck are the "Entrebrewneurs" of the company.

Eatsie Boys is known for its wild culinary creations, and that same creativity has found its way into the beer. "Rocket Fuel" is a porter made with Vietnamese iced coffee, cafe sua da, in collaboration with Greenway Coffee Co. "French Toast" is what the boys refer to as a breakfast beer because it's brewed with first-run Canadian maple syrup, cinnamon sticks and whole vanilla beans."

And then there's the "Haterade," which "goes out to the haters." It's the Intellectuale Witty Blonde brewed with Sour Patch Kids. Yes, the candy. "Beer is fun and universal," 8th Wonder writes on the website. "The beer community is collaborative, open, and supportive. It isn't elitist or exclusive. We take our craft seriously, and while we focus on brewing high-quality, tasty brews, we like to have fun, too. This beer pokes fun at the sour pusses in this world. Lighten up and enjoy!"

Anyone who's met the founders and brewers at 8th Wonder already knows what a fun-loving and talented bunch they are. To all those who are unaware, allow this video to be an introduction.

You can get 8th Wonder beer at all of the places listed on the website, as well as at the brewery itself during tours. Go online to find an upcoming tour.

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Kaitlin Steinberg