Day Trips

The Port Aransas Brewing Co. serves up an award-winning burger to go with its handcrafted beers

Day Trips
Photo by Gerald McLeod

The Port Aransas Brewing Co. looks like an ordinary beach-town pizza joint from the outside, but inside there's a lot of good food and drink being served. The brewpub was recently recognized as serving one of the 50 Greatest Hamburgers in Texas by Texas Monthly magazine.

"We try to keep things simple and be the best at what we do," says Bob Petitt. Bob; his wife, June; and their three children opened the eatery in June 2008. Since then, the establishment has moved toward becoming a Port A institution.

The Petitts purchased a house in the seaside village about eight years ago and soon decided they wanted to retire there. "But we needed to continue having an income," he says. He owns an engineering firm in Dallas, and June was a certified public accountant.

One thing they noticed about Port Aransas was that the visitors drank a lot of beer. The city shot down their idea of a microbrewery on the island but loved the idea of a brewpub.

A home-brewer, Bob got serious about testing beer recipes in the year before they opened the restaurant. He says his engineering background helped with the chemistry of brewing, but he still had a lot to learn about brewing large quantities of beer.

The restaurant usually has nine different handmade beers on tap. "We try to keep the brews fairly simple but offer a wide variety," Bob says. He just released a blonde ale that he says is very good. His most popular beers are a pilsner, a wheat beer, and a bock. He readily admits that each batch has its own unique flavor, but that is part of the fun.

June is responsible for making the kitchen a success. "She is a very detailed and people-oriented person," Bob says. On any given afternoon she might be making pizza dough from scratch or breading onion rings. "She really makes quality a top priority," he says.

It's that attention to quality that landed them 44th on Texas Monthly's list of 50 Greatest Hamburgers in Texas. Bob credits the custom-prepared beef he buys from North Texas as the key. "We own the steers the meat comes from," he says. "Nobody can have exactly the same beef."

Along with burgers and pizza, the menu also includes beer-battered fried shrimp, fish sandwiches, salads, and memorable onion rings. With nine televisions around the dining room, the restaurant is popular with sports fans. One of the picnic tables on the outdoor deck is a great place to catch a game and enjoy a sampler tray of the fresh beers and a platter of appetizers.

The Port Aransas Brewing Co. can be found at 429 N. Alister in Port Aransas. The eatery is open from 11am to 10pm daily except Wednesdays. Give the Petitts a call at 361/749-2739, or visit them at www.portabrewing.com.

966th in a series. Day Trips, Vol. 2, a book of "Day Trips" 101-200, is available for $8.95, plus $3.05 for shipping, handling, and tax. Mail to: Day Trips, PO Box 33284, South Austin, TX 78704.

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