Black Page Brewing opens on Houston’s Little White Oak Bay

Just as quickly as Houston breweries are closing or changing hands, new ones are cropping up, too. The latest to join the city’s vibrant beer scene is Black Page Brewing, located right on Little White Oak Bayou in Near Northside.

The brewery, named after the Frank Zappa song that is notoriously difficult to play, will open to the public in early October. Behind the project are co-founders Chris Manriquez, of nearby bar Trash Panda Drinking Club and Heights restaurant Chivos, and Anthony Heins, whose background is in real estate.

German master brewer Henryk Orlik is in charge of the beer at Houston’s Black Page Brewing.

Becca Wright

Heins and Manriquez enlisted German master brewer Henryk Orlik to make the beer. Orlik did his training in his native Germany—an extensive program that entailed about 2,000 classroom hours and apprenticeships—but moved across the pond more than 25 years ago, at a time when the American craft brewery scene was nowhere near what it is now. He worked in Cleveland, Canada and, most recently, at Abida Brewing in Covington, La. He has kids in the Houston area and jumped at the opportunity to be closer to them.

Black Page stretches over 7,400 square feet on the site of a former candy distribution facility. The team renovated a 1940-built warehouse into the production brewery, made according to Orlik’s specifications. Next door, they built a new structure on top of an old barn’s foundation, which serves as the taproom and covered patio. The minimal-chic aesthetic is marked by a large marble tap wall, sleek black bar counter and a collection of lanterns.

Black Page Brewing is opening in Northside Houston in October 2022.

Black Page Brewing is opening in Northside Houston in October 2022.

Becca Wright

The entire property has been filled in with white gravel. There will be a beer garden right on the bayou’s banks, on the other side of the parking lot from the brewery. Manriquez says he has a 1941 International Harvester dump truck he wants to turn into a mobile bar parked at the beer garden, as an alternative point of sale.

Black Page is steps away from White Oak Music Hall—literal steps, an easily walkable distance of 700 feet. But the property itself, completely surrounded by trees and abutting the bayou, feels very secluded, like you’ve driven way outside Houston. Manriquez says he’s been involved with volunteer bayou clean-up efforts in that area since before Black Page was put into motion. He plans to engage brewery patrons by giving out free beer once a month to anyone who helps them clean up Little White Oak for a couple of hours.

Black Page Brewing is located on the site of a former candy distribution facility.

Black Page Brewing is located on the site of a former candy distribution facility.

Emma Balter

The bar area has 16 taps inside and 16 outside. The team plans to open with eight different beers and will likely go up to 12, with eight core beers and four rotating seasonals. They also bought a machine to offer beer to-go, poured to order.

Orlik is brewing very traditional German lagers, including a Munich helles and a märzen. “What we were doing 40 years ago in Germany, we’re doing here in America,” he said on the first week of brewing, which began Sept. 7.

There will be ales too, such as a hefeweizen from the same recipe he made for his master brewer thesis. Orlik says he also wants to round out the selection with “strange” beers, like flavored ales but without the artificial ingredients many of those novelty brews have. He has a small pilot tester system he will use to experiment. Black Page will also serve wine and kombucha, and Orlik has experience making non-alcoholic seltzer, gluten-free beer and low-carb beer.

Black Page Brewing in Houston will serve traditional German lagers and more adventurous ales.

Black Page Brewing in Houston will serve traditional German lagers and more adventurous ales.

Becca Wright

As for the food, Black Page has entered a partnership with La Macro, a popular taco truck in the neighborhood. One of their two trucks will be stationed in the beer garden throughout the brewery’s opening hours, serving the Mexican classics they specialize in, but with some German influences.

The area north of downtown Houston is already home to a few breweries, old and new. Saint Arnold, Texas’ oldest craft brewery founded in the mid-1990s, has been in its Lyons Avenue digs since 2010. Local Group, now known as Gristworkz under the new ownership, opened in February 2020. And most recently, Frost Town Brewing debuted in a northern nook of downtown in June.

Black Page Brewing

Find it: 210 Glen Park St., Houston, TX 77009