Houston's beer army (I call them army because of their size and commitment to the cause) recently showed up in full force to welcome Kirbside, the new beer and wine bar inside of the Whole Foods on Kirby. The pint-sized horseshoe-shaped bar sits to the right of the registers, located all-too-conveniently a stone’s throw away from the prepared foods department.
Then again, who needs the trouble of walking over to the prepared foods department when Kirbside has a menu of their own? Their menu -- composed of cheese plates, 10 inch pizzas, and sandwiches -- may be small, but it’s one that’s perfect for a quick bite to accompany brews or vino.
The “Cheesemonger Plate,” which includes the day’s selection of three cheeses and a side (think nuts, olives, and spreads), is a great deal at just $7. The “Localtier” offers a neat selection of -- you guessed it -- local products such as Brazos Valley Clothbound Cheddar, Stroope’s local honey, and creamy Lonestar fresh goat cheese. Cheeseheads will be excited to learn that the Localtier and other local cheese plates are half off on Fridays from 3-6 p.m.
If you’re a pizza fan, you can build your own or choose from a prosciutto and fig pizza or a vegan Mediterranean version (both $8). Sandwich lovers have three to choose from: porcetta, classic muffaleta, or vegan.
But enough about the food, it is a bar after all! And beer is indeed the main attraction at Kirbside. You can sip on everything from Karbach cans ($1.79!) to Lambics ($6.49), to American brews (Stone Brewing Co., Breckenridge Brewery, Brewery Ommegang, $1.99-$4.99) to four gluten-free ales or ciders ($1.99-$2.49). Draft beer offerings will vary but you can currently find Karbach’s Yule Shoot Your Eye Out and Pontificator, Leprechaun’s Winter Cider, and Brooklyn Lager, among others.
If you feel like taking a piece of Kirbside home with you, pick your favorite from their draft selection and fill up one of their 32 or 64 ounce growlers. The prices will vary based on selection but when I visited, 64 ounces of Weissa Versa Wheat cost only $7!
Wine-o’s have a carefully curated, no-fuss ten item list to choose from, which features usual suspects like Chardonnay, Riesling, Cabernet, and Pinot Noir for anywhere between $5-$10.
Kirbside is a neat little spot for hanging out if you’re in the neighborhood, or maybe have some time to kill before grocery shopping. Actually, you can even buy a beer and then drink it while you do your grocery shopping. This is allowed but highly not recommended, as your pocketbook may come out lighter, thanks to Beer-Influenced Grocery Shopping Syndrome, a condition similar to When You’re Hungry You Buy Everything in the Grocery Store Disease.
Urban Swank did receive a complimentary tasting, but the opinions expressed are our own.