Bobby “Spike” Harl, brewmaster, and Sherry Shypailo, beer slinger.

Just a quick drive to the edges of Kingwood’s backyard, you will find a quaint little white structure off of Sorters-McLelland. What used to be home to a Pentecostal church is now home to Back Pew Brewing Company. Sitting on 18 acres of land, you will find their entire operation, along with a covered back area with sails for shade, corn hole, and a food truck every Saturday starting at noon. Local bands take the stage including one of Kingwood’s favorite, The Fab Five. Tours are given to check out the “behind the scenes” of brewing, which I find a fascinating process.
Bobby Harl, the mind, heart, and science behind the operation, graduated from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. with a Ph.D. in chemistry. Upon graduating, the Tomball native thought what better than to come back home to Houston and start up his dream? Crafting delicious brews is what he and his staff do best. With father Randy, Uncle Bill, Cousin C.J. Powell, Right Hand Dan Henley, and Beer Slinger Sherry Shypailo, they have fun and love what they do. Keeping to the history of the building and property, they name their beer along the “Saints and Sinners” theme. What I love about their style of brew making is that they have something for everyone.
The flagship of the lineup is the Blue Testament, an American pilsner made with Texas blue corn as a base grain. I was fortunate to visit the brewery when Bobby, aka Spike, was brewing a fresh batch. I was able to taste the “nectar” of the beer, which is the liquid that they batch before they ferment and carbonate the beverage. It was fantastic; well balanced with a hint of sweetness and malt with a floral touch. They have traditional styles of more common beers, but they also offer delicious biers known throughout the world such as a roggenbier, which is called Ryesurrection, a hefe made with rye. Delicious. Another in their repertoire is the Act of Balor, which is an imperial milk stout that is sure to impress any stout beer drinker. Black Habit, a schwarzbier, is a black lager that is delightfully deceiving. It looks full, dark and rich, but drinks light and crisp. From Sweet Salvation brown ale to 9th Circle black IPA, these brews are sure to impress. The team is planning on releasing 30 Pieces of Silver, a double IPA, in the spring.
Also to come in the next few months, a full tap room is being constructed in which there will be a shop to buy all the bier swag you like, and an offering of 30 taps with a pass-through to the patio.
So, exciting things are coming from our backyard brewery! Whether you are a saint or a sinner, Back Pew has a cold brew for you. Spike sure knows what he is doing. Young and meticulous, he promises there is going to be some fun stuff coming, so keep an eye out.
“We try to bring a different flavor profile to the market for the city of Houston,” he said.
And that they do. Swing on by on Saturdays for a day of bliss. They are dog and kid friendly, so bring some lawn chairs and enjoy.
You can find most of their beers in all the local markets. If draft is your choice, give them a try at 3 B’s, The Draft, and White Lightning, amongst a few other places. Whether reserved or glutinous, please enjoy responsibly. Prost!

With 16 years in the hospitality industry and serving the Kingwood community, Casey Reeves welcomes comments, questions or conversations at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Casey Reeves
Author: Casey ReevesEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
This month marks 16 years in the hospitality industry for me. After graduating from Texas Culinary Academy in 2005, I returned to Houston and continued learning and studying my passion of gastronomy. From sous chef at Deerwood Country Club and wine consultant for Spec’s to bar manager at Chimichurri’s, I have worked and been a part of the Kingwood community for many years. My passions have given me the opportunity to travel across the world and back, for which I am so thankful. With the culmination of that experience, I get the opportunity to share my experiences and wisdom about the life of the party, The Drinks!