Tasty Texas Suds and Sips
If you’re looking for barrels of fun the next time you’re in Austin, you’re in luck: The city is overflowing with more than 40 breweries, most of which offer tastings and tours. So whether you’re a craft beer connoisseur or prefer to sample the best bets for Texas brews, you’ll be able to peruse this preferred list of Austin’s best breweries and pick your perfect poison.
Offering Belgian-style beers close to Archer, as well as tours on Saturdays, the award-winning Adelbert’s Brewery uses non-GMO Bohemian floor-malted barley, Noble hops and fresh yeast, as well as a multitemperature decoction mash. The result? A more-complex flavor in each bottle. Whether trying a limited-release or a year-round beer, a fruited sour or a canned brew, the tasting room provides additional entertainment: TV, darts, giant Jenga and foosball. Or enjoy a cold one outside under the hand-built pergola or while playing a rousing game of cornhole or washers. Don’t forget to check out its Facebook or Twitter page for details on which food trucks will be at Adelbert’s when you go.
Domain NORTHSIDE’s relaxing, upscale Brass Tap offers more than 300 craft beers from around the world — and the knowledgeable staff to serve it up and answer questions properly. Even the website gives an education in Beerology, with info on which glassware complements which types of beer, beer styles by color and a beer glossary. (Fun fact: The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) is an English organization founded in 1971, which works to preserve the productions of cask-conditioned beers and ales.) Daily specials, live music, an open-air bar and fun events — Ladies Night, Karaoke Night and Geeks Who Drink Trivia — make this destination taproom one of Austin’s best breweries and a must-visit.
Perhaps the quintessential Austin brewery, Austin Beerworks focuses solely on producing canned (not bottled) beer that’s divided into four groupings: Core Four — Peacemaker anytime ale, Pearl-Snap German-style pils, Flavor Country hoppy pale ale and Fire Eagle American IPA — a hearty selection of seasonal brews and what it bills “Heavy Machinery” — a seasonal IPA series. Stop by the taproom for a tour and enjoy a cold one, including exclusive taproom-only selections, at the walk-up bar or super-cool, dog-friendly patio. And complement that brew with some good grub from a rotation of food trucks that partner with the brewery. You’ll be treated to excellent service by the friendly staff and have an opportunity to purchase bold merch with attitude: shirts, headware, fanny packs (yes, indeed), bolo ties, Eagle River tube and the wildly popular “Photorealistic Unicorn” original art, hand-drawn by Austin Beerworks staff members. These folks know how to have serious fun.
Just north of Lady Bird Lake in the historic district of Rainey Street lies one fo Austin’s best breweries, Craft Pride — a wildly popular beer bar with more than 50 taps featuring Texas craft beers. The bar’s design, construction and decor underscore its allegiance to local businesses and belief in fostering an environment of sustainability. Serving Texas drafts, bottles, cans and wines Craft Pride has a Sunday brunch with signature beer cocktail offerings that go down perfectly alongside food truck Via 313’s Detroit-style pizza. A myriad of crowd-pleasing events (music, movies, trivia) fill the calendar at this locals’ favorite.
Southeast Austin is home to Independence Brewing Co. and its laid-back taproom. Serving up year-round favorite brews, seasonal and limited releases and exclusive beers is its specialty; try the Power & Light pale ale, Stash IPA, Austin Amber or its newest beer, Native Texan Pilsner. Then check out the cool Independence merchandise, including Convict Hill Kuhdoo Soap, Redbud Dog Toy and Buffalo Bar Key. The brewery hosts Geeks Who Drink trivia every Thursday night, and its taproom showcases live original music and special food events. While you’re there enjoying the frosty tastes, don’t forget to take a brewery tour. An additional feel-good bonus: The brewery hosts events throughout the state that raise money to fund a service dog for a person in need via the nonprofit Service Dogs Inc.
A short drive southwest of Domain NORTHSIDE’s Archer Hotel Austin is Jester King — a world-renowned farmhouse brewery set on the outskirts of town in Texas Hill Country. With a hop yard, a three-acre vineyard and a herd of goats, Jester King grows a variety of fruits and vegetables for fermentation, as well as for sharing with the community. A sampling of more than 50 house beers includes Spon Grapefruit, Queen’s Order (ale brewed with Texas honey and lemons), Montmorency vs. Balaton (barrel-aged beer refermented with cherries) and Cerveza de Mezquite (al brewed with mesquite beans). This family- and dog-friendly outdoor brewery serves handcrafted, artisan pizzas and appetizers by Stanley’s Farmhouse Pizza. Free farm tours begin at 2 PM every Saturday.
When in Austin, what makes sipping and savoring a few delicious cold ones all the better? Why, music, of course. Head over to Archer’s blog post Austin’s Best Live Venues to plan the rest of your evening after your craft brewery tour. Whether you’re ready for some great honky-tonk, poetry slams, comedic gems, impromptu jam sessions or an authentic Austin City Limits experience, you’ll find the perfect place to get your groove on.
Three cheers — and several bottoms up — for Austin’s best breweries!