Finding fantastic beer in Austin, Texas, isn’t hard. The city has a long roster of great food and beer — so much so that people travel from all over the world just to eat and drink in town. That’s a powerful pull. In fact, when picking ten spots to highlight, we had to pause to reflect to make sure we’d didn’t forget anything vital. There are so many elements to the city that we didn’t want to get caught slipping. The desire to do Austin justice ran high.
First and foremost we hoped to capture the character of the place. This is where the “Keep it Weird” movement was born after all. Next, we wanted to offer homage to the vibes of backyard patios and shady beer gardens that you can get stuck in all damn day. Then came the Travis County countryside, luring us out of the gritty city into the wilds. Finally, of course, there was the killer food scene. These thoughts in mind, we were finally able to narrow down a list of undeniable Austin gems.
This isn’t about being comprehensive. It’s about finding the “unmissable spots” to visit when you only have a long weekend or maybe a week to hang. So we’ve taken a little bit from each of the aspects we love about Texas’s hipster Mecca and filtered them through the local beer scene. Below are the must-stops for the beer lovers around the always weird and convivial Austin, Texas.
FAMILY BUSINESS BEER COMPANY, Dripping Springs
Nate Seale’s return to the Austin beer scene has been a triumph for all things craft beer. The master brewer brought his alchemist’s acumen to Dripping Springs to help open one of the Austin area’s best new breweries, Family Business Beer Company. Seale’s beers are a masterclass in great American craft suds. Seasonals dominate and their Rye Lager is a “can’t miss” for a sharp and deeply refreshing sip on a hot day.
Family Business has a chilled Texan vibe with great beer at the center of it all. The taproom and beer garden are laid back, open spaces with just the right amount of decor not to distract from the beer. The outdoor area is full of picnic tables under shady trees where food trucks can park — which is about as “Texas beer garden”-y as you can get.
The whole spot is the perfect place to while away a whole day on a shady Texas afternoon.
BLACK STAR CO-OP PUB & BREWERY, Crestview
Black Start Co-Op sets an example for many to follow in the beer world. Their community owned and operated pub and brewery takes a village, and they bring great beer and food with them. Black Star builds it beers through community tastings and roundtables. Then they brew “rational” beer (their year-round offerings) and “irrational” beer (their seasonals and one-offs). Both offerings are unique and delicious examples of what beer can be when a village comes together to create something special.
The space Black Star occupies has a great aura of chill people devoting part of their lives to cooking the best food to serving alongside the best beer. You don’t have to be part of the co-op to drop in and enjoy the fruits of everyone’s labor. You just have to show up hungry and thirsty and dive in.
OASIS TEXAS BREWING COMPANY, Comanche Canyon Ranch
Posting up on the deck at Oasis Texas Brewing and watching the sunset over Lake Travis with a cold, wonderfully crafted beer is lips-kissing-fingertips magical. Hell, we’d suggest hitting up Oasis even if you don’t dig beer — just for that experience. You can order a nice glass of wine or a bottle of Topo Chico. We never judge.
If you do order a beer, check out their London Homesick Ale. They’ve taken some of the best elements of English ale and contained it in a can of low-IBU (not too bitter) ale. It’ll have you saying, “Ah…” with every sip. From there, check out whatever seasonal is on tap. It’ll be fresh and innovative without being overly challenging — that means it’ll be super drinkable and delicious.
DRAUGHT HOUSE PUB & BREWERY, Rosedale
Back in town, Draught House Pub & Brewery is a solid choice to dive into great beer. This joint has… wait for it… 74 rotating taps. The cellar is a legendary mix of international masterpieces, regional beauties, and local treasures. The insanely deep bench of beers means you can spend a whole boozing session at Draught House Pub drinking local Austin beers and not hit the end or you could dive into beers from Spain or California. The choices really do feel endless.
The digs are very dive-reminiscent — with an old bar and etched wooden tables. In keeping with the Austin aesthetic, there’s a great outdoor patio with plenty of shade and a huge Connect Four game (trust us, you’ll be playing that shit like your life depends on it within three for four beers). This is another great spot to drop in for a quick beer or spend an afternoon and let it turn into an evening of good times. Plus they have mozzarella, tomato, and basil stuffed pretzels which are always a strong call when you’re drinking beer this good.
SAVE THE WORLD BREWING COMPANY, Marble Falls
View this post on Instagram
It was so much fun to shoot at @stwbrewing today, prepping for the weekend food and brew event benefitting The Helping Center and other central Texas food pantries. $20 gets you an amazing 3-course meal cooked by @foodielicious and a 🍺! Come out to the brewery this Saturday from 1-6 and support these amazing causes that give so much (not to mention all of the beers from Save The World are super delicious).
Save the World Brewing Company is a non-profit brewery that supports international, national, and local charities with their profits from making delicious beer. Save the World goes all in. They create special seasonal beers for specific charities to raise awareness and cash year round. It’s a truly humbling and wholly unique beer company. And, yes, the beer stands up to the concept. It’s masterfully brewed and leans towards Belgian Saisons and sours.
Spending an afternoon at Save The World’s warehouse-like brewery is an excellent way to spend the day if you love beer. Their taproom is a chill spot where you can explore the finer points of Belgian-style beers by way of Texan terroir. There’s the added benefit of knowing that you’re actually giving a little back by getting a little tipsy. It feels like a win all around.
SOUR DUCK MARKET, East Austin
Sour Duck Market is where food and beer meet in the best way possible. The expertly curated beer taps are a tour through the best of the best being crafted in Austin. Celis White Witbier, Jester King Grim Harvest, and Live Oak Pilz are just a few of the highlights on the menu. Seriously, this is where you go if you want to sample amazing Austin beer but also what to eat amazing Austin food.
The small market space and backyard patio are vibrant and convivial. The whole spot has a chill vibe that focuses on the eats and drinks so you can zero in on socializing and enjoying said eats and drinks. Their Dirty Fried Rice with a duck egg is the perfect pairing for a pint of well-cellared Jester King ale.
BLUEBONNET BREWERY, Round Rock
Bluebonnet Brewery has an ace in the hole. Their head brewer is a trained biologist who’s devoted his life to brewing amazing beer for the world. That expertise comes through in a seriously deep list of great ales, Czech Pilsners, Belgian Wits, and German classics. Their Texas Pecan Brown Ale is a wonderfully local take on brown ales that add a little Texas bite and nuttiness to the mellow beer.
Bluebonnet is a little bit out of town, so you’ll need a car to get up there. But, trust us, the drive is worth it. The tiny brewery sits in (basically) a garage and gets a stream of curious visitors and beer lovers alike. The scene at Bluebonnet is about drinking great beer right at the source with on-point local food trucks dropping by to give everyone a solid base so that the suds ca flow late into the evening.
EASY TIGER, Downtown
View this post on Instagram
Mark your calendars: This Thursday is National Pretzel Day! In honor of the occasion, we've put together a special Brotzeit Board featuring a small pretzel & beer cheese, salted butter, a brat link & a pint of @realalebrewing Munich-styled Helles Lager for just $12! Available in the Beer Garden 4/26 from 11 am to close
Baked bread, pretzels, sausages, corned beef, and beer collide in the best way at Easy Tiger. The beer garden is a dope place to enjoy a pint or two of cold suds downtown Austin. The bar has 33 taps of rotating classics from around the country and the local craft scene. The beers are curated to fit perfectly with the German-American menu of venison sausages and heaps of sauerkraut.
The play here is to grab a tray full of all the meats, bread, cheese, and pickles you can handle then pick an awesome beer from the deep tap list. Take that out to the patio and enjoy the view of Waller Creek as you get a little tipsy. Then maybe try a couple of their housemade sausages and one those big ol’ pretzels as you dive deeper into the menu. It’s the perfect way to spend the day.
THE BREWER’S TABLE, Govalle
The Brewer’s Table is pushing boundaries in the best way when it comes to their beer selection — their food is stellar as well, by the way. Their six beers are often ingenious brews that take styles to new flavor heights. Beets By Drew is a subtle beer that infused hints of smoke, roasted beets, and mint. It works in ways that’ll raise an eyebrow in the best way possible. Then there’s a guest tap list of another 20 wonderfully curated beers from around Austin, the US, and Belgium.
The food at Brewer’s Table hits the highest marks to accompany the elegant beers. If you’re looking for a small bite that pairs perfectly with a funky ale, try the deviled eggs. The whites are filled with smoked chicken liver mousse, egg yolk jam, and chile aioli. Add a delicate pretzel croissant with beer cheese foam on the side and you’ve got a beer-centric meal that’ll stay with you long after you’ve left Texas.
THE WHITE HORSE, East Cesar Chavez
If you don’t go to an old honky tonk and drink copious amounts of Lone Star, you’re doing Austin, Texas, and possibly life wrong. The White Horse is exactly what you want it to be. The nights are hot and sticky. The crowd heaves and revels. The bands have the perfect twang you can only get from well-worn Fender Telecasters and humid Texas nights. The pool table has that little bit of wonk, requiring extra English. The beer is always ice cold. You will dance. All of this makes a night at The White Horse essential.
Look, there’s a nice selection of beer here to start of the night. But, let’s be real, once the band plugs in and you have a few rounds of pool behind you, you’ll be ready for ice-cold Lone Stars and shots of whiskey. Let the night take you. Make new friends. Seriously consider buying cowboys boots between Lone Stars. It’ll be a blast. The next morning you’ll wake up — your head as fuzzy as your memories — and you’ll know you did Austin justice.