Microbrew mania has captured the palates of many a Texan, and Austin is on the front-line of the Lonestar State’s craft beer revolution.
If you’ve fallen captive to the spell by one-of-a-kind, distinctly-flavored brews, Austin is a great place to live. Here are a few microbreweries you should visit for a tasting, tour, or more.
Hops & Grain Brewing
In addition to quality, sustainability is at the heart of this relatively new brewery’s mission. Hops & Grain brews its craft beer using sustainable methods, packages beer in aluminum cans because they are easily recyclable, and gives a percentage of its proceeds to local environmental non-profits. Grain leftover following the brewing process is used to make (alcohol-free) dog biscuits.
Situated east of downtown Austin, Hops & Grain Brewing offers free tours Wednesday through Saturday. The brewery’s hip, sustainable tap room, open Wednesdays through Sundays, can be rented out for events by request. This eco-friendly craft brew heaven isn’t far from AMLI Eastside and AMLI South Shore.
Live Oak Brewing
Also located on Austin’s east side, Live Oak Brewing Co. is a locally owned and operated microbrewery that produces year-round and seasonal lagers, ales, and pilseners. The brewing operation is known for using large dairy tanks as fermenters rather than the cylindroconical containers that look like something straight out of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Public tours are typically held twice a month, and cost 0 per person. Private tours can be arranged by request.
(512) Brewing uses only local, domestic, and organic ingredients in the brewing of its ales and porters. The brewery has ten popular products and offers Saturday tours of its brew house. Tours include a signature logo pint glass and more than enough craft beer samples to satisfy anyone.
One of the best known microbreweries throughout Texas, Independence Brewing is a can’t-miss for out-of-town visitors and a favorite among many Austin apartment dwellers. Located in South Austin, it specializes in handcrafted ales and lagers. Its Stash IPA has enjoyed particular success among beer lovers with a penchant for hoppy, bitter tastes. The brewery was started by a husband-and-wife and has a fun little history. Independence Brewing has a tasting room that can be rented out, but doesn’t offer tours at this time.
Uncle Billy’s Brew & Que
Near downtown Austin, Uncle Billy’s Brewery and Smokehouse has location, food quality, and brewing expertise going for it. If a night of strong craft beer, savory barbecue, and live blues music is what you’re looking for, check out the brewery’s event calendar to find out what’s on tap for the near future. Just across the river from AMLI Downtown and AMLI on 2ND, Uncle Billy’s is a great place to eat and drink before or after catching a show at Auditorium Shores or the Long Center for Performing Arts.
An eclectic place to eat, shop, watch live music, and drink craft beer, Whip In in South Austin is more than just a brewery. This unique place cooks up Indian fusion cuisine and brews specialty beers in very small quantities. If you want to experience life on the fringe of the microbrewing industry, go out of your way to check it out. You’ll most likely be greeted with a “Namaste, y’all.”
A bit north of downtown, but not too far from AMLI 5350, Austin Beerworks has been decorated with awards and praise for its German-style dark beer and pilsener, signature IPA, and other ales. Another can-only brewery, Austin Beerworks runs a sustainable operation and participates in and hosts tastings, festivals, and other events. No tours are currently scheduled, but the company does have a pretty neat, illustrated overview of how craft beer is made on its website.
Austin Beer Garden Brewing Company
Delightfully refreshing beer, great food, local live talent, and stellar customer service are the trademarks of the Austin Beer Garden Brewing Company in South Austin. The place has “sometimes” and “always” beers that run the gamut in terms of original gravity, bitterness units, and alcohol content. It has indoor and outdoor “garden” seating options, and both atmospheres are awesome. And bonus: It’s also the home of the Austin Beerworks “Peacemaker 99-pack!”
The weird city of Austin is home to many great breweries. If you’re ever in an exploratory mood, visit one of these well-run, high-quality craft beer brewing operations!
What’s your favorite Austin brewery?
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