Thanks to the bevy of graduates from Austin culinary school, Texas’ capital city is jam-packed with loads of restaurants. From authentic Mexican to Indian, pastries and sweets to down-home barbecue, the citizens of Austin have a seemingly endless variety of options for breakfast, lunch, dinner and as many random snacks as possible. Despite the sheer number of options, there is at least one common thread connecting many of these establishments: beer. That’s because Austin is home to several breweries, each of which has a profound commitment to concocting ales that exemplify Austin’s truly independent, slightly quirky status. Looking for a place to enjoy a few tasty pilsners, ales or IPAs? Here are just a few of the spots carrying Austin’s flag for truly innovative brewing:
1. Live Oak Brewing Co.: Established in 1997, Live Oak is among the oldest breweries in all of Austin. The company’s two founders, Chip McElroy and Brian Peters, have spent much of the 20 or so years working out of the same small brewery out in east Austin. In fact, when the company first started, they were Live Oak’s only two brew masters and delivery drivers. It’s this kind of commitment to small-scale operations that is personified in its line of beers and ales. Live Oak’s primary catalog includes an amber lager, a hefeweizen, a pilsner or IPA. However, perhaps the brewery’s biggest claim to fame is its lineup of seasonal beers, which incudes a doppelback, rye ale, Berlin wheat beer and golden pale ale.
2. Austin Beerworks: As the four founders of Austin Beerworks explain on their website, they’ve got a wide variety of past career experiences, including stints in the military, owning a barbershop and competitive disc golf. Though they’ve all shifted focus to making beer, they maintain that same sense of fun and frivolity to the brewery experience. Each week, Austin Beerworks holds a number of beer-centric events, from concerts and tasting seminars to exclusive parties when a new beer line is rolled out. And what a lineup of beverages the company has, including a German-style schwarzbier and a pils, an American IPA, pale ale and an ever-rotating cast of seasonal beers.
3. Draught House Pub & Brewery: Across much of Europe, there are breweries that emphasize the experience of drinking beer. That is, simple meeting places where friends can enjoy a few cold ones together over a lazy afternoon. Draught House continues that similar experience in Austin’s especially quaint Rosedale neighborhood. The restaurant’s lineup of a number of locally-brewed options and favorites from other small or regional breweries, mainly several kinds of imperial IPA, Belgian ales, a specialized grain beer, a bevy of ciders and barley wine. Draught House also has a number of daily specials, like $3 pints and the promotion “buy a pint, keep the glass.”
4. (512) Brewing Company: If you’re inclined to believer the founder of (512) draft house, the typical modern brewery has lost touch with the true beer consumer. As a result, the staff at (512) want to try and make visiting these establishments an experience again, one where people enjoy the company of good people and treat pouring and consuming beer almost like an art form. As such, the brew masters have assembled a solid collection of beers, including a pecan porter, double IPA, cream stout, peach sour ale and a series of award-winning wits, IPAs and pale ales. Over the last 6 years, (512) has also released a series of anniversary beers, with the lineup featuring a Belgian triple ale comprise of oats, what and Pilsen malt and the entirely organic Dubbel.