It’s time for the best tours there are around Austin, namely the local breweries where the hops, malt, and barley become a frosty pint in your hand. Austin’s engine runs on craft beer, and the city’s ever-expanding brewery scene offers plenty of opportunity to sample your favorite hoppy beverages. There are no shortage of breweries in the Austin area and the Best Breweries in Austin will vary according to who you ask. Here are the noteworthy breweries that make a great place to say “Cheers”.
Zilker Brewing Co.
India Pale Ale fans need to head over here. After visiting over 100 breweries for creative and technical inspiration, the folks from Zilker Brewing Co. opened up in 2015 as the first brewpub in East Austin. Peering out onto bustling Sixth St, it’s the easiest to stumble into of any brewery on this list, and memorable thanks to the tropical fruit and pine aromatics of their flagship beer, the Marco IPA. Zilker is also positioned to make a big retail splash thanks a striking striped design that earned it top packaging honors in 2015 from the Austin Beer Guide.
4th Tap Brewing Co-op
4th Tap is fun spot from a Black Star alumnus partnering with a biochemistry whiz to launch a line-up of palate-catching beers, starring the Long Walk Grapefruit IPA. Much like how Black Star trail-blazed the co-op model, 4th Tap takes that a step further into the production-brewery realm. 4th Tap breaks new ground with a seldom seen Gruit, a cousin of beer (no hops or barley!) that uses all native-Texas ingredients including rosemary, lemon peel, and sorghum. It’s a an interesting detour from beer, but it’s a stand out in Texas’s crowded beer scene which taps uncharted territory.
Oasis Brewing Company
Most scenic of all Austin breweries, Oasis Brewing Company sits 470 feet above Lake Travis. The view alone has kept the neighboring Tex-Mex spot in business for decades, and Oasis took that in mind when designing a line-up of low ABV brews which go down easy from sundown to closing time. The core beers are an English-style Best Bitter, German Kellerbier, American Pale Ale, and a Session IPA, plus four always-rotating experimental taps like their Caribbean Breakfast Beer, which is a dunkelweizen brewed with plantains and coffee.
Blue Owl Brewing
Believe it or not, popular “sour” brews have now found their way into the most discerning craft beer bars. Blue Owl has led the movement with a lineup of beers that add tang to traditional styles, ranging from their highly drinkable Spirit Animal to Professor Black, a massive sour cherry stout. Blue Owl Brewing gets bonus points for a taproom in Austin’s booming Cesar Chavez district, and for a helpful sour scale rating system that is one more step towards bringing the sour trend mainstream.
Hops and Grain Brewing
This popular East Austin microbrewery has expanded its taproom into a lofty, industrial-style space with picnic-table seats for craft beer enthusiasts to sample the latest brews and play board games. Guests can book the space for private events or join free tours of the adjacent brewery to learn about sustainable practices – such as churning spent grain into dog biscuits. Tours of Hops and Grain Brewing are given on Tues-Fri at 5pm and Sat. at 1, 3 and 5pm. Tours are FREE, last about 45 min. and sometimes include special samples not available in the tap room. Try the Pale Dog Pale Ale or the Alt-Eration, their 2012 World Beer Cup Gold Medal winning Altbier, brewed using old world techniques, high quality German malts and noble hop varieties.
Independence Brewing Co.
With brewery tours, live original music, and special food events, the Independence tap room is likely to become your favorite place in south Austin! This craft brewery with an industrial tasting room and live music has tours available. Enjoy classic favorites, seasonal and limited releases, and brewery-exclusive beers while relaxing in the laid-back tap room. With cool events on the weekend, and seasonal beers like Red Bud Berliner and White Rabbit, this is an entertaining place to experience. Inspired by the Berlin wheat beer, their Redbud is refreshingly tart and lemony. It has a subtle wheat maltiness and it’s highly effervescent with a crisp finish. It is the perfect beer for scorching Texas summers. Since it’s hot in Texas 9 months out of the year, you can enjoy a Redbud all the time.
Adelbert’s Brewery (and Oddwood Ales)
Adelbert’s has grown to become an award-winning microbrewery in Austin, Texas. We believe excellent beer requires quality ingredients and hands-on brewing. We use non-GMO Bohemian floor malted barley, Noble hops, and fresh yeast propagated at the brewery. Try the Black Rhino or the Philosophizer. Adelbert’s bombers have earned tenured shelf space at the state’s best bottle shops, so it should be no surprise that their offshoot Oddwood Ales makes this list. Starting as a barrel-fermented side project, the experimental process captured the attention of brewer Taylor Ziebarth and led to an entirely new operation which will open its doors soon as the Oddwood Barrel House. Wild yeast and oak barrels drive the challenging woodsy flavors of their first two beers, a woodsy saison and a tart blonde ale called Taming the Savage Heart.
Draught House Pub & Brewery
The Draught House is the go-to relaxed tavern. This comfortable gathering point for the North Austin community has a huge selection of local beer in a old english style pub atmosphere. The vibe of easygoing inclusion sets it apart from the competition. They do not offer food here, but many locals actually get pizza delivered here while they enjoy various brews! Draught House Hammerhead Stout or their Draught House Hop Gold are favorites. Austin locals live in a wonderful time for craft beer and the brewery scene is booming. Draught House has a wide selection of craft beer on tap and you’ll always be surprised to find a beer you’ve never had waiting at Draught House.