Let’s talk about how amazing Austin is. In addition to being the Live Music Capital of the World, Austin has an incredible restaurant, bar, and beer scene. We’re all about the local craft beer and love our local Austin breweries.
I’m no beer expert so I reached out to my gal, Caitlin of Big World, Small Girl. Caitlin knows the local Austin brewery scene like the back of her hand so she’s sharing her top 12 best breweries in Austin for craft beer!
Hi there! My name is Caitlin, and I’ve been living in Austin, Texas for a few years now. By day, I’m a content marketer, and by night I keep busy following the local craft beer and beverage scene, writing about it for my blog, Big World, Small Girl.
What I love about craft beer is the community it builds and how it always keeps me learning something new. When I’m not traveling to new breweries or sampling beautiful cocktails, I’m most likely playing down at Auditorium Shores with Landon, my Border Collie mix.
BREWERIES IN NORTH AUSTIN
Austin Beerworks’ vibrantly colored cans are available everywhere in Austin, but a visit to their recently expanded taproom is a must. With the recent expansion, the brewery is now able to produce more seasonals to go alongside their four classic core beers. The colorful taproom offers plenty of bench seating, inside and out, making it a perfect place to enjoy a local beer with a group of your hippest friends.
Must-Try Beer: The winter seasonal Sputnik, which is a Russian imperial coffee oatmeal stout brewed with Austin’s Cuvee Coffee.
3001 Industrial Terrace, austinbeerworks.com
photography by Big World, Small Girl
Celis Brewery made its return to Austin in 2017, but the original founder, Pierre Celis first started brewing beers for Austin in the early nineties. Now, it’s his daughter, Christine and his granddaughter, Daytona that are carrying on the family tradition.
The 22,000 square foot brewery is located in the heart of north Austin’s “brewery district”. Stocked with highly-advanced brewing equipment, Christine has brought together an intelligent team of brewers that are bringing her father’s beers back to life while also experimenting with new styles.
Must-Try Beer: The one that started it all, and very well should be on every beer drinker’s bucket list, the Celis White.
10001 Metric Blvd, celisbeers.com
One of Austin’s older breweries, Circle Brewing has had a huge impact in the local craft beer community since first opening in 2010. Their taproom is industrial, but friendly and cozy. There’s a large chalkboard that details all the upcoming events and current beer offerings. If Circle’s beer selection feels a bit overwhelming, ask the friendly staff for guidance in making a beer choice. Either way, it’d be hard to go wrong with any of their brews.
Must-Try Beer: The Party Pig imperial porter is the latest (and a very yummy) addition to Circle’s lineup of beers.
2340 W Braker Ln b, circlebrewing.com
Koko: Since its founding in 2011, Adelbert’s Brewery has grown to become an award-winning microbrewery in Austin, Texas. This microbrewery has a lofty space in North Austin with non-GMO beers.
Must-Try Beer: Hibiscus Saison
2314 Rutland Dr #100, adelbertsbeer.com
BREWERIES IN CENTRAL AUSTIN
Hi Sign Brewing
Hi Sign Brewing is just a stone’s throw from the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Their shaded outdoor space has picnic tables and hammocks that are made for watching the planes flying overhead. While this is one of Austin’s newer breweries, Hi Sign has grown their lineup of core beers into an expansive menu that continues to offer more unique variants on classic styles.
Must-Try Beer: Hi Sign’s Shamus the Fiddle, a beautiful and classic Irish red.
1201 Bastrop Hwy, hisignbrewing.com
Live Oak Brewing Company
Located next door to Hi Sign is Live Oak Brewing Company with their lagers and ales that are surrounded by majestic groves of live oaks along the Colorado River. Live Oak makes smoked beer (unique huh?) where they take the malt used in brewing and roast it over an open fire that imparts a smokiness. Try their “Bamberg on the Colorado”.
1615 Crozier Ln, liveoakbrewing.com
Koko: I actually haven’t been to Pinthouse Pizza yet but I’ve had their pizza at events so I can’t speak to the food. I have had one of their sour beers at Provision and I really enjoyed it.
Pinthouse Pizza has won several awards for their beers: Fully Adrift Double IPA (2018 Alpha King Winner, 2014 Alpha King Runner Up and 2015 L.A. International Beer Competition Silver Medal), Nomura DIPA (2017 Alpha King 3rd place), Green Battles IPA (2018 GABF Gold Medal and 2018 World Beer Cup Gold Medal), and Electric Jellyfish IPA voted Austin’s Best Overall Beer in 2016, 2017 & 2018. Electric Jellyfish is the sour beer that I tried!
Must-Try Beer: Electric Jellyfish IPA
Locations on North Burnet, South Lamar, and Round Rock, pinthousepizza.com
BREWERIES IN EAST AUSTIN
Blue Owl Brewing Taproom
This East Austin brewery is dedicated to the art of sour-mashing the most beloved beer styles. With three options for flights: four pours in a five, eight, or 12-ounce glass, you can pick the flight that fits your mood. Or bring your growler, and grab some of their beer to-go!
Blue Owl’s completely dog-friendly taproom is open daily except for Mondays and Tuesdays. If you’re looking to learn more about the sour-mashing process though, you should grab yourself a spot on one of the weekend brewery tours.
Must-Try Beer: If it’s your first time visiting Blue Owl, make sure to order Professor Black, a cherry sour stout. It will be like nothing you have ever had! Or the Spirit Animal, a sour pale ale.
2400 E Cesar Chavez St #300, blueowlbrewing.com
Hops & Grain Brewing
Hops & Grain is most recognized for their pioneering experimentation with hops and their devotion to sustainability. Inside their East Austin taproom, they have plenty of seating for large groups. Outside, under the shaded dog-friendly area is where most of the action happens, and you can’t miss taking a picture of your beer in front of the brewery’s Instagram-worthy wall art.
Must-Try Beer: The One They Call Zoe, pale lager.
507 Calles St #101, hopsandgrain.com
Friends and Allies Brewing Company
This Austin brewery has been around for awhile, but up until recently, Friends & Allies were without a taproom. Now, they’re situated right in the growing Springdale Station area of East Austin next to Austin Bouldering Project, with a bright taproom and plenty of room to expand brewing operations. Having their core beers down pat, Friends & Allies has been making use of the space experimenting with more styles and local collaborations.
Friends & Allies Brewing is open Wednesday through Sundays. Feel free to bring your dog and hang out on their friendly porch. Inside, there’s board games and plenty of room for all of your friends!
Must-Try Beer: One of the originals, Noisy Cricket, an easy-drinking IPA.
979 Springdale Rd, friendsandallies.beer
Lazarus Brewing Company
Lazarus Brewing Company is right in the middle of East Austin’s popular Sixth Street district, but you’ll be able to spot the brewery by its bright teal exterior. Lazarus Brewing is constantly experimenting and brewing the most-underrepresented styles of beer. You might hear that often, but really, this is a brewery that will make you excited about craft beer. Lazarus opens early every morning for coffee and breakfast tacos and stays open late for craft beer and more tacos.
Must-Try Beer: Jolted Phoenix, an irresistible coffee-infused golden ale.
1902 E 6th St, lazarusbrewing.com
Southern Heights Brewing Company
One of Austin’s newer brewery, Southern Heights is colorful and open, plenty of room for groups or to find a quiet spot and curl up with a beer and a book. Additionally, the brewery is dog-friendly inside and out, and comes with a staff that’s equal parts knowledgeable and friendly. Overall, the beer selection is quite small but is continuing to grow and evolve in a way that will keep you excited to come back for more.
Must-Try Beer: Where’s My Flannel, an English pub ale that is simple but impressive.
6014 Techni Center Dr ste 2-101, southernheightsbrewing.com
Zilker Brewing Company and Taproom
Koko: I just visited Zilker Brewing a couple of weeks ago and I see can see why there’s often a line out the door at this brewery in East Austin. This industrial taproom showcases every aspect of their brewing process. What makes Zilker Brewing different from breweries is that they have seltzer here! The current seltzer is Black Fang – a kiwi and watermelon hard seltzer.
I love sour beers so I was delighted to see a sour beer on their menu, the Berry Fun is a blueberry and boysenberry sour beer that’s made with 550 lbs of blueberry, boysenberry puree.
It’s easy to try more than one beer here because Spicy Boys Chicken is parked out front with their Asian-inspired fried chicken wings. I really liked the Korean buffalo chicken wings and the tater tots seasoned with their fried chicken spice is a must.
Must-Try Beer: Berry Fun – blueberry and boysenberry sour beer
1701 E 6th St, zilkerbeer.com
BREWERIES IN SOUTH AUSTIN
St. Elmo Brewing Company
St Elmo Brewing is down south in The Yard, sharing a block with boozy neighbors that include Still Austin Whiskey and The Austin Winery. In the brewery’s early days, the founders, Bryan Winslow and Tim Bullock, focused on mastering their three, year-round beers. Just barely a year later, and they’ve greatly expanded to offer plenty of variety and styles you might not have had before.
The indoor taproom is small and cozy, but the outdoor space has a stage for live music and comes with corn hole boards, a staple of any respected brewery. Come hungry, because this Austin brewery also hosts Soursop, an Indian-inspired food truck that has become a favorite around town.
Must-Try Beer: Slater, American IPA is juicy, tropical, and fabulous to pair with eats from Soursop.
440 E St Elmo Rd G-2, stelmobrewing.com
Austin Beer Garden and Brewery (The ABGB)
Austin Beer Garden and Brewery, just off South Lamar, has literally everything you could want in a brewpub. And that’s exactly why they continue to win awards that acknowledge them as one of the best brewpubs in the country. Here you’re treated to spectacular live music on a stage that beautifully shows off the brewing equipment. Order some of the delicious pizza and salad to pair with The ABGB’s numerous award-winning beers.
Must-Try Beer: 3-time Great American Beer Festival Winner, Rocket 100, a pre-Prohibition-style Pilsner.
1305 W Oltorf St, theabgb.com
Independence Brewing Co.
Koko: Independence Brewing Co. is a local craft brewery and taproom located in Southeast Austin, Texas. Founded by Amy & Rob Cartwright in 2004, Independence Brewing Co. has grown from a small mom, pop & dog operation to a team of 40 people producing more than 20,000 barrels each year with distribution throughout Texas and Arkansas. Independence Brewing Co. is now one of the largest and most beloved breweries in Central Texas.
Independence’s core lineup of year-round brews includes Stash IPA, Native Texan Pilsner, Austin Amber, Redbud Berliner Weisse, Power and Light Session IPA, and Convict Hill Oatmeal Stout. These beers and several seasonal/limited releases can be enjoyed in a laid-back, industrial-style tasting room with views of the beer-making process set to live music from local musicians. Birds Barbershop offers beers exclusively from Independence Brewing Co. in all nine of their locations across Texas.
Independence Brewing Co. partnered with Little City Coffee Roasters to release packaged nitro coffee ale called Up and Down. Up and Down: Brazil is a 5.6% alc/volume blonde ale that was brewed with 180 lbs of whole bean coffee per batch and comes packaged in a special widget can—the same technology that is used in canned nitro coffee. Independence is one of only a few breweries in the country to use these patented cans, and among the very first to experiment with canning a nitrogenated coffee beer.
3913 Todd Ln #607, independencebrewing.com
Skull Mechanix Brewing
Skull Mechanix is a family business and operated brewery located just north of The Motor Mile in South Austin. The large vibrant tap room also features a small arcade, upper mezzanine, and a large stage to showcase original tunes and occasional comedy. Skull Mechanix specializes in high quality, well-attenuated lagers, and ales that represent their view of “working-class beer”.
1005 E. St. Elmo Rd #2, skullmechanix.com
BREWERIES IN WEST AUSTIN
Jester King Brewery
As an authentic farmhouse brewery, Jester King has become known for their mixed culture and spontaneous fermentation programs. With brewers that are masters at incorporating the natural surroundings and agriculture into their brews, they uniquely tie their beers to “a time, place, and people.”
Jester King’s taproom is a short drive out to Texas Hill Country, but it sits on a spot of land that will be the prettiest you ever see. If you’re hungry, there’s Stanley’s Farmhouse Pizza on-site, which has built its own reputation of being some of the best pizza around.
Must-Try Beer: Figlet, a farmhouse ale fermented with Texas figs that were smoked in Aaron Franklin’s smokers.
13187 Fitzhugh Rd, jesterkingbrewery.com
SEE ALSO: 12 Best Breakfast Tacos In Austin
Vista Brewing is a hospitality destination in Driftwood, Texas, located 25 miles southwest of Austin, at the gateway to the Central Texas Wine Trail. Guests can experience “Fresh Air and Fresh Beer” in the Texas Hill Country in a modern ranch-style tasting room surrounded by acres of beer garden. The 21-acre property includes the brewery & tasting room, full-service restaurant, farm, apiary, live music, and multiple event spaces.
13551 FM150 W, Driftwood, Texas, vistabrewingtx.com
Oasis Texas Brewing Company
Located in a state-of-the-art brewing facility in the heart of the Hill Country, Oasis, Texas Brewing Co. serves artfully crafted beers both in cans and on draft. With an experienced team of brewers led by Austin’s own Spencer Tielkemeier, Oasis, Texas Brewing Co. is committed to serving fresh, flavorful craft beers for savvy drinkers. Drink a beer and that iconic sunset over Lake Travis!
6650 Comanche Trail Suite #301, otxbc.com