Austin has it going on. Here, everything from the music to the gourmet coffee scene is blowing up. Also riding the wave: Austin-made craft beers. Over the last few years, it seems cans of Lone Star are being left in the dust for more artisanal, carefully crafted local brews, and food enthusiasts grazing the city’s top eateries couldn't be happier.
With everything from old-school Belgian ales to aggressive American IPAs, the beer scene is becoming more complex and producing brews that are wowing critics. So should you find yourself in the Texas capital and craving some hops, here are eight breweries representing the city with pride.
Adelbert's Beer: This recently opened newcomer to the Austin brewing scene is looking to make an impact by tapping into an as-of-yet untouched market in the local beer scene: craft Belgian ales, made in good ol’ Texas. While pilsners and ales are flying all over the microbrew scene nowadays, Adelbert’s is looking to capitalize on making higher-end, bottle-conditioned brews, designed to be saved for special occasions. Be sure to try the malty, earthy Scratchin’ Hippo, a Bière de Garde ale.
Austin Beerworks: Another new brewery to enter Austin's craft beer arena, Beerworks is making its mark with tasty, drinkable canned pilsners and ales. The brews coming out of Beerworks are fun to drink and very hop-heavy — favorites being the aggressive Fire Eagle IPA and the more accessible Peacemaker Pale Ale.
(512) Brewing: This label, started by Kevin Brand and his wife, is quickly finding its place in the Austin brewing scene thanks to its star child, the (512) Pecan Porter. While the beers are only available on draught right now, they recently decided to sell a limited-edition bottled Pecan Porter for the holidays. The reaction? Mass hysteria of Austin hopheads scrambling to buy all the bottles they could, and stock quickly ran out before the end of the day. Let's hope that inspires them to start bottling permanently.
Independence Brewing: This big dog on the Austin microbrew circuit is so involved with the Texas beer scene that it holds the dual honors of producing the official "OU Suks" beer for the annual University of Texas vs. Oklahoma University football game, and supplying the Alamo Drafthouse with its house brew. Be sure to try the very hoppy Stash IPA and the Convict Hill Oatmeal Stout with roasted, chocolatey flavors. Also be sure to keep your eye out for the seasonal Gold Deluxe made with Sorachi Ace hops, which has become a critical darling.