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2110 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704
Craft Beer in Austin: Drink in the local Suds
Local Business Spotlight: WhichCraft Beer Store
Over the last several years the craft beer trend has been gaining traction in all corners of the United States. People are ditching the domestic lager in favor of crisp pale ales, hoppy IPAs, malty ambers and robust stouts. Brewers are taking full advantage of this beer renaissance, blending their skill and knowledge with their creativity and attention to quality on a quest to deliver fresh, ever-evolving ale incarnations to the eager masses.
Austin and the Hill Country have been no slouch in growing the Texas craft beer market, with no less than 60 existing micro- breweries and brewpubs in current operation and dozens more slated to open within the next 12 months.
The rabid locavore culture of Austin has glommed on to the city’s rapidly expanding craft beer scene, and droves of thirsty beer drinkers seek out the breweries, brewpubs and beer bars that pepper the city and surrounding areas. Our breweries range from nano- breweries, which produce as little as 500 barrels in a year and sell everything they make either in their own modest tasting rooms or to bars no more than a couple miles from their facilities, to full-scale production breweries that showcase their tall, gleaming fermentation tanks and slickly designed tasting rooms to starry-eyed beer enthusiasts. No matter the size, they all have one thing in common: a love for and drive to produce good beer.
In Texas, the distinction between brewery and brewpub has several implications to visitors. Breweries almost always have tasting rooms in which you can purchase a glass of beer to drink on premise, but you can’t purchase any beer to go, and unless the brewery has arranged for a guest food truck to sell in their parking lot, they won’t offer food. Brewpubs have smaller brewing operations (Texas law caps the number of barrels a brewpub can produce in a year), and will usually include a restaurant. Brewpubs can sell not only their own beer both to go and on premise, but also outside brands of beer.
The beer bar, while in and of itself is not a new concept, has taken on new life with the emergence of the craft industry. Austin has a large handful of bars dedicated 100% to selling craft beer, with as few as 10 to as many as 150 taps of pure fizzy bliss. While most of these bars offer products from across the U.S., the recent surge in Texas craft has inspired a few establishments to offer only those brews made in the Lone Star State.
If you’re spending time in Austin, be sure to carve out a few moments to indulge in the local beer scene. Visit www.craftbeeraustin.com or www.austinbeerguide.com for comprehensive listings in the Austin and surrounding areas. If you happen to visit a craft-beer-friendly establishment, be on the lookout near the front door for a free print copy of the latest edition of the Austin Beer Guide. Whatever you do, don’t miss a chance to try some of Austin’s most refreshing libations!