Summary: To preface this I have never been to Texas and I do not believe I have ever had a beer from the state. I spent 5 days and 4 nights in Austin and while I did partake in my share of beers, the city as a whole was very impressive too. Of course this is about beer so let’s get to the point. The beer scene in Texas got a big boost following their success at the 2017 GABF(click to see winners). Austin took home some impressive hardware at the competition and after my visit I completely understood why. I tried as many different beers as I could and I did only go to 12 breweries. So I did not get to experience all of what Austin had to offer but from what I did here are my award winners!
-Also wanted to give a shout out to Austin Beer Guide. The magazine they put out is awesome and super helpful and every good beer city shoulder have one! Nicely done. Also gave me some inspiration for my awards.
Best Brewery (Overall): Jester King Brewery
- This brewery has all the makings of a top brewery in any region. The quality of the beer is right there with any top brewery in the country. This place gets a little boost due to the fact you get to enjoy their beers outdoors with beautiful scenery. My favorite beers from my stop there were the Nocturn Chrysalis, Colonel Toby, Biere de Blanc du Bois, and the Song of Binding. Good beer and a great place to drink them make this my favorite spot of the trip.
Best Brewery (Beer): Jester King Brewery
- I don’t want to repeat myself but beer for beer this brewery can hang with any brewery I have been to. Check it out if you get the chance!
Best Brewery (Taproom/Facility): Oasis Texas Brewing Company
- This award is a no brainer but this may have been my favorite part of my trip to the Austin area. Not only was the quality of the beer great but this is the best view from a brewery I have ever seen. See above to see what I’am talking about. Plus the food was good. Let’s just say I will go here anytime I visit the area.
Best New Brewery: Family Business Beer Co.
- I decided to go do a hike at Hamilton Pool to start my Saturday and it did not disappoint. Took a lot of great pictures and wish it was warm enough to go swimming. But more importantly on the way out I saw a sign that said “brewery” and made sure to stop on my way back. This new brewery was a week old when I visited but based on the amount of people there it seemed like a well established spot. The tasting room was awesome with plenty of out door space. There was a playground for children. Also areas to play corn hole for the older children(me). If you haven’t been make sure you check it out! And if your going for a hike there is no better way to cap it off then a nice refreshing brew.
Best Beer: (There was a lot! Could have added more)
- Jester King Nocturn Chrysalis
- Jester King Bier de Blanc du Bois
- Hops & Grain Terpene Dream
- Hops & Grain Dispensary Pale
- Lazarus Despereaux
- Zilker Heavenly Daze
- ABGB Industry
- ABGB Day Trip
- Austin Beer Works Heavy Machinery Half IPA
- Live Oak Hefeweizen
Best Beer Bar: Banger’s
- This place was packed but there is good reason for that. Over 100 taps and not to mention the food was amazing. If I lived here this would be a frequent spot to sample beers from all over. The atmosphere was awesome, the food was awesome, and I already miss this place.
Go To Beer: Austin Beerworks (IPA, ABV: 6.8%, IBU: 65)
- This was the first beer I had in Austin. But it was also the beer I had the most during my visit. Most bars were carrying the beer but it was also my preference. Great taste and not to intense or strong. Always a positive when visiting downtown Austin. For me this was the most memorable beer of the trip.
Conclusion: Coming from the west coast I enjoy my hoppy beers. Austin excelled on the lighter end of the spectrum but also did not disappoint this hop head. Hops & Grain had a crazy spread of IPA’s to start my vacation. Lots of good scenery from Jester KInger, Family Business, and Oasis Texas made it even more memorable. But this biggest takeaway was that Austin is definitely a powerhouse in the beer scene and needs a little more recognition even after the success at GABF. I will be back soon and possibly might be moving here soon!