Four Must Stop Breweries in Austin
Sometimes you need a change of scenery to refresh and recharge. When we need to get away, Austin often calls our name. We love its relaxed, friendly, funky vibe. There are plenty of places to explore and plenty of them where we can bring our dog, Sammy. So when the opportunity arose a couple of weeks ago to stay the night in Austin, we packed up the truck and took Sammy for a ride.
We stayed the night at the La Quinta at The Domain. After sleeping in a little and loading up on hotel coffee, we set our sights on Valentina’s for breakfast, a must-stop every time we visit Austin. We didn’t think to order ahead, so we had to wait about 25 minutes, but it was so worth it. The Real Deal Holyfield Taco, filled with fried egg, refried beans, potatoes, bacon, and brisket, was to die for, and the Charro Beans were on point. While we were at Valentina’s, it began to rain. It was also quite cold outside. But we didn’t let that get us down.
We began researching our next locations to visit, and we found three great breweries that met our specifications: a covered outdoor area so we could bring Sammy and stay dry. Every place we visited was following COVID protocol. They were also so accommodating and friendly to us. We got started pretty early so that limited our first choice. And that’s how we discovered Lazarus Brewing.
Lazarus Brewing not only makes great beer, but they also serve great coffee and tacos as well. Since we already filled up on breakfast (dang it, why did I drink so much hotel coffee?), we enjoyed some mid-morning beers. It’s never too early, right? The gentleman that served us was very welcoming and even showed love to Sammy. They have an extensive covered outdoor area with heaters and a cool stained glass ceiling. The tables were spaced well apart and it’s a great place to work, study, or meet up. We enjoyed our morning beers. The Achilles Heel Nitro Stout had silky smooth bubbles from the nitro and well-balanced roasted and chocolate notes. The Amandus Belgian Strong Golden Ale, a gold medal winner at GABF, had delicious notes of banana and pear.
I wish we had bought some merch because their logo is so cool. We did take home a limited-release beer: Milagrito, a Tepache Style Gose. According to the beautifully decorated can, “Tepache is a naturally fermented pineapple beverage that dates back to the ancient Aztec cultures of southern Mexico.” We could drink this beer every day. It’s subtle on the pineapple flavor, but there’s enough sweetness to know it’s there. The mouthfeel is spot on. The color is spot on. It could use a bit more salt, but overall, it’s very nice and different. If breweries are feeling adventurous, they should try doing stuff like this. Meanwhile, it was time to continue our adventure . . . at Meanwhile Brewing.
We were excited to try this new brewery we had heard so much about. They, too, were very friendly and went above and beyond. Even though it was raining outside, they were willing to come turn on the heaters. Meanwhile Brewing is impressive! Their outdoor area is huge with lots of picnic tables and a stage. They also have a soccer field! On the server’s suggestion, we ordered the Neutral Territory Vienna Lager and the Solo Trip IPA. We recommend both as well. They did not disappoint. The lager had a nice biscuit flavor, and the IPA had a nice grapefruit flavor. Meanwhile is another brewery with a rad logo and great merch. And it is another must-stop brewery. We can’t wait to visit again!
Live Oak Brewing Company
We also just had to stop at one of our favorite breweries, Live Oak Brewing Company. It was a Wednesday, so they were open for to-go orders only. We picked up our favorite, Pre-War Pils, and a really nice smoked black lager, Schwarzer Rauch. The Pre-War Pils is just so easy-drinking, clean, and crisp. The Schwarzer Rauch has a savory element and a nice roasted malt character. It reminds me of brisket. I’m usually not too keen on smoked beers, but the two I have liked have been from Live Oak. And I love a good Schwarzbier! If you have never been to Live Oak, you must stop there when you’re in South Austin. They make some of the best beers in Texas. Try their Hefeweizen. It is the best in the world. As you would expect, their Biergarten features beautiful shady trees, and it is open Thursday – Saturday from 12 – 8 pm and Sunday from 12 – 6 pm. They also have a nine-hole disc golf course. With 22 acres, there’s plenty of beauty to take in on this must-stop beloved brewery.
Our final stop, Oddwood Ales, was the perfect end to our chilly, adventurous day of brewery hopping. Their patio tents with heaters were so nice and toasty. The temperature inside them was perfect. Their service was unique due to COVID. You place your order on a website or app on your phone and pay for it on your phone. The server then brings it out and sets it on a stool beside your table. The service was exceptionally fast and friendly, and the beers were tasty. They have a lot of unique offerings. We shared a flight of the Brief Nudity Fruited Sour, Pool Dad Pils, Arcadia Bay Red Ale, and North of the Sunset New England IPA. Brief Nudity had the perfect amount of sour for me; it did not overwhelm me with tartness. The Pool Dad Pils was a little funky to me. It was not my favorite. The Arcadia Bay Red Ale had a tea-like aroma, was smooth, and was piney on the back end. I really liked the North of the Sunset New England IPA. It was so juicy and pleasant. I ended our adventure with Magic Dance, a delicious Saison and possibly my favorite of the day. It was easy-drinking and sour, the perfect combination and the perfect end to our day.
It really was the perfect day, despite the rain and cold. The welcoming servers warmed our hearts. And we found three of the best outdoor areas that we could have asked for. We know there’s even more in Austin that we have yet to explore. What’s your favorite Austin spot? Do you have a favorite Austin beer or brewery? Thanks for riding along with us on our adventure. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for more of our adventures and fun trying different beers and visiting cool breweries in Texas. Cheers!