It’s surprisingly rare that I find myself in the Austin area, considering it’s a 2.5-hour drive. It’s not so surprising that when I go, I drink a lot. Although, lately
in my old age it’s been more about the breweries and surrounding wine country rather than my college visits to Sixth Street or Rainey Street — though never miss an opportunity to visit them either.
On a bachelorette trip last month, I found myself walking around East Austin to three breweries just down the street from one another. All three were great for the group of 15 girls (and one dude) for different reasons. Here’s why I liked ’em!
We got the VIP experience at Hops and Grain — free tour, $5 beers and hang out on their patio/tap room. Oh wait, that’s not VIP — anyone can do that. Tour takes you into their production room and to their canning facility. The canning process was the most interesting to me because I’d never seen that before, in my many, MANY brewery tours!
The vibe: The taproom is super cool, with big wood tables. Patio is awesome and dog friendly (met the cutest half mini aussie that I wanted to steal).
The beer: YUM! I tried a bunch and didn’t dislike any. The Mosaic was the most popular so I got it and it was great!
The prices: Free tours, $5 a beer, $10 if you wanna keep your glass.
What’s so special? Hops and Grain brags about being a sustainable brewery — so everything has something to do with that. They make dog biscuits with their split grain (they also donate some to cattle farmers), they can, like, 99% of their beers because aluminum is the most recyclable, the employees are given a $5 credit each time they bike or walk to work and are paid to volunteer a day a quarter, they recycle and compost everything they can, runoff water is reused, and solar panels are being installed next year. The most guilt-free beer drinking experience out there.
Rolling up to Lazarus, and by rolling up I mean walking — but practically running — in because I really had to pee, I still managed to enjoy the outdoor-indoor concept that is Lazarus. More of a restaurant/bar-style brewery, we bellied up to the bar and ordered.
The vibe: Is “chill” too nondescript? Too bad, that’s what it is in a nutshell.
The beer: I tried and liked all 5 of my flight beers. My favorites were actually the ones recommended to me: 40 Days and 40 Nights (recommended bc popular; American IPA) and the Amandus (strong belgian golden ale.. never even heard of that).
The prices: $13 a flight (pick five 4 ounce tastings), $3-4 tacos
What’s so special? The patio. Honestly, such a cool place to bring your dog, drink beer and chill — such an East Austin thing to do. Also, dreaming about the carnitas taco still.
I don’t have too much to say about Zilker for a few reasons — none being that it sucked, haha. Zilker was the last brewery on our beer stroll of East Austin, so we were up to our eyeballs in brews already. However, I did brave through one beer.
The vibe: Indoor-outdoor spot, order at the bar (counter style — be prepared to wait in a line), v chill (again, haha).
The beer: I tried a yummy Parks and Rec Pale Ale that I’d totally have again, plus sipped a Coffee Milk Stout that confused me so much — is it coffee? Is it beer?
The prices: This one felt a little pricier — my beer was $8 or so. Didn’t see anyone with flights, but that would have been cool to do.
What’s so special? I think what was so special about Zilker was that it wasn’t really that special — yummy beers, great patio, food truck (the one there when we visited was AMAZING; spicy loaded fries and a meatball sub), and just a chill, good time.