The 10 Best Craft Breweries in Austin, TX
Austin, TX, is one of the hottest “it” cities today. With such amazing food trucks, happy hours, nightlife, and diversity, it’s no wonder people are flocking here in droves. One of the top things to enjoy in this city is craft breweries, a business that’s growing almost as fast as the housing market.
With dozens of locations to choose from, here are the top 10 best craft breweries in Austin, TX, including:
- Jester King Brewery
- Pinthouse Brewing
- Hold Out Brewing
- Zilker Brewing Company and Taproom
- Blue Owl Brewing
- Austin Beerworks
- Oasis Texas Brewing Company
- Independence Brewing Co.
- Central District Brewing
- Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co.
Let’s get started!
1. Jester King Brewery
As soon as I landed in Austin and started telling locals that I love craft beer, they all insisted I visit Jester King Brewery. After taking a trip there, I understood why.
Much like Texans will make an all-day affair out of going to Buc-ee’s, you can make an all-day event out of this brewery. Located 30 minutes outside of Austin’s city center, Jester King sprawls over a 165-acre ranch in the Texas Hill Country. It features a brewery, vineyard, kitchen, event hall, and a farm full of goats!
I wasn’t kidding when I said you could spend all day here!
Start off with a two-mile nature walk around the ranch, where you’ll see beautiful views of the hill country to build up your appetite. The trail ends at the goat farm, so say hello to the kids before grabbing your drinks.
Try a variety of craft beers and brews (Jester King specializes in sours), a cocktail, or a glass of wine from the tasting rooms at the Brewery Bar or Pasture Barn. Grab some food from their in-house kitchen—I recommend their Citron pizza, which is loaded with garlic oil, basil, fresh Lioni mozzarella, Calabrian chilis, sliced lemon, and hot honey. Then, grab a seat in the barn to listen to some local live music!
If you love breweries that care about their land and goats as much as they do their brews, do yourself a favor and go to Jester King.
2. Pinthouse Brewing
If you’ve gone out on the town in Austin, you’ve probably seen these gorgeous cans of Electric Jellyfish IPA or seen Pinthouse taps behind the bar. That’s because Pinthouse Brewing is one of the best craft breweries in Austin.
With four locations, this Austin brewery is known for serving award-winning craft beer and hand-crafted pizza in a rustic and comfortable setting. Enjoy their flagship IPA, Electric Jellyfish, which is the perfect combination of juicy, hoppy, and hazy. Or, pop in throughout the year to try different ales, IPAs, stouts, and whatever else they feel like brewing up!
Three of their four locations offer classic pies like their Cannonball and How Down, and specialty pies like the Ooh La La and The Armadillo. All of their food is made in-house, by hand, and with a focus on locally sourced ingredients that support Texas farmers, so you can feel good about eating quality food while sipping on a craft beer.
3. Hold Out Brewing
Hold Out Brewing is the place to go for Good Beers, Good Burgers, and Good Times. They’ve grown quite a following in Austin with their dog-friendly taproom, delicious craft beers, and fun, knowledgeable staff.
For drinks, they have tasters, half pours, and full pints of their house beer, each complete with clever names like Booze Snuggie and Koala Takedown. For food, they serve unique sandwiches like their Chicken Bacon Ranch Burger and the Hold Out Filet of Fish Sandwich, which taste as delicious as they sound.
And you won’t want to miss their weekend brunch, where you can indulge in fried egg tacos and Japanese pancakes and fried chicken.
4. Zilker Brewing Company and Taproom
Zilker Brewing Company and Taproom is located on 6th Street in downtown Austin, just north of Lady Bird Lake. This uniquely industrial brewery is set in an old, converted mechanics garage and is complete with roll-top doors to help cultivate an open, relaxed atmosphere.
The Zilker brewery has a dog-friendly beer garden filled with communal picnic tables and a food truck called Spicy Boys for when you get hungry after a few craft beers. I recommend this food truck’s fried chicken nuggets, which pair perfectly with a hazy IPA.
Rather than offering flights, Zilker offers half pours and full pints. This is great for when you want to enjoy more than a taste but aren’t ready to commit to a full pint. Try any of their juicy, refreshing main stays like Heavenly Daze and Parks & Rec, or see what’s on tap for their seasonal selection!
5. Blue Owl Brewing
If you love sours, Blue Owl Brewing is the place for you.
As the owners of the very first all-sour brewery in Austin, the founders of Blue Owl Brewing set out to make their sours approachable while maintaining a unique flavor profile for their brews. Even if you’re not sure about sours but want to explore them further, Blue Owl Brewing will provide you with a welcoming atmosphere and knowledgeable bartenders to help you pick the right sours for you.
On top of having great sours, this brewery has a wonderful location. Sip on a few brews on-site, then take a nice walk southbound to see the Metz Neighborhood Park and the Town Lake Park.
6. Austin Beerworks
With a name like Austin Beerworks, this brewery has to be good.
Packed with neon lights, outdoor seating, and a bustling crowd every night, this brewery delivers on its promise that Quality of Beer equals Quality of Life.
They have plenty of pints available in their taproom, including their flagships Pearl Snap, a German-style pilsner, and the Fire Eagle IPA. Always in rotation are new concoctions from their Research And Development (RAD) Lab, where they create all kinds of new beers.
ABW also has a large tasting room and plenty of outdoor seating for you to drink and indulge in the on-location food truck, ABW Cantina, which serves up fresh Tex-Mex every day. Try their loaded fries, vegan-stuffed avocado, or any of their six types of tacos!
7. Oasis Texas Brewing Company
Perched high above Lake Travis is one of the most Instagram-worthy locations in all of Austin, Oasis Texas Brewing Company.
Every night, locals and visitors alike flock here to watch the stunning sunset over Lake Travis. It’s the perfect backdrop for any photo. Take a walk onto the scenic ledge of The Oasis (the parent restaurant downstairs), strike a few poses, then head upstairs to enjoy a brew with a view!
If you’re looking for a lighter pint, try their You May Go To Helles, I’m Going To Texas, or their Slow Ride Pale Ale. But if you’re feeling brave, sample their Riders in the Sky Imperial Stout, which clocks in at 10% ABV.
In the mood for spirits? Check out the Barrel Room where you can get craft cocktails, wine, and top-notch whiskey from the Oasis’s rare collection.
8. Independence Brewing Co.
Even if you’re not a Texan, you’ll definitely feel like one after drinking a “Native Texan” pilsner from Independence Brewing Co.
This brewery opened in 2004 to serve the “Independent Thinkers & Drinkers” of Texas. And for nearly 20 years, they’ve been doing just that.
The dog-friendly industrial taproom welcomes all sorts of folks, from large parties to solo drinkers to Geeks Who Drink (their weekly trivia event). No matter what type of beer you like, you’re sure to find one to enjoy—their variety ranges from a peach tea sour to amber ales to several hoppy, double IPAs.
9. Central District Brewing
Central District Brewing—a bar with a subtle Art Deco vibe—is not only a women-led business, but it also has a prime location in Austin’s historic district. So, before you head down to Rainey Street Historic District or the Town Lake Metropolitan Park, grab a flight here.
Their beer selection is small but mighty, as the brewery heads into its fourth business year. On tap, they always have their fruited kettle sour, their award-winning Kolsch, and their Belgo-style ale. The rest of the drafts rotate based on what they’re brewing on location.
Central District is a great place to take a break from the Texas heat as you sit in their air-conditioned tap room, surrounded by soft lighting and vibrant, hanging greenery.
10. Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co.
Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co. is one of South Austin’s favorite hangout spots where you can get some pizza, signature ales, and live music. This brewery has been a regular stop for many of Austin’s local bands since its opening in 2013. Its 270-person interior provides generous floor space in front of the stage, and an open, casual atmosphere that accommodates both fans of the beer and the bands.
Not only is Austin Beer Garden Brewing one of the best Austin breweries, but it’s also making Austin a better place. Every year, they commit 10% of yearly profits to worthy causes that give back to dogs, bikes, nature, and people!
May bonus: Barks for Beers
Austin breweries are known for being dog-friendly, but every May, they take it to a whole other level. Divine Canines, a local organization that brings dogs to brighten the days of those in need, created a month-long event called “Barks for Beers.”
Here’s how it works:
1. Purchase a Pawsport from any of the 30 participating Austin breweries
2. Bring your Pawsport (and your pup!) to any of the breweries to get a stamp and a free beer
3. Drink and enjoy!
All proceeds go to Divine Canines so they can keep training costs affordable and provide free therapy dog visits at hundreds of events around Central Texas.
Mark your calendars now for next May!
Sample Austin’s brewery scene by living with Landing
So, are you in love with Austin’s brewery scene yet?
If you want to stay a while and enjoy it for yourself, then book a stay with Landing. Live in a modern, furnished apartment for as long as you want. And when you’re ready to hop to the next city, then find another Landing apartment—easily. Landing offers apartments in over 375 cities, including craft brewery hot spots like Denver, Portland, and San Diego. Get hopping today!
Want to read more about my Texas adventures? Check out my blog post, “Tales of a Digital Nomad: How I Spent Three Months Living in Austin, Texas.”