This past weekend we went on a mini vacation to Austin, TX with the specific goal of trying as many new beers as we could! We go on trips to Austin relatively frequently, but we never end up making it out to any breweries. For this particular trip, we only had one specific brewery in mind that we knew we HAD to try and decided to choose the rest when we got there.
We stayed at the Hilton Hotel off of 5th street downtown and there was plenty of activities within walking distance which was great! Our first night there we checked to see what was around and found a new place called Central District Brewing that was only the next block over. When we got there we found out they were only under a soft opening and didn’t have any of their own brews available, but they did have plenty from other area breweries! (They’re grand opening is May 18th and you should totally go check it out!)
Central District also had a cool little local brewery guide available at the bar, so we grabbed one and planned our brew tour for the next day! Originally we had 5 picked out for the next day, but we only ended up making it to 3, but we a really cool lunch spot that we made it out to with some friends!
Don’t Forget Breakfast!
I highly recommend stopping by Voodoo Doughnut for breakfast before your adventure! Carb up with the best of the best in gourmet doughnuts. Not sponsored, but totally willing to be because there doughtnuts are amazing. Ha!
I had guava filled with coconut frosting and shreds and a maple bacon bar (outstanding). Hubs had the bear claw covered in peanut butter, chocolate chips, and peanuts along with the chocolate iced covered in crushed Oreos and peanut butter. Literally every one of these was phenomenal!
Related Post: 5 of The Best Places to Visit in Houston, TX
Anyway, on to what your here for…
Hops & Grain (Central Austin)
Hops & Grain is located in central Austin off of East 6th street. It’s a convenient location with great parking.
In our normal fashion, we each had our own beer flight that consisted of four 5oz pours. They have a great selection of beers with a wide variety of styles. We tried 8 total and there were still probably another 8 we didn’t get to!
We did enjoy every beer we had and even got some ideas to try for our home brews!
The inside is super cute with local artwork hanging on the walls, wooden tables, and live plants as centerpieces. Both of the bartenders we had were very friendly. We will definitely be going back here!
Lazarus Brewing (Central Austin)
Lazarus brewing was super close to Hops & Grain, being just a short 5 minute drive down 6th Street back towards downtown. They don’t have a large parking lot like Hops & Grain did, but we had no trouble finding a spot!
We also grabbed two beer flight here, but they offered five 5oz pours. So, we actually got to try 10 here! They also offered the largest selection of brews from every place we went to that day, with 8 flagship brews and a ton of seasonals and collabs.
As much as I would love to give everyone a 5 star review, I have to be honest here. The beers were either a major hit or a major miss, and not really anything in between. A few of them lacked any body at all, which was highly disappointing for me, especially since one of those offenders was a stout.
However, the beers that were good were phenomenal and the atmosphere is amazing. We chose to sit in their barrel aging room which was really cool. They have a number of barrels that are actually in use with labels on them so you can read about whats inside.
Overall, I really like Lazarus Brewing and will probably be returning. I definitely recommend you check it out for yourself! I am not a beer expert, and what I dislike, you may love. You won’t know until you try!
Scholz Garten (Downtown Austin)
We had been planning to meet up with some friends that live in town for lunch, and we were aiming to stick with the beer theme of the day. They recommended we check out Scholz Garten, so that’s where we headed!
Disclaimer: Parking here is terrible! 😂 In all fairness, it is in the middle of downtown Austin. Most of the parking available is street parking with meters and fees. But even with that, it took us quite a few minutes to find a space that was relatively close and we still ended up parking almost 2 blocks away.
Once inside though, there is definitely a really cool atmosphere with lots of outdoor seating. We ended up at a table outside and it was a wonderful day for it! Since we ate so many donuts for breakfast we weren’t that hungry, but we definitely needed to eat to keep up with our beer consumption.
Their giant pretzel appetizer is absolutely amazing as well as the mustard and beer queso. For our meal, we had split the schnitzel with mushroom sauce, spaetzle, and red sauerkraut. It was all pretty, but I wouldn’t consider it extremely authentic in flavor although it did have some great qualities!
The most fun part is that beer is available in large steins, and there are authentic German import brews too! I had a Dark Munich Lager and hubs had an Oktoberfest, and we enjoyed both of them! We will be going back here too!
Jester King (West Austin)
Jester King was the one place we were determined to check out on our trip. It is located the furthest out of town, out towards the west side of Austin towards Dripping Springs, but is definitely worth the drive. The brewery is on a large farm with not much else around, but the country vibe was awesome.
One downside is that the parking isn’t great and there is a lot of walking involved. It’s a dirt road with spaces of to the sides, so definitely wear comfortable shoes here.
It’s all outdoors here, but it under pavilion type covering and there is PLENTY of room and seating available.
There are three separate bars that all offer slightly different selections, however they are all brewed farmhouse style and have a sour taste. So, if sour beers aren’t your thing this might not be the place for you.
Since we had just eaten, we didn’t try much of the food here, or even look on the menu to see what was available. BUT, there were some garlic brownies, and although they doesn’t sound good, they’re actually pretty amazing!
The major downside to this brewery is that it is very pricey. If you are looking for $5 pints, this is NOT the place for you. However, I think the beer are well worth it, and we’re already planning another trip here to bring some family!
We had an amazing weekend here in Austin, and definitely an amazing day on our beer tour! This isn’t our first self-made beer tour, and it definitely won’t be our last!
I post a lot of our beer tastings and home brew adventures on my Instagram. You can follow me here!