Breweries Near Me – Craft a Weekend in Austin

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Cheers Shot Bar
Weekend in Austin
Beers Beats Eats

Whether you’re here for a weekend or a day, crafting that perfect Austin trip is easier with guidance from your friends at Living a Stout Life.  We’ve got you covered when it comes to craft beers, rockin’ beats, and culinary eats.

Live music around every corner, quaint coffee shops, quirky neighborhoods, cowboy boots and hats worn like comfortable t-shirts, smokin’ BBQ, eclectic art scenes, bats flying outta bridges, and breweries poppin’ up and bringin’ sunshine like Mary Poppins – Austin, Texas, baby!

South Congress
Weekend in Austin
Beers Beats Eats

A city with around two million people, yet Austin still has the uncanny ability of feeling like a small town. One with family rockin’ away on the porch rockers of white clapboard houses surrounded by picket fences. With neighborhoods as different as your family members, yet comfortable like home, it’s not too hard to make a stop in this capital city.

And we did just that. For three days and four nights, we wandered the streets of Austin with friends. The same friends that we wandered with in Maine.  Austin is their stomping grounds, so we had first-class treatment. We knew just enough of where to go and how to get there to keep the option overload at bay and not enough to still find surprises around every corner.

Art in Austin
Weekend in Austin
Beers Beats Eats

Breaking the travel budget wide open on visiting this city (there’s way too much food to eat, sites to see, and beer to drink, not to), we wanted to share our knowledge with you. Whether you are visiting Austin for a day, or two, or a long weekend, we’ve got you covered.

While I will be imparting my opinions on you poor souls, and definitely listing some serious Stout Life Approved breweries and eateries, there’s so much to do here in the same areas that we visited, that if you don’t like one place, go to another.  Life’s too short to solely trust my opinion.  But then again, life’s too short to spend too much time searching for things to do in Austin. We had some fun while wandering the streets of Austin, and we’d love for you to join us.

On your next visit to Austin, please feel free to follow in our footsteps, but don’t follow too perfectly, or you might miss your Awesome Austin Adventure.  This itinerary is meant to be fluid. Like a good craft beer, each brewer adds their own creativity to the experiment to make it their own perfect pour.

Austin Map
Weekend in Austin
Beers Beats Eats
Use the numbers listed next to each place we visited to find their locations on the map.
The Yard
Weekend in Austin
Beers Beats Eats

Thursday Night – The Yard (1)

If you’re going to explore a new city, finding a hip industrial neighborhood isn’t a bad way to start your journey. Located in South Austin, The Yard will give you proof that Austin is a kick-ass city. But you already knew that. With innovative craft beverage companies such as Still Austin Whiskey Company, The Austin Winery, Texas Sake Company, and St. Elmo Brewing Company, your thirst will be quenched. Combine those with pizza, seltzer, cocktails, music, and more, you’ll need more than a few hours to play in this yard.

St. Elmo Brewing Company (2)

St Elmo Brewing
Weekend in Austin
Beers Beats Eats

Knowing we planned on drinking the night away for the next four nights, we limited our choices at the Yard to St. Elmo Brewing Company. Duh! With the best beer sign ever, “BEER”, greeting us as we walked in, we knew this place had a personality all its own. Kenny sampled several IPA’s in a beautiful flight and I lost myself in the heavenly scent and flavors of their peach blonde ale.

With beer-happy bellies and the moon rising higher in the sky, our first night in Austin was deemed a success.

Friday – South Congress and Congress Bridge

Jo’s Coffee (3) 

Jos Coffee
Weekend in Austin
Beers Beats Eats

Jo’s Coffee in South Congress, often referred to as SoCo, is an icon in this neighborhood, and while it is small and the line may be long, it’s worth a stop there for a selfie with the “I love you so much” mural, and it does offer a great patio to people-watch while sipping on your cup of Joe.

Shopping in SoCo (4) 

Jos Coffee
Weekend in Austin
Beers Beats Eats

This neighborhood offers an array of shops from the usual to the unusual. A few of our favorites were: Tesoros Trading Company where you can find everything involving Day of the Dead and a wide variety of handmade items from all over the world, Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds where you can become whoever or whatever your dreams desire in this glitzy costume shop; and Monkey See Monkey Do with unique and cool toys for kids and adults of all ages.

So whatever your flavor, from boots to clothing to toys to candy, South Congress has it, and with your cup of Joe, you can shop all day long if you’d like.

Austin Postcard Mural (5) 

Austin Postcard Mural
Weekend in Austin
Beers Beats Eats

Austin is also known for its artists, and less than a mile away from South Congress is the iconic Greetings from Austin Postcard Mural.  Worth the walk to get your picture, here, yes, because it’s just something you have to do when in Austin, but also worth the walk because of the art galleries and stores in this neighborhood highlighting local art.  Oh, and of course more cute coffee shops and food trucks galore. 

Zilker Park and Colorado River Trails (6)

Austin Biking Zilker Park
Weekend in Austin
Beers Beats Eats

Since we are preparing for a weekend of beers, beats, and eats,  our wallet may become a bit leaner, but our waistbands will not, unless we seek out some of Austin’s many wonderful bike trails. After shopping a bit and getting the required Austin mural photo, we set out for Zilker Park which offers wide, easy riding trails and stunning scenery as it winds its way along the Colorado River.  Before riding off, maybe pack a picnic lunch from one of the many food trucks along SoCo.  You won’t regret it.  You can then drive from South Congress to Zilker Park or start your bike ride from where you finished shopping.  If you choose to ride, it’s only a mile north on Congress to the Congress Bridge. From there you can choose to head either west or east to follow the trails.  We started from Zilker Park (just west of the Congress Bridge) and rode east for many miles.

Congress Avenue Bridge Bats (7) 

Batman Congress Avenue Bridge
Weekend in Austin
Beers Beats Eats

If the season is right (spring to late fall), time your ride to end back at Congress Avenue Bridge to watch the bats emerge from the darkness under the bridge.  We were there off season, but it’s still an event to be gathered together by Batman (seriously, a kind old gentleman wearing a Batman shirt and guiding you towards the bridge) to watch millions (we saw hundreds) of bats fly off into the waning daylight.  Maybe one of them will turn into a magical vampire giving you cause to write a love story.  Oh wait, that’s already been done.

C-Boys Heart & Soul (8) 

Cloys Heart and Soul
Weekend in Austin
Beers Beats Eats

Wanting to stay around the same neighborhood so not to drive much we made our way back to SoCo for some live music at the classic joint C-Boys Heart and Soul. Featuring classic soul and R&B, this fairly new joint to SoCo’s nightlife feels like an Austin staple. Watching local musicians coming together on stage is the purest form of making magic.  Check out the Reverent Few for some soulful music. We only got to hear them for one song, but that night will stay with us forever because of it.

Did I mention Chicken Shit Bingo? Yep, you heard that right? Head on over to C-Boys for a fun Sunday afternoon of music and bingo, chicken shit (literally) style. You’ll just have to go to experience that for yourself.

Home Slice Pizza (9)

Home Slice Pizza
Weekend in Austin
Beers Beats Eats

Starving after our late afternoon bike ride followed by our late-night jaunt at C-Boys, we wandered SoCo for a while and ended up back down by Jo’s across the street at Home Slice.  With a name like this, you know the pizza’s going to be good.  Resisting the garlic knots (not sure how we did that; they smelled so good), we opted for their clam pie pizza and some local beers.  What a delicious way to end a delectable day!

Saturday – Jester King, Rainey Street and Dirty Sixth

Jester King (10)

Jester King
Weekend in Austin
Beers Beats Eats

This is the one day we needed a car.  It was Jester King Day!  Jester King is a very unique, very popular destination brewery that specializes in mixed culture wild fermentation.  If you have no idea what I am talking about, you still need to go.  This brewery offers unique beers that you will not taste anywhere else, and on the weekends, they offer free tours to help you understand all about mixed culture wild fermentation (you know, that foreign language brewery stuff).  

Jester King
Weekend in Austin
Beers Beats Eats

Located about 30 minutes west of Austin, this farmhouse brewery is worth the trip. Be prepared to spend the day here because you won’t want to leave.  They have four bars all serving something different of their own creations along with hard-to-find mouth watering guest beers and pizza pies to match the wonders of the beer. It is easy to sit back under a canopy of trees, soaking up the sights and smells of nature while sipping on beers with names like Birra di Sangiovese and Biere de Coupage.  Heaven can’t be far from this place.

Pinthouse Pizza Brewpub (11) 

With friends acting as our tour guides and taxi, and wanting to experience as much of Austin as we could, it was time to head off to the next stop, Pinthouse Pizza. This place offers unique pizzas, local beer, community seating, and a great patio.  After sampling several beers and an amazing fig pizza, our marathon continued.

Banger’s on Rainey Street (12)

Bangers Austin Texas copy

Finding another great Austin neighborhood, Rainey Street did not disappoint.  A neighborhood with upscale, but not pricey; casual, but not frumpy; restaurants and bars housed in old homes decorated with outdoor lighting and quaint patios; this street will keep you entertained for hours even if you are simply walking to one place. Making a pitstop at Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden, was no accident.  Banger’s definitely gave us option overload with more than 100 brews on tap from across Texas, the country and even a few across the globe, including cellar beers. And we’ve heard that when Banger’s is in full swing, they actually have over 200 beers on tap. How do you even begin to choose? That, plus a dog park, a music stage, a huge outdoor beer garden, and 20 sausages…on tap? If you only get to one place on Rainey Street, this might have to be it. It can’t get better than this.

But, oh it did!

Cheers Shot Bar (13) and Casino el Camino (13) on Dirty Sixth 

Casino el Camino
Weekend in Austin
Beers Beats Eats

We found our way to Dirty Sixth. From Congress Avenue to I-35, this area may be a bit rough around the edges, but the bars, restaurants, and nightlife, are anything but that.  With something for everyone including Cheers Shot Bar where there is every kind of shot you can imagine and even ones you can’t, this is a must! And we don’t do shots.  Be sure to head up to the open deck for a view of the party below. When done with your shot(s), just a short walk away is Casino El Camino.  Voted the place with the best jukebox and burgers and fries to die for, including serving up some local beer, my stomach is grumbling right now just thinking about their L.A. Burger and Verde chili fries.

Esther’s Follies (13)

With a night full of laughter, conversation, beer, and food, it was time for bed.  While walking back to wherever you came from, be sure to stride by Esther’s Follies.  You can buy tickets for the show inside, but there’s also a show outside with the actors preparing scenes on the sidewalk and in the large glass picture window. You can caption a scene yourself, getting as much comedy as those inside.

Dirty Sixth was a party, but now your bed is calling your name. I know mine was.

Sunday –  Downtown, Dirty Sixth, and East Sixth

Austin State Capitol (14) and Easy Tiger Bakery and Beer Garden (15)

Cheers St Elmos Brewery
Weekend in Austin
Beers Beats Eats

Waking up feeling energized (OK, maybe not energized, but motivated to do something before heading out for a day of drinking), I went for a morning run.  With downtown being only 1.5 miles from Jo’s Coffee, it’s an easy run to the state capitol building. Passing through Dirty Sixth in the light of day gives you a different perspective compared to the night that hides the mysteries of this iconic Austin neighborhood.  Take a breather once you get to the capitol and wander the grounds to take in the history.  It’s a beautiful building and brought me some peace to start the morning.  On the run back, make a stop at Easy Tiger just north of the bridge for some pastries and a coffee to go to accompany you on your easy stroll back to wherever you started from. (There are rumors that the downtown Easy Tiger location has closed. If so, seek out other local eateries in the neighborhood. It’s almost a guarantee that you won’t be disappointed.)

Flat Track Coffee (16)

Flat Track Coffee
Weekend in Austin
Beers Beats Eats

I wake up starving, so running before breakfast, I am now famished (even after the pastries). And a visit to Austin wouldn’t be proper without some barbecue. Just a short walk from South Congress is Flat Track Coffee, serving up beautifully designed lattes while sharing a space with Cycleast one of Austin’s premier cycling shops. This unique combination works well, and it doesn’t matter, as long as the coffee is good.

La Barbecue (16)

La Barbecue
Weekend in Austin
Beers Beats Eats

With coffee in hand, walk the three blocks to La Barbecue.  Sharing space with a local market and cafe called the Quickie Pickie, this place is ready for the lines of people who need their meat.  Opening at 11:00, the line starts around 10:30, so get there early, or you may find yourself without because they will sell out.  We recommend the brisket.

Lazarus Brewing Company (17)

Lazarus Brewing Company
Weekend in Austin
Beers Beats Eats

Just around the corner is the burgeoning East Sixth neighborhood and Lazarus Brewing. The owner is actually both a brewer and a minister, and while he will not be preaching to you, he will definitely be serving you the beer that may get you preaching yourself.  I don’t know how you’d be hungry yet, after that barbecue, but Lazarus not only serves beer, but also coffee, and some truly tasteful street tacos.  

With its spacious beer garden and mouth-watering beers, we could have stayed here all day, but only a block away was Zilker Brewing.

Zilker Brewing Company (17)

Zilker Brewing Company 
Weekend in Austin
Beers Beats Eats

Famous for its coffee milk stout, and with a cute patio out front complete with a food truck, Zilker Brewing offered a great place to sip beer, talk with old friends, and people watch all day. The beer here was easy drinking, and as conversations mingled with music, and the night waning, someone asked, “Do you like boozy ice cream?”

(Note: Number 18 on our Austin tour was Hops & Grain, but they have decided to close their taprooms and focus on production and distribution, instead. So, while you will no longer be able to find their beer in their own taproom, you may still find it on local liquor store shelves.)

Prohibition Creamery (19)

Prohibition Creamery
Weekend in Austin
Beers Beats Eats

What? Beer and ice cream? Yes, please.

Just down the street, we found ourselves at Prohibition Creamery to end the night.  With several flavors including whiskey chocolate and absinthe & cacao and even an ice cream flight with pour-overs, this dessert was the perfect topper to the perfect long weekend in Austin.

How will you craft your Austin weekend?

Update Coming Soon

On a sad note, since we’ve been here, some places have closed and/or moved as noted above. But, since we’re back in Austin again, we can’t wait to give you more places to explore. Stay tuned!

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