Craft Taste

2016 Comprehensive Guide to Austin Beer Bars

As part of the Austin Food Blogger Alliance’s annual City Guide, I’m sharing my list of the best Austin beer bars for the second consecutive year. This list is strictly for bars, pubs, and restaurants serving up the finest selections within the Austin city limits. Sorry, ‘burbs. Tap rooms and breweries are excluded, with only a couple exceptions, because I consider them more beer bars than brewpubs. The city is broken down into quadrants: Downtown, Central/North, East Side, and South.

Downtown

Banger’s Sausage House and Beer Garden located on Rainey Street, this sausagatorium features over 100 (!) beers on tap, the most in the city. Banger’s is dog friendly with numerous picnic tables outside, beer hall seating inside, and all their food is made in-house.

Mon-Wed 4pm-11pm | Thurs 11am-12am | Fri-Sat 11am-2am | Sun 11am-11pm

Bar Lamar– located inside the downtown Whole Foods, this started the supermarket bar trend. Bar Lamar has seen an uptick in the quality of its tap list in the last few years and even expanded their draft offerings. The service can be hit or miss. Grab a pint at the bar or bottle/can from the massive beer cooler, and while away the hours in the grandest Whole Foods in the land.

Daily 12pm-10pm

Brew Exchange– situated in Sixth Street’s douchier district this bar’s schtick is fluctuating prices like the stock market. The more in demand the beer, the higher the price. Buy low, drink up is the motto, but the starting prices are never that cheap. They just start out as ordinary and get more expensive from there. I bet you probably like that sort of thing, you capitalist pig.

Mon-Fri 3pm-2am | Sat & Sun 11am-2am

Craft Pride– 54 taps serving only Texas craft beer on Rainey Street. Check out the food trailer, Via 313 in the backyard for some delicious Detroit-style pizza. Craft Pride features live music, indoor and outdoor seating, and a bottle shop.

Mon-Sat 4pm-2am | Sun 4pm-1am

craft pride

Easy Tiger nestled next to I-35 on 6th Street this biergarten and bake shop is located only five blocks away from the Austin Convention Center. Fresh baked bread, house made sausages, and sandwiches. The bar features craft from Austin and around the world.

Bake Shop 7am-2am | Beer Garden 11am-2am

Ginger Man across the street from The W, this craft beer chain features plenty of drafts, bottles, and a comforting pub atmosphere. A nice escape from all the trendy bars in the neighborhood.

Mon-Thur 2pm-2am | Fri-Sun 1pm-2am

Handle Bar– Austin loves facial hair and craft beer. This place makes perfect sense. Wet your ‘stache with 18 beers on tap, a large selection of cans and bombers.

Mon-Sat 2pm-2am | Sun 12pm-2am

Star Bar– two bars, a nice selection of craft beer with lots of TVs and an outside patio. This establishment has a very W. 6th feel, but with a better tap list, bro.

Mon-Fri 4pm-2am | Sat 1pm-2am | Sun 11:30am-10pm

Waller Creek Pub House– tucked away behind Waller Ballroom, this public house features a well 30 draft beers from Texas and around the country. The kitchen serves up pub food with an elevated feel. Their fries and sandwiches are among the best in town.

Mon-Sat 11am-2am | Sun 12pm-2am

North/Central

B.B. Rovers Cafe and Pub– this northwest Austin bar has an old world feel. The menu includes pub fare and and an extensive bottle list of local, American, and international beers.

Sun-Fri 11am to 12am | Sat 11am to 1am

Barley Swine– small plates of farm-to-table bites, this restaurant has always cared about a quality beer list.

Sun-Th 5pm to 10pm | Fri- Sun 5pm to 11pm

 

Billy’s on Burnet– a great neighborhood location with plenty of Austin charm. Billy’s features tasty food, patio seating, and 36 beers on tap. Billy’s is classic Austin.

Mon-Sat 11am to 12am | Sun Noon to 12am

Billy's on Burnet

Crown & Anchor Pub– a nice tap selection, this is a favorite watering hole for the college crowd. This campus area establishment is famous for two things: mini hamburgers and surly service.

Mon-Sat 11am-2pm | Sun 12pm-2am

Draft Shack– with over 40 beers pouring in a reclaimed barn situated inside the Whole Foods at The Domain this is the supermarket’s craft beer flagship. Grab some oysters at the raw bar.

Mon-Sat 11am-9:30pm | Sun 12pm-9pm

Draught House Pub and Brewery an Austin landmark with an indulgent tap list. Grab a pint and wander the grounds or enjoy the rustic interior of Austin’s oldest craft beer bar.

Mon-Thur 3pm-2am | Fri-Sun 1pm-2am

drink.well– famous for their craft cocktails, this bar also features a thoughtfully curated tap list and decent can/bottle offering. drink.well’s menu is an upscale twist on classic bar food.

Tues-Sat 4pm-12am | Sun 11am-11pm

Flying Saucer– located in The Triangle, where Lamar and Guadalupe converge, the Saucer has plenty of beer and waitresses clad in kilts. The menu features pub grub and their patio is a dog-friendly destination for Triangle residents.

Mon-Thu 11am-1am | Fri-Sat 11am-2am | Sun 12pm-12am

Growler USA– located in the UT campus area this brand new bar has 100 taps, about 80 of which are craft beer. Their status as the newest bar on this list did not prevent them from landing some sought after local and national gems. The kitchen serves up casual cuisine.

M-Th 11a – 11p | F-Sat 11a – 12am | Sun Noon – 10p

Hopfields– with over 40 taps, they always bring their A game. The menu features rustic French fare in a pleasantly decorated space. There’s also a patio out back.

Daily 11am-12am

 

Mister Tramps– This North Austin soccer bar boasts an extensive tap list, pub fare and televisions in every direction. It’s a great place to watch a soccer match and drink some delicious beer.

Daily 11am – 2am

Thunderbird Cafe and Tap Room– 35 taps pouring craft beer and cider, along with good eats and great coffee.

Mon-Fri 6:30am-11pm | Sat & Sun 7:30am-11pm

Workhorse– plenty of local craft on draft, a menu that features grass-fed beef burgers, and local musicians on the jukebox. Workhorse has that neighborhood-bar-feel you would find back east, but with an Austin vibe.

Daily 11am-12am

East Side

Cafe Mueller– enjoy plates of Texas BBQ at this bar located at the Mueller HEB while you grab a pint or fill up a growler; Cafe Mueller offers up a fine selection of Texas craft beer.

Mon-Fri 10:30am-10:00 pm | Sat-Sun 10:00am-10:00 pm

Cuvee Coffee Bar– in addition to some of Austin’s best coffee, Cuvee is home to nine taps and once upon a time ago, Austin’s first and only Crowler machine. RIP, Crowler.

Mon-Fri 6:30am-8:00pm | Sat-Sun 7:30am-8:00pm

The Grackle– named after Austin’s favorite winged nuisance, The Grackle embodies a gritty yet comfortable East Side attitude. Not a huge tap list, but you’ll find something you like. The Grackle has been known to cellar local favorites like Austin Beerworks Sputnik.

Daily 12pm-2am

Haymaker– the official home to the local chapter of the American Outlaws, this is one of the most lively joints in town to catch a USMNT game. Craft beer, sandwiches, poutine, and comfort food round out Haymaker’s menu.

Sun-Fri 11am-12am | Sat 11am-1am     

Hi Hat Public House– live music, a thoughtful tap list, good food, and great service are the hallmarks of this Sixth Street establishment.

Tue-Thu 11:30am – 11pm | Fri 11am – 12am | Sat 11am – 12am | Sun 11am – 6pm

Hi Hat

Photo Courtesy of BitchBeer.org

Salt & Time– not a beer bar per say, it’s a butcher shop, restaurant, and salumeria featuring locally sourced products. But they always have good beer. If you love craft beer and are extremely carnivorous, then this place is for you.

Butcher Shop: Tue- Sat 10am-8pm | Sun 10am-6pm 

Restaurant: L Tue-Sat 11am-3pm | D Tue- Sat 5pm-10pm | B Sun 10am-3pm

Schoolhouse Pub situated in an old school house, this bar features 20 beers on tap with mostly local beers making the grade. This is the Austin bar for teachers and those who like school-themed puns. 

Mon-Fri 3pm to 12am |  Sat 3pm to 1am | Sun recess?

Wright Brothers Brew & Brew– boasts “Good beans and good beer.” Brew & Brew features 38 taps and a full coffee assortment from artisanal roasters. This East Side hangout has become one of Austin’s favorite coffee/beer spots.  

Daily 7am-12am

South

400 Rabbits– attached to the Slaughter Alamo Drafthouse this Tequila-themed bar serves up an impressive selection of craft beer.

Mon-Thu 4pm – 11pm | Fri 2pm-1am | Sat 11am-1am | Sun 11am-12am

Odd Duck– not exactly a beer bar, more of a fine dining establishment. Treat yo’ self with a decadent meal paired with some delicious ales from Austin and beyond.

Barley Swine: Mon-Fri 5:30pm- ? | Sat 5pm-?

Odd Duck: L Mon-Fri 11:30 am-2:30 pm | D Sun-Thur 5 pm-10 pm, Fri-Sat 5pm-11 pm

B Sun 10:30am-2:30 pm

Bender Bar -if you are looking for something familiar and comfortable, a real bar bar then check this place out. Bender serves up classic bar food with a decent selection of craft beer. There is usually a heavy assortment of (512) on tap; the brewery is right down the street.

Mon- Fri 3pm-2am | Sat & Sun 5pm-2am

Black Sheep Lodge– located on South Lamar, the Lodge has plenty of draft beer, bottles, and cans. Black Sheep features shuffleboard, pool, darts, and plenty of TVs. Try their famous Black Buffalo Burger. 

Sun-Fri 11am to 12am | Sat 11am to 1am

G & S Lounge five or six taps behind the bar, and a massive amount of craft bottles available in the coolers. The bar is equipped with plenty of old video games, pool tables, and even a Zoltar. This is a dive with a lot of character. G & S is never your planned destination, but it’s where the night takes you.

Mon-Sat 3:30pm-2am | Sun 6:30pm-2am

Happy Trails Bar– located in the Arbor Trails Whole Foods, this bar may not be the biggest, but the selection is always well curated.

Daily 11am-10pm

The Highball– attached to the newly redone South Lamar Alamo Drafthouse. The Highball has 17 beers on tap; grab a pint and sing your heart out in a karaoke room.

Mon-Fri 4pm-2am | Sat & Sun 1pm-2am 

Opal Divines Penn Field features a family-friendly atmosphere, plenty of specials, a large food menu. Opal Divine’s also serves up an ample selection of craft beer. 

Sun-Thur 8am-11pm | Fri 10am-1pm | Sat 10am-11pm

Porter Ale House Gastropub– serves beer from around the world and high-end pub grub in a brilliantly decorated and chic space on South 1st.

Bar: Mon-Fri 11:30am-12am | Sat & Sun 10:30am to 12am

L Mon-Fri 1:30am-2pm | D M0n-Fri 5pm-10pm | Sat & Sun 10:30am-2:30pm

Radio Coffee & Beer– have you noticed how much Austin likes their coffee and beer yet? Radio is part hippie, part hipster, all Austin. Situated in a converted flower shop, the owners did a great job of transforming it into a coffee/beer joint and unmasking its hidden beauty. Grab a migas breakfast taco at the Vera Cruz trailer parked onsite. 

Mon-Fri 6:30am-12am | Sat & Sun 7:30am-12am

Red’s Porch located on South Lamar, Red’s boasts two bars, 20 beers on tap, a deck overlooking the Green Belt, lots of outdoor areas, bean bags, and other bar games. Can’t find parking? Park across the street by the Wells Fargo. Red’s Deep Fried Ride, a shuttle that runs on recycled cooking oil, will shuttle you over.

Sun-Fri 11am-12am | Sat 11am-1am

red

Whip In– located on the I-35 access road close to Oltorf, the Whip In features two stages and 76 drafts. Enjoy some delicious house brews, Indian food, or take some bottles home from the shop. This is a classic Keep Austin Weird establishment.

Daily 10am-12am

Zax Pints & Plates– situated across the street from the Long Center, this Auditorium Shores restaurant has saved people from eating at Hooters for 12 years now. Zax serves up bistro fare with 20 beers on tap.

Mon-Thur 11am-10pm | Fri & Sat 11am-10:30pm | Sun 11am-3pm

What’s your favorite beer bar in Austin? Did I miss anything? Hit me up in the comments section.

7 thoughts on “2016 Comprehensive Guide to Austin Beer Bars

  1. Me

    You left out Waller Creek Pub House! Located off of Historic 6th street and tucked behind the Waller Ballroom event space. The pub has thirty beers on tap from Austin and all over the world. Menu consists of burgers, fries, classic sandwiches (like reuben and grilled cheese), and features weekly specials. Food is outstanding and they have one of the best tap walls I have seen in Austin!

  2. Pingback: Top 10 Places for Drinks in Austin - The Fresh Find

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