The Texas Craft Brewers Guild hosted its second-ever Texas Craft Brewers Cup, giving out gold, silver, and bronze medals to state breweries for various styles of beers. Austin winners included Meanwhile Brewing (gold in American IPA), the ABGB (gold in pilsner), Zilker Brewing Co. (bronze in the hazy IPA, gold in American/International lager/light lager), and others. The ceremony took place on February 11.
Tentative bills seek to legally let breweries ship and deliver beers
Texas State Senator Pete Flores and State Representative Shelby Slawson filed accompanying bills that seek to allow Texas breweries and brewpubs to legally deliver and ship beers during this legislative session. The paired SB752 and HB2003 bills, nicknamed Beer to You bills, were filed on February 9 with the support of the Texas Craft Brewers Guild and its political action committee CraftPAC. In 2019, the state legalized allowing breweries to sell to-go cans (ahead of the pandemic, luckily). And after temporary allowances during the endemic, the state permanently legalized to-go alcohol sales in 2021.
Which Austin spots made the most booze money in 2022
Austin Business Journal computed which Austin bars/restaurants/related companies made the most alcohol sales in 2022. Number one was is the WLS Beverage Co. (which includes loads of hotels and on-site restaurants and bars), followed by new venue/arena the Moody Center, the Fairmont, the problematic Unbarliveable (which has two locations, one on Rainey and the other on West Sixth), and then all locations of Little Woodrow’s. Other restaurants and bars on the list include Rose Room/77 Degrees, Matt’s El Rancho, Clive Bar, Kung Fu Saloon, and Eddie V’s. Alamo Drafthouse is also on the list.
Official Austin barbecue restaurant day
North Austin barbecue restaurant Interstellar BBQ was honored by the city over the weekend. The City of Austin named February 19th Interstellar BBQ Day.
Best Texas restaurants according to Texas Monthly
Texas Monthly named its picks for the best restaurants in the state for 2023. The two Austin restaurants are Thompson Hotel restaurant Diner Bar from Savannah-based James Beard Award-winning chef Mashama Bailey and local chef de cuisine Kristine Kittrell at number one; and South Congress Hotel restaurant Maie Day from Olamaie chef Michael Fojtasek at number nine. Austin Mexican seafood restaurant Este, from the team behind East Austin Mexican restaurant Suerte, was included in the honorable mentions.
Tracking Austin restaurant events
Texan restaurant mini-chains Jack Allen’s Kitchen and Salt Traders Coastal Cooking are celebrating Gulf shrimp this month, in conjunction with the Texas Department of Agriculture. This means lunch and dinner specials, with dishes such as Buffalo shrimp salads, Cajun butter shrimp boils, Gulf of Mexico shrimp cocktails, and more, as well as changing offerings. The specials started on February 17 and run through Sunday, March 12.
Tracking Austin pop-ups
White Elephant chef Kaci Goff is hosting a chicken sandwich pop-up this weekend with Comedor pastry chef Cassi Perez. The menu includes the Chicken 65 Sammie, with a masala-fried chicken, chutney, raita, and onions in between slices of milk bread; a potato macaroni salad; and rasam pickles. Orders can be placed via Instagram direct message with a deadline of today, February 23. Pickups take place on Sunday, February 26 at Comedor. Goff had run Malaysian-Tamilian pop-up, Wolf and Woman, on the West Coast, until she closed it to come to Austin to open similarly approached Wolf and Woman with an eventual restaurant.
Seafood Mexican restaurant Este is lending its separate private dining space Bar Toti to a bakery pop-up this week. Pastry chef Derrick Flynn and the Este team will be making Filipino-ish baked goods, including pan de ube, beef asado siopao, leche flan croissants, and more. It takes place on Friday, February 24 from 8 to 11 a.m. or until everything is sold out.
Lockhart smoker fabrication company Mill Scale Metal Works launched a food pop-up which will be debuting in Austin this week. Mill Scale Culinary will be serving at Hotel Vegas on Friday and Saturday, February 24 and 25 from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Chef Max Frisbe will be making items like walking tacos, smoked jalapeno cheddar sausages, and smoked/fried chicken wings.
Tracking Austin food truck news
The Rainey location of food truck Tommy Want Wingy relocated onto East Sixth street as of February 18. It’s now parked at the Lucky Duck bar.
South Austin Trinidiain truck Shirley’s is on a temporary break as owner Janelle Romeo went to visit Trinidad for Carnival season. The break started on February 11 and runs through Tuesday, March 7. The truck will reopen for service on Wednesday, March 8.
Bites with ciders
North Austin cidery Fairweather is now offering tapas. The bites could include cheese, breads, and more, and it’ll be free on Wednesday with the purchase of a drink.
Restaurants and the such openings
H-E-B opened its new Lake Austin store on February 15. The 2652 Lake Austin Boulevard supermarket includes two levels, plus locations of its barbecue restaurant True Texas BBQ, its New York-style pizzeria SouthFlo Pizza, and Lake Austin’s Coffee Shop with coffee, breakfast tacos, and pastries.
Chain restaurant Ike’s opened its fourth Austin-area location in February. It’s found in Mueller at 1201 Barbara Jordan Boulevard, Suite 1210. There are also forthcoming locations for Great Hills and Georgetown.
Brand-new non-alcoholic beer Rick’s Near Beer — created by Josh Hare of Austin brewery Hops& Grain — opened a physical pickup location in the city on February 17. Rick’s Place is found at 501 Pedernales, Unite 1B in the Holly neighborhood. There are two styles, the original and the hazy, in single or six-pack cans. Its hours are from 2 to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, and yes, people can drink on-site