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Three cans of beer with the words “Live Oak Slava Pils” on it next to a tall glass of yellow-colored beer outside on a picnic table near trees.
Beers from Live Oak.
Live Oak Brewing Company

22 Essential Breweries in the Austin Area

See where the Texas beer magic gets made

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Beers from Live Oak.
| Live Oak Brewing Company

Austin runs on craft beer. In the mid-2000s, Texas had fewer than 20 active breweries. Now, that number is over 400. Changes in consumer tastes, overhauls of antiquated liquor laws, and a general influx of money to Texas have all contributed to the boom, but does quantity mean quality? In Central Texas, thankfully, the answer is a resounding yes.

Austin brewers are doing amazing work, from stylistic choices, ingredients, and house-styles that are truly wide-ranging. The city’s ever-expanding brewery scene offers plenty of opportunity to get up close and personal with your favorite hoppy beverages. There’s something here for everyone, be it the beer itself, the brewery atmosphere, or a place to let the kids roam.

For more beer needs, check out the beer bar map and beer gardens map. For other boozy needs, check out Austin's cocktail heatmap, picks for essential cocktail bars, wine, and happy hours.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Circle Brewing Company

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Circle Brewery has been a low-key presence in North Austin for years, but its profile notably grew last year due to its proximity to the new soccer stadium Q2. On game days, the brewery has long (but efficient) lines serving balanced offerings like Perfekt pils, Alibi blonde, and a soccer-themed Austin Anthem ale (named for a supporter’s group). The space itself is fairly warehouse-y and nondescript, but the brewery is helpfully both kid and dog friendly. To-go orders can be placed online.

Hopsquad Brewing Co.

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Major League Soccer fans also flock to Hopsquad for the rowdy pregame atmosphere, which (like Circle Brewing) sits conveniently down the road from Q2 Stadium. The core beer lineup is available to-go in cans, and among the favorites are the Zapatista Mexican lager and (especially) the Architetto Ruffini Italian pils. Pizza is available from the Dough Squad trailer, as are tacos from Botanita Tres Reyes. There’s also a regular yoga class here, and semi-regular live music. And worth mentioning: the brewery often opens early on Sundays for Formula 1 fans, and is the Austin viewing headquarters for fans of the Premier League team Fulham FC. To-go orders can be placed online.

Austin Beerworks

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Perhaps the most successful manifestation of craft brewing in Austin, Austin Beerworks has moved from strength to strength mostly by doing one big thing right: understanding what Central Texas beer drinkers want. While the brewery makes all sorts of things, the core focus on flavorful warm weather beers is best manifested in the classic Pearl Snap German pils and the Peacemaker ale, which is so crushable that it is humorously available in 99-packs. At the taproom, there’s a workhorse food truck serving burgers, nachos, and tacos, a number of experimental small batch taps, and a large seating area that remains packed most weekends. A true Austin classic. To-go orders can be placed online.

Family Business Beer Company

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Let’s get it out of the way: yes, it’s a drive to get here from town. But once there, you’ll find a jovial tap room with indoor and outdoor seating, a large lawn for kids to roam on, and occasional live music. The core lineup of tap and canned beers are attuned to Hill Country porch drinking: there’s a Great American Beer Festival-approved German pils (Golden Age), and a very nice American pale ale (Hamilton pale.) And yes, there’s a tasty, citrus-forward IPA. Fun fact: Family Business is co-founded by veteran television actor Jensen Ackles (Supernatural, Days Of Our Lives, The Boys.)

A brewery bar.
Family Business Beer Co.
Julia Keim

Batch Craft Beer & Kolaches

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Still fairly new to Austin, Batch has proven to be wildly popular with both the Mueller set and beer aficionados. While the kolache bakery is the understandable draw for some, there’s a very eclectic lineup of beers ranging from sour “rainbow sherbert-inspired” IPAs to imperial stouts with Underberg. The variety is the point: the brewery prides itself on experimentation, with a mix of clean and wild beers to satisfy disparate palates. There’s also a coffee program here for the neighbors, and, of course, the beloved sweet, savory, and breakfast kolaches (which do run out as the day progresses). To-go orders can be placed online.

Oddwood Brewing

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While the VHS tapes and indie rock soundtrack lend the space a laid-back, retro vibe, the beers from Oddwood are smart and serious. The brewers clearly enjoy offering some sours, but most weeks, the tap list is heavy on IPAs and hoppier lagers. An extensive range of pizzas, salads, and stromboli help patrons soak in all of those beers. For non-beer-drinkers, there’s a reasonable wine list here, too. Check the website for frequent vinyl nights and weekly live jazz nights. To-go orders can be placed online.

Southern Heights Brewing Company

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This East Austin favorite is a good stop for those who enjoy IPAs — the tropical Tahitian Dreamin’ is a must order. Among other offerings, the malty and mild Where’s My Flannel is a perennial pub favorite. A warehouse-style taproom has extensive indoor seating and a few picnic tables outdoors, and service is friendly. To-go orders can be placed online.

Hold Out Brewing

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The brewery from the Better Half/Brew & Brew/Little Brother/Bummer Burrito teams succeeds by understanding modern Austin. The beer lineup is forward-thinking and creative, while its social media and general vibe alludes to a slacker ethos at heart; if the brewery was an indie band, it’d be Pavement. The food menu here satisfies perennial bar cravings: smash burgers, fried chicken sandwiches, and chicken wings are all here, as are a few vegetarian options like chana masala Frito pie. For beer, the Ol’ Gil pils is already a local favorite, and the light Suavemente pale ale neatly shoots the gap between refreshment and flavor. There’s a huge patio here for friendly gatherings, and it’s a great pre-game spot before downtown events. To-go orders can be placed online.

Zilker Brewing Co.

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Zilker Brewing has become an East Sixth staple by producing crowd-pleasing beers — mostly in lighter styles — and canning quite a few of them for backyard and picnic consumption. While the interior of the taproom is fairly small due to the central location, there’s a generous patio to perch on, complete with sandwiches and tots from the on-site truck Spicy Boys. The staff is friendly, and the brand’s light and refreshing style will appeal to a variety of tastes. Try the Parks and Rec pale and the Icy Boys, an outstanding rice lager collaboration with Spicy Boys. To-go orders can be placed online.

Lazarus Brewing Co.

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This fancier East Austin taproom is a favorite of discerning drinkers. The bar area feels downright formal, as though someone grabbed an old Chicago tavern and tucked it onto East Sixth, a feeling strengthened by the Christian imagery (the brewery was co-founded by a Montana pastor.) Pilsners and lagers dominate the taps here, showing an appreciation for both Austin’s weather and the art of doing the basics right. In addition to the quality beer lineup, there’s a solid coffee program here and a smart menu of tacos and tortas, making the space a vital all-day hang destination. To-go orders can be placed online.

Hi Sign Brewing

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Hi Sign has ditched its rough-hewn warehouse by the airport and moved to a more central location in Govalle. The brewery’s beers are calibrated to Austin’s warm weather, meaning there are lighter styles along with dank IPAs and imperial stouts for those who partake. Service is warm, and staffers are happy to suggest favorites or offer a small sample to help patrons decide.

Blue Owl Brewing

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Get an education on sour-mashed beers at Blue Owl Brewing on East Cesar Chavez. The array is funky, fun, and fruity with options like the classic sour session wheat Little Boss or the tart sour red ale Van Dayum, as well as special releases. To-go orders can be placed online.

The Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co.

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Perhaps the most awarded brewery in Austin, ABGB won multiple Great American Beer Festival golds (including large brewpub of the year) by keeping a laser focus on the oft-underrated pilsner and helles styles. The whole concept fits South Austin perfectly: a large beer garden, with a nice stage for live local music, and a killer lineup of flavorful but crushable lighter beers. A menu of casual bar food including pizzas, sandwiches, and wings is also available. Perhaps the quintessential Austin beer garden, and great for groups. To-go keg orders can be placed online.

Pinthouse Pizza

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Pinthouse has become a mainstay of both family dinners and beer nerds by offering a convivial, communal atmosphere, a comfort food menu of pizza, nachos, soft pretzels, and (critically) award-winning beers. The multi-location brewery is best known for the ubiquitous Electric Jellyfish IPA, a hazy New England-style beer that’s served everywhere in Austin. A wide assortment of other stellar IPAs come and go seasonally from the tap wall, and the pilsners and stouts are similarly best in class. Also worth noting: bar service here is consistently efficient and polite, which is no easy feat. To-go orders can be placed online. (Note that the flagship location on Burnet is currently closed for renovations.)

Jester King Brewery

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Jester King’s evolution from cult status to an all-around gathering spot appears to be complete. Once focused on farmhouse and wild beers, the brewery now offers several “clean” beer selections in the lager and pilsner categories, alongside curated picks of wines and ciders. The kitchen side also added a smoker, meaning the usual selection of pizzas and baked goods is now augmented with dishes like pork ribs on the weekends. Note: order food online on the drive out there, since wait times can be longer on weekends. To-go orders can be placed online.

[Disclosure: Tom Thornton is an investor in Jester King.]

Nomadic Beerworks

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This small taproom on the 290 side of South Austin is cozy and welcoming, despite being a bit off the beaten path. Around a dozen solid beers are on tap, with IPAs, saisons, and barrel-aged selections among the rotating offerings. While the brewery isn’t currently canning, crowlers and growler fills are available. The Switchback West Coast pale ale and Southside session hoppy wheat ale beers are reflective of the brewery’s quality, as well as the appreciated generous amount of indoor and outdoor seating. To-go orders can be placed in person or over the phone.

(512) Brewing Company

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One of the true Austin old guards, (512) has been a dependable fixture on local taps for almost 15 years. While the Pecan porter and IPA are often found around town, newer offerings like Local Crush kolsch and Citra Summer pale ale are worthy of equal billing. After years of tap-only distribution, the pandemic brought the brewery into the canning and bottling game, and the taproom prices are very reasonable for the quality. This is a warehouse-type setup, so seating is fairly limited, and the taproom only opens on Saturdays. To-go orders can be placed online.

Live Oak Brewing Company

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What can you say about Austin’s oldest brewery except that it’s a classic and the city is lucky to have it? Now a whopping 25 years old, Live Oak’s old guard approach has always been to make German beer styles. As such, both the pilz and hefeweizen are among the best in the country. Live Oak’s main innovation in the past decade was actually opening a nice taproom and starting to can, but outside of that, it’s business as usual. German beer done properly, priced reasonably, and made with care and craft.

St. Elmo Brewing Company

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While best known for its crisp and sessionable Carl Kolsch, St. Elmo brews a wide array of styles ranging from a solid Vienna lager to a bold passionfruit sour. There’s an expansive outdoor patio here that’s always fairly full. Food from Spicy Boys is available, and there are coolers of tallboy cans to go. To-go orders can be placed online.

Meanwhile Brewing

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Meanwhile’s industrial, warehouse-heavy neighborhood in McKinney gives drinkers no idea of what’s around the corner — this is a massive space. Upon arrival, there’s a fancy taproom, multiple food trucks, a large working stage, a soccer field, and perhaps the largest brewery patio area in the Austin area aside from Jester King. In short, it looks expensive. The beer’s quality has grown notably since launch, with patrons citing the Meanwhile pilsner and Lou’s lager among the best offerings. This is a great place for group outings or a brewery visit with kids, although finding a table on weekends can be challenging. A variety of non-beer options are also available at the bar.

Last Stand Brewing Company

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After a lengthy run on Fitzhugh Road, Last Stand has now pivoted to a far South Congress location. This more cityfied location means there’s a Geeks Who Drink trivia night and multiple comedy nights each week. As for the beer, there are several IPAs, along with a lighter witbier and some seasonal selections. A bar menu of burgers, wings, fries, and tots rounds out this crowd-pleasing neighborhood taproom. To-go orders can be placed online.

Vista Brewing

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Much like Jester King, Vista Brewing is best viewed as a destination brewery: the drive out to Driftwood is part of the fun, and don’t sleep on the kitchen, which offers upscale takes on comfort food classics like hot dogs and brisket chili. The taproom keeps a rotating selection of around 15 taps flowing, with standouts like the Rays Of Sunshine kolsch and Driftwood pale leading the way. There are also barrel-aged beers to sample. Live music is also featured most Fridays and Sundays.

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Circle Brewing Company

Circle Brewery has been a low-key presence in North Austin for years, but its profile notably grew last year due to its proximity to the new soccer stadium Q2. On game days, the brewery has long (but efficient) lines serving balanced offerings like Perfekt pils, Alibi blonde, and a soccer-themed Austin Anthem ale (named for a supporter’s group). The space itself is fairly warehouse-y and nondescript, but the brewery is helpfully both kid and dog friendly. To-go orders can be placed online.

Hopsquad Brewing Co.

Major League Soccer fans also flock to Hopsquad for the rowdy pregame atmosphere, which (like Circle Brewing) sits conveniently down the road from Q2 Stadium. The core beer lineup is available to-go in cans, and among the favorites are the Zapatista Mexican lager and (especially) the Architetto Ruffini Italian pils. Pizza is available from the Dough Squad trailer, as are tacos from Botanita Tres Reyes. There’s also a regular yoga class here, and semi-regular live music. And worth mentioning: the brewery often opens early on Sundays for Formula 1 fans, and is the Austin viewing headquarters for fans of the Premier League team Fulham FC. To-go orders can be placed online.

Austin Beerworks

Perhaps the most successful manifestation of craft brewing in Austin, Austin Beerworks has moved from strength to strength mostly by doing one big thing right: understanding what Central Texas beer drinkers want. While the brewery makes all sorts of things, the core focus on flavorful warm weather beers is best manifested in the classic Pearl Snap German pils and the Peacemaker ale, which is so crushable that it is humorously available in 99-packs. At the taproom, there’s a workhorse food truck serving burgers, nachos, and tacos, a number of experimental small batch taps, and a large seating area that remains packed most weekends. A true Austin classic. To-go orders can be placed online.

Family Business Beer Company

A brewery bar.
Family Business Beer Co.
Julia Keim

Let’s get it out of the way: yes, it’s a drive to get here from town. But once there, you’ll find a jovial tap room with indoor and outdoor seating, a large lawn for kids to roam on, and occasional live music. The core lineup of tap and canned beers are attuned to Hill Country porch drinking: there’s a Great American Beer Festival-approved German pils (Golden Age), and a very nice American pale ale (Hamilton pale.) And yes, there’s a tasty, citrus-forward IPA. Fun fact: Family Business is co-founded by veteran television actor Jensen Ackles (Supernatural, Days Of Our Lives, The Boys.)

A brewery bar.
Family Business Beer Co.
Julia Keim

Batch Craft Beer & Kolaches

Still fairly new to Austin, Batch has proven to be wildly popular with both the Mueller set and beer aficionados. While the kolache bakery is the understandable draw for some, there’s a very eclectic lineup of beers ranging from sour “rainbow sherbert-inspired” IPAs to imperial stouts with Underberg. The variety is the point: the brewery prides itself on experimentation, with a mix of clean and wild beers to satisfy disparate palates. There’s also a coffee program here for the neighbors, and, of course, the beloved sweet, savory, and breakfast kolaches (which do run out as the day progresses). To-go orders can be placed online.

Oddwood Brewing

While the VHS tapes and indie rock soundtrack lend the space a laid-back, retro vibe, the beers from Oddwood are smart and serious. The brewers clearly enjoy offering some sours, but most weeks, the tap list is heavy on IPAs and hoppier lagers. An extensive range of pizzas, salads, and stromboli help patrons soak in all of those beers. For non-beer-drinkers, there’s a reasonable wine list here, too. Check the website for frequent vinyl nights and weekly live jazz nights. To-go orders can be placed online.

Southern Heights Brewing Company

This East Austin favorite is a good stop for those who enjoy IPAs — the tropical Tahitian Dreamin’ is a must order. Among other offerings, the malty and mild Where’s My Flannel is a perennial pub favorite. A warehouse-style taproom has extensive indoor seating and a few picnic tables outdoors, and service is friendly. To-go orders can be placed online.

Hold Out Brewing

The brewery from the Better Half/Brew & Brew/Little Brother/Bummer Burrito teams succeeds by understanding modern Austin. The beer lineup is forward-thinking and creative, while its social media and general vibe alludes to a slacker ethos at heart; if the brewery was an indie band, it’d be Pavement. The food menu here satisfies perennial bar cravings: smash burgers, fried chicken sandwiches, and chicken wings are all here, as are a few vegetarian options like chana masala Frito pie. For beer, the Ol’ Gil pils is already a local favorite, and the light Suavemente pale ale neatly shoots the gap between refreshment and flavor. There’s a huge patio here for friendly gatherings, and it’s a great pre-game spot before downtown events. To-go orders can be placed online.

Zilker Brewing Co.

Zilker Brewing has become an East Sixth staple by producing crowd-pleasing beers — mostly in lighter styles — and canning quite a few of them for backyard and picnic consumption. While the interior of the taproom is fairly small due to the central location, there’s a generous patio to perch on, complete with sandwiches and tots from the on-site truck Spicy Boys. The staff is friendly, and the brand’s light and refreshing style will appeal to a variety of tastes. Try the Parks and Rec pale and the Icy Boys, an outstanding rice lager collaboration with Spicy Boys. To-go orders can be placed online.

Lazarus Brewing Co.

This fancier East Austin taproom is a favorite of discerning drinkers. The bar area feels downright formal, as though someone grabbed an old Chicago tavern and tucked it onto East Sixth, a feeling strengthened by the Christian imagery (the brewery was co-founded by a Montana pastor.) Pilsners and lagers dominate the taps here, showing an appreciation for both Austin’s weather and the art of doing the basics right. In addition to the quality beer lineup, there’s a solid coffee program here and a smart menu of tacos and tortas, making the space a vital all-day hang destination. To-go orders can be placed online.

Hi Sign Brewing

Hi Sign has ditched its rough-hewn warehouse by the airport and moved to a more central location in Govalle. The brewery’s beers are calibrated to Austin’s warm weather, meaning there are lighter styles along with dank IPAs and imperial stouts for those who partake. Service is warm, and staffers are happy to suggest favorites or offer a small sample to help patrons decide.

Blue Owl Brewing

Get an education on sour-mashed beers at Blue Owl Brewing on East Cesar Chavez. The array is funky, fun, and fruity with options like the classic sour session wheat Little Boss or the tart sour red ale Van Dayum, as well as special releases. To-go orders can be placed online.

The Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co.

Perhaps the most awarded brewery in Austin, ABGB won multiple Great American Beer Festival golds (including large brewpub of the year) by keeping a laser focus on the oft-underrated pilsner and helles styles. The whole concept fits South Austin perfectly: a large beer garden, with a nice stage for live local music, and a killer lineup of flavorful but crushable lighter beers. A menu of casual bar food including pizzas, sandwiches, and wings is also available. Perhaps the quintessential Austin beer garden, and great for groups. To-go keg orders can be placed online.

Pinthouse Pizza

Pinthouse has become a mainstay of both family dinners and beer nerds by offering a convivial, communal atmosphere, a comfort food menu of pizza, nachos, soft pretzels, and (critically) award-winning beers. The multi-location brewery is best known for the ubiquitous Electric Jellyfish IPA, a hazy New England-style beer that’s served everywhere in Austin. A wide assortment of other stellar IPAs come and go seasonally from the tap wall, and the pilsners and stouts are similarly best in class. Also worth noting: bar service here is consistently efficient and polite, which is no easy feat. To-go orders can be placed online. (Note that the flagship location on Burnet is currently closed for renovations.)

Jester King Brewery

Jester King’s evolution from cult status to an all-around gathering spot appears to be complete. Once focused on farmhouse and wild beers, the brewery now offers several “clean” beer selections in the lager and pilsner categories, alongside curated picks of wines and ciders. The kitchen side also added a smoker, meaning the usual selection of pizzas and baked goods is now augmented with dishes like pork ribs on the weekends. Note: order food online on the drive out there, since wait times can be longer on weekends. To-go orders can be placed online.

[Disclosure: Tom Thornton is an investor in Jester King.]

Related Maps

Nomadic Beerworks

This small taproom on the 290 side of South Austin is cozy and welcoming, despite being a bit off the beaten path. Around a dozen solid beers are on tap, with IPAs, saisons, and barrel-aged selections among the rotating offerings. While the brewery isn’t currently canning, crowlers and growler fills are available. The Switchback West Coast pale ale and Southside session hoppy wheat ale beers are reflective of the brewery’s quality, as well as the appreciated generous amount of indoor and outdoor seating. To-go orders can be placed in person or over the phone.

(512) Brewing Company

One of the true Austin old guards, (512) has been a dependable fixture on local taps for almost 15 years. While the Pecan porter and IPA are often found around town, newer offerings like Local Crush kolsch and Citra Summer pale ale are worthy of equal billing. After years of tap-only distribution, the pandemic brought the brewery into the canning and bottling game, and the taproom prices are very reasonable for the quality. This is a warehouse-type setup, so seating is fairly limited, and the taproom only opens on Saturdays. To-go orders can be placed online.

Live Oak Brewing Company

What can you say about Austin’s oldest brewery except that it’s a classic and the city is lucky to have it? Now a whopping 25 years old, Live Oak’s old guard approach has always been to make German beer styles. As such, both the pilz and hefeweizen are among the best in the country. Live Oak’s main innovation in the past decade was actually opening a nice taproom and starting to can, but outside of that, it’s business as usual. German beer done properly, priced reasonably, and made with care and craft.

St. Elmo Brewing Company

While best known for its crisp and sessionable Carl Kolsch, St. Elmo brews a wide array of styles ranging from a solid Vienna lager to a bold passionfruit sour. There’s an expansive outdoor patio here that’s always fairly full. Food from Spicy Boys is available, and there are coolers of tallboy cans to go. To-go orders can be placed online.

Meanwhile Brewing

Meanwhile’s industrial, warehouse-heavy neighborhood in McKinney gives drinkers no idea of what’s around the corner — this is a massive space. Upon arrival, there’s a fancy taproom, multiple food trucks, a large working stage, a soccer field, and perhaps the largest brewery patio area in the Austin area aside from Jester King. In short, it looks expensive. The beer’s quality has grown notably since launch, with patrons citing the Meanwhile pilsner and Lou’s lager among the best offerings. This is a great place for group outings or a brewery visit with kids, although finding a table on weekends can be challenging. A variety of non-beer options are also available at the bar.

Last Stand Brewing Company

After a lengthy run on Fitzhugh Road, Last Stand has now pivoted to a far South Congress location. This more cityfied location means there’s a Geeks Who Drink trivia night and multiple comedy nights each week. As for the beer, there are several IPAs, along with a lighter witbier and some seasonal selections. A bar menu of burgers, wings, fries, and tots rounds out this crowd-pleasing neighborhood taproom. To-go orders can be placed online.

Vista Brewing

Much like Jester King, Vista Brewing is best viewed as a destination brewery: the drive out to Driftwood is part of the fun, and don’t sleep on the kitchen, which offers upscale takes on comfort food classics like hot dogs and brisket chili. The taproom keeps a rotating selection of around 15 taps flowing, with standouts like the Rays Of Sunshine kolsch and Driftwood pale leading the way. There are also barrel-aged beers to sample. Live music is also featured most Fridays and Sundays.

Related Maps