Six Austin bars with serene outdoor patios

Here are several of Austin’s myriad patio bars to choose from depending on what part of town you’re at  — and what kind of outdoor experience you’re seeking.

Wondering where to whet your whistle? Check out the Austin360 Boozery Guide

Deck Nine Observatory Bar at Boiler Nine

800 W. Cesar Chavez St., boilernine.com.

The upstairs bar at Boiler Nine Bar & Grill, the centerpiece restaurant of La Corsha Hospitality Group’s dining project in the historic Seaholm Power Plant, has reopened just in time for the fest. It’ll be very similar to what you might remember of the open-air patio — with nothing less than panoramic views of the surrounding downtown — albeit with a new food and cocktail menu.

La Corsha beverage director Jason Stevens, along with executive chef Jason Stude, have created fare with “beachy, coastal flavors”: bar snacks like yellowtail crudo and cumin tostadas and cocktails that include frozen rum and tequila drinks, tropical highballs and more. You’ll still be able to “booze your own adventure” with them, and deck favorites like the Negroni and the Old Fashioned have remained on the menu.

“What I’m trying to do is not use the word ‘tropical’ with the menu to avoid the impression of a tiki bar, but you will find tropical spices like guava in the drinks and also deeper, darker flavors of hibiscus, allspice, things like that from Mexico and Jamaica: a variety of baking spices that is common in the cuisine there,” Stevens said, referring to the new Red Macaw as an example.

The Red Macaw, with grapefruit, hibiscus blossom and island spices, in addition to your choice of blanco tequila, light rum or vodka, is exactly the sort of bright, beachy beverage you’ll want to be drinking.

As one of Austin’s best bars, Deck Nine won’t disappoint.

Arianna Auber / American-Statesman. Deck Nine Observatory Bar is reopening after a winter break just in time for SXSW.

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Backbeat

1300 S. Lamar Blvd., backbeat-atx.com.

The husband-and-wife owners of this bar and North Loop’s cozy Drink.Well have established Backbeat as the trendy cocktail spot you want to be at on important holidays like Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve, thanks to an upstairs patio area that offers clear views of downtown and those holidays’ fireworks.

Backbeat is far enough away from downtown that you can relax with a cocktail in hand (might we suggest the eponymous Backbeat, with celery cordial, lemon, Génépy des Alpes and your choice of gin, vodka or tequila) while still being tantalizingly close enough to feel the energy.

Corner at the J.W. Marriott

110 E. Second St., cornerrestaurantaustin.com.

Pull up a seat at the square Patio Bar outside of the J.W. Marriott’s Corner restaurant. The bar menu tends to focus on two of Texas’ most beloved drinks — tequila cocktails and local craft beer — so it’s also the right place to be if you’re introducing an out-of-towner to what Austin does best.

Easy Tiger

709 E. Sixth St., easytigeraustin.com.

When you walk in through the bake shop, the alluring smell of freshly made bread will probably give you an appetite. Good thing, too, because there’s nothing more relaxing than sitting in the outdoor beer garden and enjoying a pretzel with beer cheese or a house-made sausage. Wash down the grub with a beer — Easy Tiger balances local and national offerings, with current ones including new-to-Texas Bell’s Brewery — and then line up for a game of ping-pong as Waller Creek gurgles serenely below.

Tamir Kalifa / American-Statesman. Yeti’s bar manager
Isaac Coronado is just one member of the staff at the South Congress Avenue space ready to serve you a cold canned beer.

The Barrrr at Yeti

220 S. Congress Ave., yeti.com/flagship

Yeti’s flagship store and accompanying indoor/outdoor bar just opened on prime real estate off Lady Bird Lake. Yeti will peddles canned beers from local brewery stalwarts, such as Independence Brewing, Austin Beerworks and Hops & Grain, that you can keep cold in one of their Yeti Colsters (see what they’re doing there?).

Plus, views of South Congress Avenue near the bridge — a prime people-watching corner — from several outward-facing seats at the bar are hard to beat.

Lazarus Brewing

1902 E. Sixth St., lazarusbrewing.com.

Street tacos? Fresh coffee? Beer made just yards from where it pours from the taps? Plenty of indoor and outdoor seating? Since it opened at the end of last year, Lazarus Brewing has proved to be practically a religious experience for people in East Austin who regularly frequent the brewpub: in the morning for their coffee fix, in the evening for an indulgent pint.

Newcomers are also going to discover this colorful joint, where they’ll be able to try beers like Despereaux, a French saison with notes of cloves and coriander, and Holy Mother of God, an aptly named barleywine pouring at a robust 11.2 percent ABV. Drink a pint while you’re seated outside in the shaded courtyard that tends to draw a breeze or two.

Arianna Auber / American-Statesman. Enjoy a taco and a beer, like the Jolted Phoenix Coffee Golden Ale, on Lazarus Brewing’s outdoor patio if you want to relax during SXSW.

Austin bars ringing in 2017 with New Year’s Eve celebrations

Tom McCarthy Jr. for American-Statesman. Looking for a classy New Year's Eve experience? The Townsend is offering cocktails and live music from performers like Miss Lavelle White.
Tom McCarthy Jr. for American-Statesman. Looking for a classy New Year’s Eve experience? The Townsend is offering cocktails and live music from performers like Miss Lavelle White.

Whether you prefer beer, champagne or something a little harder to bring in the new year, Austin’s watering holes are making sure you’ve got your drink of choice and more during their New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Not sure where to go? Here are some options and what they are offering during the countdown to midnight.

  • Ah Sing Den: Forget the champagne toast at midnight. The Asian-inspired den on East Sixth Street — once East Side Showroom — is offering a free punch toast instead, along with late-night bites available ’til 1:30 a.m.
  • Backbeat: Because of such a prime location with downtown views, the cocktail bar is offering a fireworks viewing watch party from the rooftop, but you’ll want to get there extra early and enjoy a special cocktail and punch menu.
  • Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden: In true Banger’s fashion, the Rainey Street beer bar is readying for 2017 with a Smoke Out Saturday beginning at 6 p.m.
  • Blue Owl Brewing: The party at this East Austin brewery is kicking off a little early with a Wee Heavy toast at 6 p.m. (when it’s midnight in Scotland, the home country of one of the co-founders’ spouses)
  • Dog & Duck Pub: Once again, the beer bar is ringing in the new year British-style — that is, at 6 p.m. with a champagne toast.
  • Drinks Lounge: The 3rd Annual Soul Shindig is returning with the finest selection of funk and soul on black vinyl. Just come dressed up and, if you want a booth, make reservations ahead of time.
  • Easy Tiger: Welcome the new year with $20 bombers of beer instead of champagne, such as Left Hand 2014 Smoke Jumper, Jester King 2015 Hibernal Dichotomous and more.
  • Half Step: Delicious revelry is in store at this New Year’s Eve soiree, which will have live music, punch, a champagne toast at 12 a.m. and even a limbo contest.
  • Hopfields: Whether you’re coming for a five-course dinner to start the festivities or arriving later for the party, make sure you’re decked out in festive garb channeling Frank Sinatra, Havana nights, “Mad Men” and/or the Rat Pack. The French-inspired gastropub is going classy to finish out 2016.
  • Irene’s: It’s hard to find a better deal than $40 magnums of bubbles on the best night of the year for them. After midnight, you can also enjoy black-eyed peas and collard greens for prosperity in 2017.
  • Mean Eyed Cat: Let your final meal of the year be the black-eyed peas, gumbo and $1 chopped beef sandwiches that Stubb’s BBQ is serving at this dive bar devoted to Johnny Cash
  • Mort Subite: The Belgian beer bar on Congress Avenue wants you to party like it’s 1791. That is, that you’re sipping on Dues, the champagne of beers created by Bosteels Brewery, which was founded in 1791.
  • Oskar Blues: It’s the brewery party for music lovers. Oskar Blues is lighting up the final night of 2016 with a couple of Flaming Lips side projects and stellar Austin acts.
  • Red Horn Coffee House & Brewing: Party in the ‘burbs with beers like the Bourbon Barrel Suburban Ninja Imperial Stout and a toast of Red Horn’s golden ale at midnight.
  • Small Victory: Want a cozy New Year’s Eve with a small number of revelers? The cocktail bar is offering just such a haven for no cover charge and tasty wintertime libations.
  • St. Elmo Brewing: One of Austin’s newest breweries, off South Congress Avenue, is toasting at midnight with a free pour of Carl Kolsch for everyone; just buy your ticket in advance or at the door
  • The Townsend: This cocktail bar doubles as one of the best live music venues in town and is proving it with a New Year’s Eve show headlined by Miss Lavelle White. Reserve a ticket in advance.
  • Whip In: Go ahead and embrace those Miller High Life minis you secretly love. Plus, there will be chicken buckets to pair with ’em, a balloon drop, a champagne toast and even a cork popping competition that will get the winner a free bar tab.
  • Whisler’s: The East Sixth Street cocktail bar is throwing it back with a drinks menu of some of Whisler’s greatest hits from the past 3 1/2 years. The night will also have DJ beats and party favors.
  • Whitestone Brewery: In Cedar Park, Whitestone has double reason to party — the brewery is celebrating its one-year anniversary. As such, the fun begins at noon and will run past midnight, with food truck grub, a photo booth, live music, commemorative beer mugs and a midnight toast with Whitestone’s special release of Red Wine Saison. Note that it’s 21 and up after 8 p.m.
Arianna Auber / American-Statesman. Mort Subite is offering a Belgian brew considered "the champagne of beers" for New Year's Eve festivities.
Arianna Auber / American-Statesman. Mort Subite is offering a Belgian brew considered “the champagne of beers” for New Year’s Eve festivities.

Cocktail bar Backbeat combines Champagne and Beyoncé for holiday events

Knoxy Knox. Backbeat is serving up Beyonce-themed cocktails during the #SLEIGH event in December.
Knoxy Knox. Backbeat is serving up Beyoncé-themed cocktails during the #Sleigh event in December.

South Lamar Boulevard’s sophisticated Backbeat has perfected the recipe for boozy holiday merriment: lots of Champagne and lots of Beyoncé-themed cocktails.

Get bubbly

First up is a Champagne class, as a primer to New Year’s Eve festivities. On Sunday, participants will learn the basics of Champagne production, how it’s different from other styles of sparkling wine and what to look for when purchasing bottles. The $50 tickets include paired light bites and a guided flight of four top-notch champagnes, led by Backbeat’s co-owner, Jessica Sanders. Hang around afterward — the class runs from 5:30 to 7 p.m. — to try classic Champagne cocktails.

#SLEIGH

The second event, recurring throughout the month of December, seamlessly brings together Beyoncé, charitable causes and a celebration of the holiday season. Don’t see how all those tie together? Here’s an introduction to #Sleigh: During the first three Mondays in December (Dec. 5, 12 and 19), Sanders will be joined behind the bar by guest bartenders and celebrity barbacks who will create their own special cocktails along with three recurring ones.

  • Jingle Ladies: Put a Ring on It, with gin, apple brandy, Martine Honeysuckle, Meyer lemon, orgeat, Angostura bitters and Brut Champagne
  • Santa Bey-by, with tequila, mezcal, Campari, blood orange, honey, lime and allspice
  • I’ve Got Hot Sauce in My Daiq, with white rum, passionfruit, coconut, lime and Yellowbird Serrano

Each night, a portion of the proceeds from these cocktails, as well as tips, will go toward a charity that benefits women. Backbeat is donating the money to GirlForward, Austin SafePlace and Texas Women’s Advocacy Project.

Guest bartenders and barbacks at #Sleigh include Madelyn Kay with Vox Table, Travis Tober with Aviation American Gin and David Alan with Patron Spirits. The event runs from 7 to 10 p.m. each of those Mondays, although patrons will also be able to order the regular menu during that time.

Backbeat is located at 1300 S. Lamar Blvd. For more information, visit backbeat-atx.com.

How to enjoy National Rosé Day in Austin

In celebration of an important national wine holiday, Backbeat is having a variety of ros specials Thursday through Sunday.
In celebration of an important national wine holiday, Backbeat is having a variety of rosé specials Thursday through Sunday.

In just a few short years, rosé wines have reached an exalted status thanks to their accessibility — fresh and light like a white wine, with the structure and complexity, in many cases, of a cool red. As a result, some of the world’s best winemakers are making them, guaranteeing that Saturday’s National Rosé Day is going to be fun indeed. Take it as the chance to try some wines you’ve never had before.

Celebrate this day of rosé either by going out to a bar like South Lamar Boulevard’s Backbeat, which is having rosé specials just for the occasion, or by staying in and cozying up to one of the tasty new bottles being released this season. Either way, you’ll be seeing the world through rose-colored glasses by the end.

Rosé all day with Backbeat

The cocktail bar from the Drink.Well founders is starting the majority of rosé specials today, and they’ll be available through Sunday. These include

  • $6 Rosé Vermouth Highballs (with Cocchi Rosa Vermouth, sparkling soda and Grapefruit)
  • 20% off full bottles of rosé
  • Tasting flight of Backbeat’s extended house rosé list for $20 (four 2 oz. tasting pours)
  • Expanded rosé wine list (with glasses ranging from $9 to $12 each) that includes
    • Portell Sparkling Rosé Cava from Sarra, Spain
    • La Galope 100% Comte Rosé from Normandy, France
    • Messanges 100% Cabernet Franc Rosé from Chinon in the Loire Valley, France
    • Olivares Grenache/Minastrell Blend Rosé from Jumila, Spain
  • Plus, normal oyster service will come with a special shallot and sparkling rosé mignonette

On Saturday only, the bar will also have a Break Even Bubbles special featuring Egly Ouriet Grand Brut Rosé by the glass (normally, it’s a bottle-only offering). Relish it; only one glass per person will be available at $20.70 to give as many rosé lovers as possible the chance to try the rare wine.

Drink pink at home

Photo by Miguel Lecuona. William Chris Vineyards is hosting the first Texas Wine Revolution event showcasing the best of Texas rosés on July 10.
Photo by Miguel Lecuona. William Chris Vineyards is hosting the first Texas Wine Revolution event showcasing the best of Texas rosés on July 10.

If you’d rather feel rosy on the comfort of your couch, you’ve got plenty of bottles to choose from. Here are a couple of recommendations with local and Texas ties:

  • Llano Estacado 2015 Signature Rosé: One of Texas’ oldest and largest wineries, in Lubbock, has made a Rhone-style rosé with 28 percent Mourvedre, 27 percent Cinsault, 23 percent Grenache, 17 percent Syrah and 5 percent Carignan. According to the winery, it “truly reflects our West Texas terroir… fruity, aromatic, food-friendly or enjoyed on its own on a hot Texas summer afternoon.”
  • Love and Hope Rosé: Texas chef Tim Love — who Austinites will know through his downtown restaurant Lonesome Dove — teamed up with California winemaker Austin Hope to produce this bright and refreshing rosé made with Mourvèdre, Grenache and Syrah grapes. With a bright fruit aroma and notes of tart cherry and tangy tropical fruits, it’s a wine you won’t be able to put down.
  • Messina Hof Texas Rosé Sparkling Wine: If you prefer your wine with some bubbles, Messina Hof has released this 2015 vintage as the winery’s first sparkling wine to contain 100 percent Texas grapes (specifically the Blanc du Bois varietal, which is good at creating fresh, versatile wine). According to the winery, the rosé “explodes with delicious red cherry flavor on top of hints of green apple and peach.”
  • William Chris Vineyards 2015 Cinsault Rosé: The Hill Country winery is organizing a rosé-centric wine festival in July called the Texas Wine Revolution, so it’s fair to say William Chris has an appreciation for a good pink wine. This one, the winery says, showcases notes of bright berries and cream; you’ll notice “fresh orange, strawberry, and raspberry on the palate with a soft, seductive mouthfeel that Cinsault gives so distinctly.”