For beer lovers, that’s the place to be on Thursday, when the Austin Beer Guide authors will celebrate the debut of another free issue exploring local beers and the beer community. Several special brews from Austin producers are going on draft, including a collaboration between the Draught House and Austin Beer Guide called Don’t Haze Me Bro. The clarified IPA, done in the juicy style of a New England IPA, will come with free glassware if you order it.
Another beer to watch for is Friends & Allies’ new Kick Start Belgian Golden Ale with Flat Track Coffee. That will also be on tap on Saturday during the East Austin’s brewery’s grand opening celebration, but you might want to relish the unusual style early. In it, notes of berry, apple and pear mingle with hints of dark chocolate.
Plus, North by Northwest and Last Stand Brewing have collaborated on Mr. Rogers, an imperial pale lager with Citra and Mosaic hops that the two breweries created for Dripping Springs’ Founders Day this weekend.
Here’s the full list of beers to enjoy starting at 6 p.m. Thursday.
Draught House/Austin Beer Guide: Don’t Haze Me Bro
Texas Independence Day with Yeti, 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday, March 2. Buy a custom Yeti drinkware product and the new flagship store and bar will fill ‘em up on the house, with proceeds going to the Austin Music Foundation.
Bell’s Brewery Launch Party at Via 313, 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, March 2. Michigan pizza with Michigan beer, united at last: Via 313’s brick-and-mortar locations will bring back a pizza special for the occasion.
Circle Brewing’s 6th Anniversary Party, 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 11. This year’s celebration coincides with a big rebranding and Circle’s first-ever cans, as well as a new seasonal, M’Lady English IPA.
St. Patrick’s Day at North by Northwest, 4 to 10 p.m. Friday, March 17. Special cask tappings, Irish stew and Irish music promise fun for the whole family (even a bouncy house and balloon artist for the kids.)
The Beer Train with the Bluebonnet Beer Co., 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, March 18. The Austin Steam Train is hosting another boozy train ride, this time with beers from Round Rock’s only brewery. This event has been rescheduled to May 20 due to mechanical issues.
Sophia’s Bubble Brunch Launch, 12 to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 19. The supper club is debuting a monthly brunch with prosecco-based cocktails, champagne bottle service and brunch dishes with an Italian twist.
SXSW Recovery Party at Irene’s, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, March 20. Hair of the dog is sometimes the only way to recover from a week-long fest, so Irene’s will have drink specials on wine, beer and Tito’s Vodka.
Astronomy on Tap, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 21. Three out-of-this-world talks will be accompanied with pints of beer, astronomy-related art on display from local artists, and more at the North Door.
Yes Chef Beer Release at Black Star Co-op, 5 to 11 p.m. Thursday, March 23. The brewpub’s beer team collaborated with its kitchen staff to come up with a beer perfect for the end of a long, hot kitchen shift: an adjunct cream ale.
Fourth Saturday at Real Ale Brewing, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 25. In honor of the brewery’s 21st birthday, Real Ale is debuting two more beers in the Mysterium Verum series: Magnum Trux and Rex Indomitus.
Red Line Brewery Tour, Spring 2017, 4 to 10 p.m. Saturday, March 25. Train-hop to check out three local breweries near the Capital MetroRail Red Line: Zilker Brewing, Black Star Co-op and Circle Brewing.
Tiki! A Hye Rum Event, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, March 25. A new rum distillery from the makers of Calais Winery in the Hill Country is hosting a whole hog roast buffet-style dinner. $65-$595.
In 2013, Texas laws changed to allow breweries to sell their beers for on-site consumption — a step in the right direction — although brewers in the state are hoping that this year proves to be an even bigger boon for them.
Now that the 85th Texas legislature is in session, the lobbyists for the Texas Craft Brewers Guild, the organization that advances the interests of the state’s craft brewers, are going to push for more. Namely, they want breweries to be able to sell beer to-go from their taprooms.
“Having off-premise sales in breweries is our number one priority,” Charles Vallhonrat, director of the guild, said.
Currently, Texas law permits brewpubs, but not production breweries, to sell beer in bottles, cans and growlers to-go from their facility. Brewpubs can also offer beers from other breweries on-site, but they are limited in the amount of beer they can produce each year: no more than 10,000 barrels.
Introducing and then passing a bill that would give breweries more of the same freedoms as brewpubs — not to mention wineries and distilleries, which can similarly sell their products for off-site enjoyment — might not be so easy.
“We’ve been speaking with the distributor lobbies,” Vallhonrat said. “There’s certainly opposition to it, but we’re working through it. We’re also closely watching the Deep Ellum lawsuit. But we will bring a bill about off-premise sales to the legislature.”
Distributors, he said, are opposed to the idea because allowing consumers to buy beer to take home directly from the breweries could, theoretically, take away some of their business. That’s not how the guild sees it, however.
“We don’t see it as an alternative to retail sales,” Vallhonrat said. “People aren’t going to start buying their beer at the brewery all the time. They’ll go for special occasions, when there’s a big release or they have friends in town. Off-premise sales can drive beer tourism. It’s a great way to promote Texas beer.”
The guild is lobbying for breweries to sell growlers as well as their packaged products to-go, for “breweries to have the same flexibility that brewpubs, as retail licensees, have,” he said.
Although the temperature is heating back up to the low-80s this week, it’s still the season for dark beers — and Austin brewpubs and breweries are responding with an array of porters, stouts, barrel-aged brews and beers with winter flavors.
Here are some of the local beers to look out for this month and the next, too.
Austin Beerworks Sputnik:The one-time cans of the seasonal beer might be long gone, but you can still find Austin Beerworks’ beloved Russian imperial oatmeal stout on draft at bars around town, including at the Brass Tap Domain.
Tonight at 7 p.m., the beer bar is offering Sputnik, Sputniko, Battle Axe and Pearl Snap as part of an Austin Beerworks tap takeover.
In it, according to Zilker, “expect everything you love about the original: the caramelized sugar, the creamy texture, and of course the locally roasted coffee (thanks, Wild Gift Coffee), just more of it.”
Independence Brewing’s Illustrated Man Dark Sour: Although this beer won’t be ready for full-scale release in cans until next month, there will be a pilot brew version of it in the Independence taproom. The Illustrated Man is tart, with blackberries, raspberries and boysenberries adding extra flavor to the dark-hued ale.
Black Star Co-op Moebius: The brewpub put out a call to action at the end of last week, asking for customers to stop in and prevent a possible closure. A good time to be there is on Jan. 17, when the house beer Moebius is tapping as a Woodford Reserve Whiskey barrel-aged imperial stout.
According to Black Star, the rich and viscous “Moebius is a decadent beast of a beer” that clocks in at a robust 10 percent alcohol by volume. It taps at 5 p.m. next Tuesday.
Blue Owl Brewing’s Lord Admiral Gravitas: Remember Blue Owl’s Admiral Gravitas, a sour imperial oatmeal stout? This wood-aged version, which spent time in Balcones Brimstone barrels, takes the Admiral Gravitas up a boozy notch and has additional notes of oak, smoke and complexity.
The barrel-aged brew will only be found at the brewery taproom starting at 3 p.m. on Jan. 18, although the Admiral Gravitas is more widely available around town.
Uncle Billy’s Shakolad Chocolate Imperial Stout: This full-bodied stout full of cocoa nibs from Srsly Chocolate is Uncle Billy’s winter seasonal, and it certainly lives up to its name — Shakolad is Russian for ‘chocolate.’ The sweet addition has imbued the dark brew, at 9.5 percent ABV, with plum, dark cherry and cocoa characteristics and will have you yearning for those chilly winter temperatures again.
Red Horn Coffee House & Brewing Co.’s S.O.N. Double Stout with Coconut:The Son of Ninja series is just another example of the skill at the Cedar Park brewpub, which makes these rotating dark beers using an underutilized brewing technique called Parti Gyle.
This version is a double stout with a dash of lactose sugar to give it a smooth, sweet body. Don’t miss out on getting a pour of the 8 percent ABV brew because it won’t be around for long.
Pinthouse Pizza’s Fully Adrift Double IPA with Coffee: The beer might not be a seasonal porter or stout, but it’s got the coffee we like to have this time of year.
Stop into the Burnet Road brewpub on Jan. 21 for the second edition of the Pinthouse Pizza Fully Adrift Double IPA “Lost at Sea” series, which added a coffee infusion this go round. Starting at 11 a.m. that day, bottles of the beer will go on sale, and it’ll also be available on draft. Bottles are $14.99.
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.
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.
Soon enough, having a pint of craft beer while chowing down on kolaches will be a winning combination.
A new kolache bakery, beer garden and retail beer shop called Batch Craft Beer & Kolaches plans to open on Manor Road in January of next year, and the two brothers who are opening it — Noah and Josh Lit, of the music group Noah and the MegaFauna — hope to make us crave having beers and kolaches together just like they do.
First and foremost, however, the upcoming space at 3220 Manor Rd. has been designed as a beer garden. According to a press release, Batch will have a roster of local beers from Hops & Grain, Blue Owl Brewing, Austin Beerworks and others on tap, as well as out-of-state options from breweries like Jolly Pumpkin, Prairie Artisan Ales, Mikkeller and Stillwater Artisanal.
In addition to the draft brews, Batch aims to have more than 400 bottles and cans from many of these breweries.
The beers will be easy to pair with the kolaches, which are being created by pastry chef Jasmine Jones, owner of I Knead That Bakery. She’ll have eight signature kolaches available at Batch alongside four rotating specials, with highlights including Micklethwait Craft Meats Pork Sausage & Cheese; Micklethwait Craft Meats Brisket, Pickle & Swiss; and, for people with a sweet tooth, Chocolate, Pecan and Caramel.
Having these kolaches is personal for the brothers, who “have always wanted a place where you can relax and enjoy a great brew and one of Texas’ favorite comfort foods,” Josh Lit said in the press release. “While touring with our band through Texas, kolaches became an obsession, which lead to our belief that you should be able to have a beer with your kolache for brunch and a kolache with your beer for dinner!”
He and his brother, Noah, are transforming a 1940s-era stone ranch house near Contigo into the beer garden and bakery, which will become a nice place to relax both indoors and outside, according to the press release, “under a canopy of East Austin elm trees.” The interior will keep the stone walls intact.
Batch Craft Beer & Kolaches will be opened 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 7 a.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays once it officially gets up and running early next year. For more information, visit batchatx.com.
The ABGB’s 3rd Anniversary Party, 12 to 9 p.m. Monday, Sept. 5. It’s been another year of live music, beer and pizza at this brewpub, so celebrate with all of those things and more, including Austin Pets Alive puppies.
Burgundy Wine Tasting at Red Room Lounge, 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6. The wine bar has brought French wine lovers a special treat: Jeanne-Marie de Champs is a Burgundy wine distributor who will have wines from that region, as well from the Loire Valley and Champagne. $25.
Whiskey Wednesday at Easy Tiger, 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 7. Dan Garrison of Garrison Brothers will lead a free seminar on Texas bourbon; a Garrison bourbon flight will also be available for $20.
National Beer Lover’s Day at Hopdoddy, 6:30 to 10 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 7. Saint Arnold beer specials, like Divine Reserve #16, will be available to pair irresistibly with a poutine burger.
Smittlefest Release at Thirsty Planet, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10. It’s time for the brewery’s annual Oktoberfest beer. You might even catch some of the brewers in lederhosen.
Real Ale Oktoberfest, 12 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10. Day trip to Blanco for this party that will have live polka music, Best Wurst sausages and Oktoberfest beer. Real Ale’s also offering a first taste of something special. $25.
Oktoberfest at Last Stand Brewing, 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10. The Hill Country brewery will have a new Oktoberfest beer to share, as well as a $10 branded mug that includes a fill in the purchase.
Off-Flavor Tasting at B.B. Rover’s, 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10. $20 will get you a guided tour through the main six off-flavors of beer, plus a control sample. You don’t have to be studying for a cicerone exam to find this lesson intriguing.
NXNW’s 17th Anniversary Party, 5 to 10 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11. Celebrate with live music, birthday cake, a bounce house and, of course, with an anniversary ale cask and keg tapping.
Six Pack Stories at the Highball, 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15. Listen to the designers who make a beer brand come to life at this panel that will have free snacks as well as beer before, during and after.
Easy Tiger’s Oktoberfest, 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 17 to 2 a.m. Monday, Sept. 19. This annual party will have another release of Montecore, the bar’s märzen-style collaboration beer with Austin Beerworks.
The Bloody Good Beer Fest at Craftsman, 12 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17. This fundraiser for the Blood & Tissue Center of Central Texas will have beers from Austin Beerworks, Thirsty Planet, Deschutes and more. $10.
Oskar Blues Brewery’s Can’d Opening, 12 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17. The grand opening of the Austin location of Oskar Blues will have a commemorative glass, beer pours (including a Texas-only beer) and live music throughout the day. $5-$15.
Beer Flyer with Circle Brewing, 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17. Hop aboard the Austin Steam Train for a night of Circle brews paired with bites from Greenhouse Craft Food. $50-$55.
Bourbon Heritage Month Dinner at Juliet, 7 to 10 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27. Five course dinner paired with some extremely rare whiskeys hosted by Aaron Beavers, the luxury spirits specialist for Beam Suntory. $100; reservations required.
Ballast Point 20 for 20 at Banger’s, 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29. It’s the 20th anniversary of California’s Ballast Point Brewing, so Banger’s has rounded up 20 of their beers to put on tap, including the fruited variations on Sculpin IPA.
Whiskies of the World, 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29. As one of the largest whisky tastings in the U.S., this event will have more than 200 spirits from around the globe. $140.
Oktoberfest at Infamous Brewing, 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30. This family-style dinner, paired with polka music and Infamous brews, benefits Austin’s Habitat for Humanity: the House that Beer Built project. $50.