Craft beer in Austin, Texas is easy to find and has an excellent quality all around. Most hardcore beer geeks swoon over Jester King – for good reason – but the Austin area has even more to offer.
There are over 50 breweries in and around Austin. Friendly competition pushes brewers to try new techniques and reshape traditional brewing methods.
From tiny brewpubs to large-scale production breweries, Austin has everything a beer lover could want, and more. Here are our picks for the 10 best breweries in Austin.
- Jester King
- Live Oak Brewing Company
- Austin Beerworks
- St. Elmo Brewing Co.
- Hold Out Brewing
- Zilker Brewing Company
- Oddwood Brewing
- Pinthouse Brewing
- Meanwhile Brewing
- Southern Heights Brewing Company
Just outside of the Austin city limits, on a beautiful 165-acre ranch, Jester King attracts beer lovers in droves. Famous for its esoteric farmhouse ales, Jester King has been wowing adventurous beer lovers since 2010.
You’ll find farmhouse beers like Le Petit Prince, a fantastic 2.9% ABV hoppy table beer. Their barrel-aged sour beers brewed with a Belgian lambic philosophy are also outstanding. Called Spon – this spontaneously fermented series of ales represent the best American lambic-like beer you’ll find.
As brewers ourselves, we also really appreciate Jester King’s openness with their recipes and process. They often post homebrew recipes via the Brewer’s Association and work with the brewing community to explain their unique processes and insights.
Live Oak Brewing Company
For fans of traditional German-style beers, look no further than Live Oak. They’ve been brewing some of the best American-brewed lagers, hefeweizens, and rauchbiers since 1997. With a dedication to traditional methods and ingredients, Live Oak’s beers are balanced, refreshing, and honest.
We love their Hefeweizen – one of the world’s best wheat beers. Pilz, the house lager, is outstanding as well. Crisp, dry, balanced. A delicious German pilsner that goes great with the hot Texas summer. For lovers of smoke, Live Oak makes an authentic grodziskie – a rare Polish smoked wheat beer – that hits all the right notes.
Austin Beerworks is loud and bold. They’re passionate, vociferous brewers with a large range of beers that are all expertly brewed. Flashy branding draws you in, but the quality of the product keeps you coming back.
Fire Eagle is their flagship American IPA. It’s a classic. Light caramel malt backbone, intensely aromatic hop profile, and a crisp finish lets the 6.4% ABV elixir glide down smooth. Seasonal releases, like October’s Black Thunder – a dark and complex schwarzbier – can really surprise and impress. Delicious and precise, their whole range is worth exploring.
St. Elmo Brewing Co.
St. Elmo is a contemporary American brewery in every sense. From branding to brewing style, they offer Austinites an all-around excellent craft experience. The IPAs, crispy boys, pastry stouts, and sours check every box. They’re well-brewed and always delicious.
Carl is a vintage kolsch-style beer, made for those warm summer nights. It’s crisp, dry, and massively thirst-quenching. Opt for Madison if you’re hankering for some hops. Hazy, juicy, soft – it’s a great NEIPA with a unique and complex hop expression.
Hold Out Brewing
One of the hottest small breweries in the States, Hold Out’s quick rise has been fascinating to watch. Opened during the peak 2020 pandemic, they’ve beaten all odds to become an Austin favorite.
A diverse beer menu that includes all types of IPA, lagers, and mixed-fermentation ales offers all profiles of beer drinkers a solid option. They have a penchant for crafting very drinkable, refreshing beers. Paired with their brewpub’s modern-comfort American food menu, a trip to Hold Out will guarantee chill vibes, great eats, and amazing beer.
Zilker Brewing Company
Well-crafted and accessible, Zilker’s range of ales and lagers is a treat to drink inside their quirky, industrial East Austin taproom. A core range that includes a couple of IPAs, a pale ale, a stout, and a pale lager is reliable and tasty. Their seasonal beer is more unpredictable, but always well-executed and worth seeking out each release.
Zilker is sure to please hop-heads of all creeds. From hazy, juicy NEIPAs, to more classic West Coast interpretations and everything in between, they know how to brew hoppy beer. In the mood for something dark? Their seasonal barrel-aged and pastry stouts are decadent, rich, and complex.
Oddwood is a small, kitschy brewery with an interesting perspective on beer flavor development. Never afraid to delve into under-represented styles, they’re happy to challenge their customers’ palates. Always pushing forward while respecting the past, Oddwood is a must-visit taproom in Austin.
Try a lager, like their smoky, Bamberg-influenced Hessian Hesher Helles. Or if you’re feeling rustic, one of their seasonal Saisons will surely hit the spot. Oddwood is an interesting and important Austin brewery that brews what they want to brew. Their beer is unique, excellently crafted, and delicious.
For top-quality hoppy beer in Austin, Pinthouse Brewing is the place to be. Electric Jellyfish is a hazy IPA brewed with Citra, Simcoe, Chinook, Ekuanot, Azacca, and Galaxy hops. These heavy hitters truly shine through every sip of this delightfully smooth IPA. Their more traditionally brewed lagers, stouts, and porters are all outstanding in their own right, as well.
Pinthouse now has four locations around the Austin area. While the beer lists are all divine, you’ll find their delicious specialty pizzas at the Burnet, South Lamar, and Round Rock locations. At the original location, pair your beer with a selection of pub-style sandwiches, sharing plates, and salads.
Meanwhile is an ambitious, young brewery with a focus on new and innovative flavor combinations. Taking inspiration from taste profiles outside of the beer world, a trip to their South Austin taproom is sure to surprise and impress.
Fireside, their oolong tea Winter Warmer, is a perfect cold-weather beer. Rich, toffee sweetness balances a slight bitterness and airy smokiness from the addition of oolong tea. Comforting and complex, at 8% ABV it’s warming without being cloying. If you’re more in the mood to cool off, Meanwhile Pilsner is an excellent take on a classic, crisp, and hoppy-bitter German pilsner.
Southern Heights Brewing Company
Running with a classic brewpub concept, Southern Heights hits the spot for many nostalgic craft beer aficionados. With beers like Where’s My Flannel, an ordinary bitter, or Somoan Joe’s, their English porter, you’ll certainly find comfort in the form of a pint.
Along with traditional styles, Southern Heights also makes some tasty contemporary ales. Tahitian Dreamin’ is a tropical take on hazy IPA, hitting juicy and fruity notes. Expect great quality in all of their beer along with a commitment to preserving the American brewpub tradition.