Austin's craft beer scene is overflowing with new openings, new beers, and new ideas. We've rounded up the most exciting breweries debuting in the second half of 2016.
Idle Vine Brewery
Idle Vine Brewery will be Pflugerville's second craft brewery when it opens its doors in October. "We decided on Pflugerville because of its ease of access off Interstate 35. We're excited to be part of the growing community up there and hope to bring a fun new place for locals to gather and enjoy a pint," says Scott Ciampa, head brewer and co-founder.
In addition to four core beers — a pale ale, an IPA, a porter called Trackdown, and a session ale dubbed No Hitter — Idle Vine will also distribute four seasonals and offer a few special releases exclusively at the brewery.
Look for Idle Vine at bars around Pflugerville, Round Rock, Cedar Park, and the Austin area.
Friends and Allies Brewing
Friends and Allies is the first of three new East Austin openings, coming to Springdale Road this fall. But the brewery's Noisy Cricket Session IPA has been circulating around town since January, thanks to a brewing partnership with 4th Tap Brewing Cooperative.
The unique partnership has allowed Noisy Cricket, self-distributed by three-man team consisting of founders Devon Ponds and Ben Sabin and head brewer Nathan Crane, to be served at nearly 60 spots in the city.
"We're able to get the word out, get the name out, and hope when our facility is up, people will already know and they'll be waiting for it," Sabin says.
The core beer selection will also include the Urban Chicken saison, a full-bodied IPA called Fresh Coast, and the Springdale white ale. Get ready to enjoy these brews at Friends and Allies' patio and tasting room this fall.
St. Elmo Brewing Company
St. Elmo Brewing is an upcoming craft destination from co-founders, and Austin Beerworks alums, Tim Bullock and Bryan Winslow. The facility is set to debut this fall at The Yard — South Austin's newest development — with an indoor taproom, outdoor beer garden, and food truck fare.
"It's really cool to be one of the first businesses in The Yard that's opening, and being on the early side of what is going to be a really cool Austin neighborhood," Bullock says.
St. Elmo's lineup of mainstays includes the Chico pale ale, Angus dry stout, and Carl kolsch. St. Elmo also plans to brew new beer frequently because the founders don't take kindly to being put in a box.
"Bryan and I don't have a style we're going to do or a specific catalog. Our plan is to do all of the beer," says Bullock. And all of St. Elmo's beers will be served exclusively onsite.
Lazarus Brewing Company
Riding the new urban brewery wave is Lazarus Brewing, located at East Sixth and Chicon streets. Expect coffee, street tacos, and delicious beers when the facility opens in late fall.
To help launch the brewery, Lazarus is offering a crowdfunding opportunity for fans. For $1,000, you'll become a "patron saint" and receive a custom handmade glass for one free pour every time you visit.
"I want to create a space that, if you like beer and you like east side Austin, you're going to come three or four times a week. And every time you come, your first beer is on us," founder Christian Cryder says.
Lazarus plans to sell everything onsite, and while there will be a few mainstays, head brewer Matt Couch (who comes by way of Victory Brewing in Pennsylvania) and his team will constantly be developing new beer to fill Lazarus' 16 taps.
"I think we're going to do something that we haven't seen or experienced in Austin yet. There are a lot of great breweries, and there are a lot of things I enjoy at different breweries, but I think we are going to have a different 'flavor' than other breweries here," says Cryder.
The Brewer's Table
The Brewer's Table will bring tons of outdoor space, a bocce ball court, and a family-friendly vibe to East Fifth Street in late 2016. The new brewpub concept comes from Jake Maddux, formerly of Salt & Time, Thirsty Planet Brewing Company, and Anchor Brewing Company.
"We plan to focus mainly on culinarily focused beers featuring food ingredients," says Maddux of the upcoming lineup. The menu will incorporate elements of wood, specifically wood fermentation for the beer and wood grilling for the food.
To help fund the opening, Brewer's Table has launched a NextSeed campaign. "Beer and food is all about community, and NextSeed helps people get involved in amounts smaller and more accessible to them." says Maddux. "This allows for true community involvement, which is something that is a big part of our core philosophy."
Bonus: Thirsty Planet Brewing Company
Not new to Austin, Thirsty Planet is on track to move to a much larger location in South Austin by the end of the year. The 60,000-square-foot brewery will allow Thirsty Planet to triple its current output, and the taproom will have a bar-like atmosphere, as well as expanded hours, tours, and special events.