Ale in the family

New downtown brewery and taproom revives Austin's long-standing craft beer tradition

New downtown brewery and taproom revives Austin's craft beer tradition

Central District Brewing Austin
Central District Brewing is now pouring downtown. Central District Brewing/ Facebook

In the early days of Austin’s craft brewery scene, there was no better place to get a beer than the city’s core. Even before brewpubs like Waterloo Brewing, The Bitter End Bistro & Brewery, and Copper Tank Brewing Co. stirred a microbrewery revolution in the 1990s, Johann Schneider was making lagers downtown as early as 1860. (In fact, the underground private dining room at La Condesa was formerly used as one of his vaults.)

Now entrepreneurs Angela and Adam Duley and Julie and Joe Ballato are looking to revive this long-standing Austin tradition. On March 9, the two couples debuted Central District Brewing at 417 Red River St.

General manager Trenten Relles tells CultureMap that the operation is just getting started. A few touches, including a planned mural, are still waiting to be finished, and permitting for the brewing operation was delayed due to the 2018 government shutdown.

While they are waiting to start the first batches, CDB is relying on its local beer world friends, serving selections from Zilker Brewing, Blue Owl, Hi Sign, Pinthouse Pizza, and more. Even non-production brewpubs like Brewtorium are helping them out with kegs.

Relles says that the the brewery will continue to offer rotating local brews even after they are producing their own. Once up and going, the program will focus on traditional and hazy IPAs mixed with a few other varieties like saisons.

The business is also hoping to eventually expand its food offerings. Russell’s Bakery is currently providing pretzels, and the team is experimenting with recipes for dips such as beer cheese and possibly a cheeky peanut butter and Miller High Life spread inspired by 30 Rock.

The team is consulting with Lazarus Brewing and Fleet to build a coffee program, which will allow CDB to open mornings, but for now it is operating with limited hours of Wednesday and Thursday, 4-10 pm; Friday, 2 pm to midnight; Saturday, 11 am to midnight; and Sunday, noon to 8 pm. A grand opening celebration is planned sometime in May.