It's that time of year again. Water restrictions, frying eggs on asphalt, heat stroke… if only there was something that could help. Enter: beer. Beautiful, icy, delicious, sweet, sweet beer.
In the last two years, eight breweries have opened in Austin, so while the world may be ending come December, at least we all lived to enjoy the Golden Age of Beer in Austin.
The last few years have also seen Austin breweries garner both national and international acclaim, leaving the local-brewed neophyte with the fortunate problem of "Where to begin drinking?"
Following extensive research (much beer drinking and drunken arguing), I developed the following list comprised of my personal favorites — and there’s something for everyone.
This German style Pilsner is going to keep you right 90-degrees when it hits 110+. Floral and citrus combine to offer a crisp and refreshing taste with a distinct — but not overpowering — spicy note of hops. The brand also affords mass appeal so you don't embarrass yourself in front of your beer-geek friends.
A beautifully balanced thirst quencher, with smacks of orange and grass with a delightful smooth finish. You know, the kind you keep tossing back until you forget about all of that meat you were grilling. Oh and by the way, it won a silver medal in the English-style summer ale category at the Great American Beer Festival.
Quite possibly the best beer brewed in town. Want a cure for toting your kids around all day in the sun? This hefe is a cloudy golden yellow that offers restorative flavors of vanilla, cream and banana, as well as faint notes of clove and cinnamon. What's that kiddo? You want what? I’m sorry, the beer and I are talking about grown-up things right now.
So exquisite, it grabs you by the beer gut and demands you sit down in a lawn chair to enjoy it. Rich, with strong bittersweet chocolate, nutty and bourbon flavors. Those days when you say to yourself, “I really need a beer”? At 9.2 ABV, this is the one.
Tall, dark and mysterious your type? Like every porter should be, it's completely opaque and within its dark depths you'll find flavors of locally grown pecan, chocolate, fruit, with a slightly bitter coffee finish.
Open for less than a year, Hops and Grain has already won a gold medal for Alteration at the World Beer Cup. A German style brown ale, Alteration hits you with some toffee, malt and hops. Sweet and bitter, well-balanced, it's a great new addition to the Austin beer scene.
This is the Austin beer for hopheads. Buckethead isn't for everyone, but if you like aggressively-hopped IPAs, check this out. There's an immediate punch of floral hoppy bitterness and strong citrus, but it's balanced out slightly by sweet malt flavors.
With Austin the recipient of more badass beer than rain these, save that drinkin' water for your lawn and stay hydrated with these locally brewed bad boys. Before it gets too hot to move, go out to the store and grab a few of my favorites.