Few cities in this country are as beer-friendly as Austin. You can drink it at food trailers, tailgate parties, bingo parlors, pontoon boats, and in the comfort of your own home. But just where should you go to supply all of this demand? The establishments listed below have the best beer selections you'll find from Round Rock to South Lamar. Whether you're a North Austin suburbanite or a senior at St. Edward's University, we've got you covered.
Bar Lamar at Whole Foods Market
While Whole Foods isn't exactly a hole in the wall, the diverse array of bottles and walk-in beer fridge belong on this list. Nothing is more refreshing than walking through those sliding glass doors on a 90-degree day to be immediately surrounded by craft brews and frigid air. Once the hairs on the back of your neck are standing at attention, take your selections to the Bar Lamar counter and enjoy a pint while you pay. They also offer refillable growlers for $6.99, in case you really enjoy the draft you're drinking. Pro tip: Grab some food from any of their fast-service counters and turn that beer run into lunch or dinner.
East 1st Grocery
While the east side is brimming with bars and bicycle parking, it's pretty lacking in the supermarket department. Fortunately, convenience stores like East 1st Grocery are there to provide your basic kitchen necessities and an excellent (albeit expensive) beer selection. The options here can get a little overwhelming, but fortunately Sam the owner is just as skilled at recommendations as the sales clerks of Sunrise Bottle Shop. He'll tell you exactly which seasonal to sip while tailgating at Franklin Barbecue.
If you've retreated to the suburbs north of U.S. Route 183, don't worry — Hamricks Market is there to provide you with the same variety and quality of craft brews you'll find in many downtown Austin stores. Build your own six pack of rare seasonals, grab a case of your favorite Shiner, or saber the cork off one of their champagne-top selections. The refrigerated shelves are always stocked with the best beers you'll find in Cedar Park.
Hyde Park Market
Lovingly referred to as The Flag Store (you'll know why when you see it), Hyde Park Market is a purveyor of everything from exotic beers to back-to-school supplies. Let the NPR programming bellowing from the loudspeakers guide you through this labyrinth of craft brews, sundries, and bulk foods dispensers while you fill your vehicle with some of the cheapest gas in Austin. Whether you're looking for ales imported from Japan or hops from the Hill Country, Hyde Park Market has what you need. There's also a solid wine selection, tons of unique soft drinks, and growlers of kombucha for the non-beer drinkers in your circle of friends.
Sunrise Bottle Shop
This West Anderson Lane gem (formerly called Sunrise Minimart) is a ray of sunshine any time of day. On the outside it looks like a gas station you'd only stop at if your tank was empty, but behind that bland, Citgo exterior sit some of Austin's most passionate beer enthusiasts. Tell the employee at the counter what you're having for dinner or what kind of beer you typically prefer, and they'll point your palate in the right direction like hops sommeliers. They'll even recommend pairings with the gourmet snacks on the other side of the bombers. Best of all, Sunrise is just a stone's throw away from some excellent BYOB eateries and activities, including the family-friendly Little Deli & Pizzeria and the even family-friendlier Pinballz Arcade.
If you've got a growler collecting dust on top of your refrigerator, bring it to Quickie Pickie where 24 taps await your choosing. If you're really smart, you'll wait until Thursday's Pint Night, when local breweries bring some of their newest, discounted brews and free swag to boot. Quickie Pickie's motto is "Beer should be fun for everyone," which is why they cater to amateurs, beer nerds, and even gluten-free drinkers. And don't forget to take a look at their bottle selection or food menu.
WhichCraft Beer Store
If you find yourself needing to stock up on booze in the 78704, head to WhichCraft Beer Store and talk to the experts behind the self-proclaimed "Craft Beer Capital of Texas." Unlike the previous pit stops on this list, WhichCraft saves zero shelving space for food, wine, sodas, or condoms. There's just beer from the floor to the ceiling, and it's all carefully curated by the dedicated staff. Their selection may not be cheap, but the recommendations are priceless.