Many sober Austinites are lucky to have friends with different going-out habits, but it never hurts to find a new neighborhood hang that keeps others on the wagon. And who says a "beer run" actually has to include alcohol?
Rick’s Near Beer, an Austin brand, is answering that very question with the launch of Rick’s Place, a pick-up and to-go hub in East Austin where non-alcoholic options will never be hard to find, on February 17.
The Rick’s product line was launched in December of 2022, with two types of low-strength beer (less than half a percent): a Pilsner called Rick’s Original, and a brew with a stronger hops and fruit flavor called Rick’s Hazy. Both are brewed with malted barley and Rocky Mountain water, but use hops from different parts of the country, and Rick’s Hazy adds flaked wheat.
Already available online, those beers will now also be served in a cool industrial space befitting East Austin with corrugated metal siding, rustic decor, and presumably thrifted furniture. It’s a far cry from most bars around town serving stylish mocktails — which, to some Austinites, is a big relief.
The brand was started by Josh Hare, whose past projects include Hops & Grain Brewing and Pint & Plow Brewing, two craft breweries in Austin and the Hill Country, respectively. “Rick,” the brand and bar’s namesake, mostly remains a mystery, although the website introduces visitors to Rick as an archetype and perhaps a mission statement — an unpretentious friend who is accommodating and adventurous.
Rick’s Place will be located at 501 Pedernales, Unit 1-B, and will be open from Wednesday to Saturday, from 2-6 pm. Customers may visit to pick up online orders, while single cans and six-packs can stay at the bar. More information is available at drinkricks.com.