A little while ago, we listed our favorite craft beer brewery tours in our homeland area of Washington DC. Now with Austin Beer Week ending, we want to honor the amazing breweries in our new home of Austin, TX. Through offering lawn mowing services in Austin, Pflugerville, and Round Rock, we’ve really grown to appreciate the culture here. The craft beer revolution has already taken hold in many cities, and Austin has a particularly thriving scene. Though there’s no shortage of fun things to do in Austin, the mecca of all that is weird and local, it’s hard to beat a good craft beer brewery tour. They’re often all ages and family friendly, leaning toward educational activities. In addition, most of them offer free beer samples, so there’s no real way to lose here. Here’s LawnStarter’s curated list of the top 6 craft beer brewery tours around Austin, Texas:
(Note: Wear closed toe shoes on any brewery tour you attend)
1. Thirsty Planet Brewing Company
When: Saturdays 1-3 p.m.
Where: 11160 Circle Dr, Austin, TX 78736
I’m actually fairly certain that the first beer I tried when I moved to Austin was a Thirsty Goat Amber from Thirsty Planet Brewing Company. I’ve since come to realize that Thirsty Planet makes numerous delicious beers, all of which are part of the average Austinite’s craft beer arsenal. Apart from crafting wonderful year round and seasonal beers, the brewers at Thirsty Planet also host regular free brewery tours. Oh, and the beer is free! Sign up for a tour here.
Pro tip: They have a Black Bucket IPA out now, a Double Buckethead IPA on the way, and the Silverback Pale Ale for the Gorilla run at the end of January. Thirsty Planet donates the proceeds to a handful of different charities.
2. Austin Beerworks
When: Thursday through Sunday (various times)
Where: 3009 Industrial Terrace, Austin, TX 78758
Cost: $10 you’ll get a brewery pint glass and 3 fills
Austin Beerworks, which made headlines for its infamous 99-pack, is a “Texas brewery hell-bent on excellence.” Their Fire Eagle IPA is probably their most popular beer, but don’t leave without trying their Black Thunder schwarz bier. In addition to their tours, they do many other beer-related events, which you can check out here.
3. Twisted X Brewing Company
When: Tours: Thursdays-Fridays 4, 5, and 6pm, Sat-Sun 1-6pm at the top of the hour (Tasting room open all week)
Where: Dripping Springs Ranch Rd, Dripping Springs, TX 78620
Home to the famous Tex Mex Beer, Twisted X is saddled on the outskirts of Dripping Springs, rightfully known as “The Gateway to the Hill Country.” A brewery tour at Twisted X will offer a brief history of the company. They will also attempt to educate people on the brewing process in the simplest terms.
“As the primary tour guide my goal is to break down the brewing process to the very simplest vocabulary,” according to the Tasting Room Manager, Geoff Schalchlin. “A lot of people don’t have a clue about how beer is made, and simplifying it ensures the best possibility of someone taking away some new knowledge. On the flip side, the 30 year brewing veteran can hang around afterword and we can talk in depth about our specific processes, equipment, and volumes.”
In addition to brewery tours, the 10,000 square foot facility also plays host to live music, festive events, chainsaw artists – and of course copious amounts of great beer. Check out their schedule here.
Insider’s pro tip: Try the Senor Viejo, a tequilla barrel-aged imperial black lager. Also, try the Fuego. “I dare you to find a pepper beer as drinkable as Fuego, our Jalapeno infused pilsner,” says Schalchlin.
4. Jester King Craft Brewery
When: Friday from 4-10pm (Tour at 6pm), Saturday and Sunday from 12-6pm (Tours at 1, 3, and 5pm)
Where: 13187 Fitzhugh Rd, Austin, TX 78736
When I moved down to Austin, I asked my friend Jeff Glazer, co-founder of Madison Craft Beer Week, for recommendations on great local beers. Without hesitation, he recommended Jester King. Apparently founded by a former Madison resident (go Badgers!), Jester King offers a wide variety of great beers with creative names (my favorite is the Ol’ Oi). Located just west of Austin in beautiful Texas Hill Country, Jester King’s tours are all ages (21+ to drink obviously), educational, and a whole lot of fun. Check out the schedule here.
5. Real Ale Brewing Company
When: Tasting room is open on Fridays from 2 – 5 pm with tours starting at 3 and 4
Where: 231 San Saba Ct. Blanco, Texas, 78606
Real Ale Brewing Company, located just minutes from the Blanco town square and the Blanco River, is a wonderful opportunity for a day trip in the beautiful Hill Country. While they’re famous for their Firemans #4 Blonde Ale, my favorite is their coffee porter (available in the fall). You really can’t go wrong with a tour at Real Ale. Get more info here.
6. (512) Brewing Company
When: Saturdays at 11 a.m.
Where: 407 Radam Ln, Austin, TX 78745
Cost: $10 (includes pint glass and copious beer samples)
When I first came to Austin, I found the lack of porters and stouts a little bit disenchanting. Though, it’s understandable, because who wants to drink a heavy, dark beer when it’s always above 100 degrees? Well, I do, so that’s how I came to love (512)’s Pecan Porter. It’s excellent with a rare steak and some sweet potato fries, and it’s even better when tasted at one of (512)’s weekly brewery tours. Check out details here.