If you like both beer and being outside, Austin is a good place to live. There are breweries, beer gardens, and beer bars all over town. Some of them serve coffee, some of them serve homemade pastries, and a lot of them have ample outdoor space to sit in the sun. If you’re lucky, or at least somewhat strategic, you can find a place with all three.
Here are our favorite places to drink beer in Austin.
You could spend an entire afternoon drinking at different places on East Sixth without walking more than a minute from one to the next. But once you sit down at Lazarus, you’ll quickly forget about wherever else you were planning to go. Their indoor space has comfortable couches, lots of tables, and plenty of beer brewed on-site. They also have an outdoor patio that’s great for people watching and snacking between pints. Make sure to get some breakfast tacos or a sandwich before you leave.
Your group is made up of one person who brews beer in their basement, another who only drinks Lone Star, and someone who swore off beer all together after accidentally ordering a double IPA once. Bring them all to Banger’s so everyone can find something they like. This place has over 100 different beers on tap and possibly the best beer garden in the city. It’s also dog-friendly, so you’ll always have someone to talk to. There’s room inside, but if it’s at all nice out, everyone will be at the picnic tables outside - they’re long enough to fit the whole IT department, or to meet some new friends (ideally the ones with dogs).
This is the place you go to get drunk with your dad. Strangely located in a beige-colored part of town that is predominantly medical offices, Draught House is probably the best beer bar in Austin for hanging out with good company and enjoying a low-key afternoon in the sun. There are dozens of rotating taps, and be sure to pay attention to their daily specials as you can get some incredible deals here.
Make the 30-minute drive out of town to a plot of ranchland near Dripping Springs to enjoy the best brewery experience in the area. They specialize in light, spritzy sours and refreshing flavors that make this a solid pick on a hot day. It’s also a great location to bring your dog and/or children if you’ve got them. Afterwards, get some fantastic pizza next door.
Spending time at a corporate park is usually something you reserve for filming amateur skateboarding or parking your car illegally during ACL. But since St. Elmo is in a corporate park in South Austin and next to a stand up paddle board company, you can add drinking great beer to that list - and maybe aspirational paddle board shopping. They have a big backyard that’s usually filled with people who live nearby and will probably be there for hours. Their kolsch is great for sipping on all day and they have the Soursop Thai food truck in case you need snacks (you’ll need snacks).
Zilker Brewing Co.
This brewery cranks out some damn good beer - everything from IPAs to stouts - that you can also find at bars around town, but their tap room on East Sixth is worth paying a visit to. Just know that you might have to wait on the weekend.
When you need a break from oat milk and the new scooter gangs on the streets, go to Deep Eddy Cabaret. There’s a narrow bar with pool tables in the back and an old jukebox that has everything you’d hope for in an old jukebox. The beers here are cheap, cold, and mass-produced, which it turns out you still like even though you keep four different milk-substitutes in your fridge.
Hops & Grain
As the name suggests, these folks predominantly serve hoppy IPAs and wheaty beers. The location is small, so know that it gets packed on weekends.
This place is always a good time and serves amazing coffee along with its rotating taps. It’s conveniently located a block away I-35 on the Eastside, and is a great place to get work done or go for a low-key date.
This neighborhood spot just north of campus keeps a long list of beers from all over the country, but always makes sure to have a few local brews on tap as well. Let the bartenders know what you like and then have them choose your drink - there’s a strong chance there’s something better than that beer you always default to when you’re overwhelmed with choices. With big tables and some very good fries, it’s an ideal place to bring a group or to host your bocce ball team recruitment party.
Rolling deep? The ABGB is a warehouse and beer garden on Oltorf that is fantastically well-equipped to handle large volumes of people - both inside and outside. As a bonus, they also make really good pizza.
Equal parts Indian restaurant, music venue, and brew pub, this place on the side of I35 is an incredible option any night of the week. If you care less about presentation and more about good vibes and better food, Whip In is worth a visit. They sell wine and beer to-go as well.
This place will allow you to get your beer fix, sit outside, and eat pizza from Via313 after you’ve had a few pints.
A pizza and beer fan’s heaven. Pint House brews their own, but also has a huge selection of taps from around the world. Their pizza is also some of the best in town.
Located way down South Lamar, Radio Coffee & Beer combines a coffee shop atmosphere with a beer garden environment. There’s a Veracruz All Natural taco truck parked out front too, so you can enjoy some of Austin’s best tacos as you get your caffeine or beer buzz on.
Live Oak Brewing Company
Literally can’t wait to drink beer until you get downtown? Need to pregame a flight? Live Oak’s main draw is that it’s conveniently located right by the airport. They brew several of their own beers here, and also have a rotating schedule of food trucks on hand.