North Austin Breweries & Guide
Lucky for me, I live right next to a hot bed of great Austin breweries. North Austin is home to some of the best brews this city has! From the Black Thunder at Austin Beerworks, to 4th Tap’s Renewal, and now with Oskar Blue’s Dale Pale Ale; this side of town is straight-up a theme park for beer drinkers! So here’s my reviews (packed with helpful information) of the five breweries who have made a home for themselves in North Austin.
4th Tap Brewing Cooperative
An Austin brewery “born out of a shared passion for brewing delicious, interesting, and refreshing beers,” is the story behind 4th Tap Brewing Cooperative. They’re the first worker-owned, cooperatively-governed production brewery in Texas! The first homebrew batch was 10 years ago, but geez, have they aged well! Their stunning, large taproom is easy on the eyes and makes the perfect space for some fun events. I went to a beer-and-cheese pairing here the other week; it was a blast and gave my boyfriend and I something fun to do in Austin on a Wednesday night.
Their brews are best appreciated by a seasoned beer drinker. The tastes and flavor notes in their beers are unlike anything I had ever tasted before. There were some misses (just my personal taste) but the hits more than made up for the misses. The Sun Eater, a Sorghum Ale, is my favorite! I just couldn’t get enough of this gruit; with a similar taste to cider or champagne combined with rosemary and lemon peel, just made for an outstanding and unique beer.
Dogs are allowed inside and 4th Tap offers flights so you don’t have to miss out on any of their spectacular beers. Monday through Thursday, the taproom is open 11am-10pm, Friday and Saturday, 11am- 12am, and Sunday, 12-10pm. So, no matter what day of the week it is, you can always stop in for a visit.
When I recently moved to Austin, I knew I had to find a nearby brewery that was going to be my new “place.” Well, I found it in Adelbert’s Brewery in North Austin. They were founded in 2011 and since then they have cranked out enough innovative Farmhouse and Belgian-style beers to earn themselves a solid reputation in this city. Most of their beers are heavy in alcohol content and at the same time, totally drinkable! The beer is kept in casks that line the walls, floor to ceiling, and it makes for a beautiful and intimate tasting room. The names of their brews are hilarious, so that’s what I use as my guide when trying out a new brew. The staff here are AWESOME, very funny and helpful. You can tell they’ve got a great team behind all those awesome Austin beers.
They don’t offer flights but instead offer a glass and six pours (some pours count as two, I told you they were high ABV!!), but definitely bring that glass back to get a few bucks off next time. They also sell glasses of their beers, if you know what you like. Dogs are allowed outside only, and there’s just one tent so maybe bring the pooch once the sun goes down. Adelbert’s also has great local artists that use the space to display their art and sound. This Austin brewery is open five days a week, Wednesday through Friday, 1-10pm, Saturday and Sunday 1-7pm.
Austin Beerworks is a widely popular here in Austin. It’s also one of the most northen Austin breweries, but it’ll be worth your drive. Located in the middle of a very industrial area, look for the massive amount of cars in lieu of any street sign or marking! Behind the massive warehouse are picnic tables and tents. Many of their craft beers, which is a nice, broad selection, aren’t available in stores, so going to the brewery is the best way to try their seasonals. This industrial brewery and taproom is a lively, social place to hang out and drink some cold beers. I’ve written twice about this place, I’m telling ya, they’re one of the best Austin breweries! So check that out here and here
Dogs are also allowed here, but only outside. There’s plenty of tents outside so not much issue there, but dress accordingly. They’re on a token system that’s in place due to some funky beer laws here. Basically you pay $10 for a pint glass and they give you three tokens that will get you three fills. It’s a great value and you walk away with an Austin Beerworks pint glass (plus stickers, pins, and tattoos are free!). Food trucks? Always. Hours are: Thursday, 5-9pm, Friday, 5-11pm, and Saturday and Sunday, 11am-7pm.
Circle Brewing Company
Founded in 2010, Circle Brewing Company has a taproom in North Austin that is just as fun and hip as they are. Circle Brewing believes in “Purity Through Simplicity,” and this manifests itself in the quality of their beers. Using only the four main ingredients, water, malt, hops, and yeast, they brew some tasty beers. Their Blur Texas Hefe and Alibi Blonde are my two favorites, but with a constant rotation of seasonal beers, it’s really hard to stay loyal to one or two.
Their taproom is industrial (I mean, basically, all of these breweries are in an industrial/warehouse area) but decorated with fresh succulents and greenery, and a large chalkboard detailed with brews and highlights. Their board-game selection is a knock-out and additionally, dogs are allowed inside (which always earns brownie-points for me). Circle Brewing offers reasonably priced flights. Start your weekend off with a visit to them as their hours are Thursday, 5-9pm, Friday, 5-10pm, and Saturday/Sunday 2-7pm.
Oskar Blues Brewery Austin
Ok, Ok- this one isn’t an Austin brewery by birth, but it’s an Austin transplant like so many of us! So, it still deserves a place on this list. Oskar Blues, most famously known for its Dale’s Pale Ale, opened their Austin taproom just last month. This is a Colorado brewery that knows the game; they’ve been brewing and canning beers since 2002! The large taproom features some totes rad art and a sizable stage that I hope will become a great new Austin music venue. I’m very eager to see just how successful they grow to be here in Austin.
Their hours are great and unlike many Austin craft breweries, they’re open seven days a week (why don’t more Austin breweries do this?!) during 4pm – 8pm. Dogs are allowed inside and food trucks are usually hanging out also.