Upcoming Austin Breweries – September 2015
Craft Beer Austin
Upcoming Austin Breweries – September 2015
By Andrew Schwab
September 16, 2015
With all that is happening in the Austin beer scene, it is hard to keep track of what breweries are in the process of opening around town. Needless to say, the Austin scene is exploding. This quarterly article is mostly focusing on the breweries that currently have locations, most of which are already under construction or about to release their beers. It includes updates from the previous article from May and new breweries that are just starting the process.
4th Tap – 4th Tap will be operating as a co-op production brewery located in North Austin at 10615 Metric Blvd, which is right near Circle Brewing and Adelbert’s. Brewing has officially started at 4th Tap, and they are looking for a soft opening in either late September or early October. Their initial offerings will be a Long Walk Grapefruit IPA, Tamarind Wheat, and their gluten free beer, Suneater. Expect extended taproom hours and a lot of one offs on the tap wall. We will be having a brewery profile article about 4th Tap coming out shortly as well.
Altmeyer & Lewis Brewing – The first of two San Marcos breweries/brewpubs on this list, A&L has been in the planning phases since 2012. After receiving both their TABC and TTB licenses this summer, they are hoping for distribution and taproom/tour hours by 2016. Some equipment has started arriving on their site, but the bulk of it will be coming in November. They plan to begin with 2 lagers and 2 ales, which all will be kegged and distributed locally. Eventually, they will start canning their beers and shipping them to San Antonio and Austin.
Aquabrew – The second San Marcos brewery on the list, this brewpub has been in the works for some time finally received their license to start brewing. Well, progress has been slower than their initial expectations. It is looking like it will be early 2016 before we see this downtown San Marcos location open. Expect a gastropub, beer garden with a large patio, and live music.
Barrow Brewing Company – While this is not in Austin, I figured it was close enough to give them a shout out. Located in Salado, Barrow Brewing began renovation on their location back in February, which is still ongoing. They received their brewpub license in early April, but likely will not be until January or February. With that said, their initial lineup will include a Pale Ale, American IPA and a Stout. This will go along with a rotating seasonal and limited releases, which will likely be taproom only.
Blue Owl Brewing – If you are reading this article, you likely have been hearing about Blue Owl for over a year now. Each time, you have been hearing that they will be opening soon. Well, I have some good news, they will actually be opening soon. It is looking like their soft opening will be in October, with an actual opening shortly after that. I know that Blue Owl, and all of us, are happy to see this finally happening.
If you did not know, Blue Owl is focusing on sour mash beers out of their 30bbl system and canning them. They will be located in East Austin (2400 East Cesar Chavez St. #300). To begin with, they will be canning a Sour Session Wheat, Black Sour Cherry Stout, Sour Pale Ale and Sour Amber Ale.
The Brewtorium – The Brewtorium crew (Chris Rauschuber and Whitney Roberts) have been moving along in trying to find a location for their casual brewpub in North Austin. The focus has been wanting a place that is within the City of Austin, while being able to help an under served area for their concept. They believe that they have found their location that meets their criteria, but understandably are not wanting to quite publish it yet until everything is finalized.
As far as the beer line up goes, they are thinking of having 5 Constant Beers on tap with the Austin craft beer drinkers in mind.. These beers will be focused on being able to enjoy them over a couple of hours with friends and good food. All but one of these will be falling in just around 5%; the exception being their Propeller Head IPA. As Whitney put it, “These beers are all full of flavor, but don’t come with the potential nap-inducing effect of higher ABV beers.”
But, they will not be limited to just their Constant Beers. The variable lineup will be much more complex with other higher ABV beers. These will include Belgians, English Ales, Sours, Hybrids, Experimental releases, and Barrel-Aged beers. Overall, there will be 12 beers on tap once they open.
As far as the food goes, they are focused on elevated pub fare with an emphasis on fresh and interesting ingredients. Every food item on the menu should pair up with a specific house beer.
Friends & Allies – This new East Austin brewery are the workings of Ben Sabin (formerly of Thirsty Planet) and Devon Ponds (formerly with Lost Abbey/Port Brewing). It will be located off of Springdale Road near Airport Boulevard. Not much info is out quite yet on them, but they do plan on self distributing and operating as a production brewery. The current timeline has the taproom opening by spring of 2016.
Guns and Oil Brewing – Located just east of I-35 on 4th St, Guns and Oil is opening their brewery and taproom. While you may have seen their Maverick Lager around town, this will be their official taproom/brewery. They are hoping to focus mainly on Lagers that will include anything from Helles to IPLs, while throwing in random Ales. The taproom will likely have 6-8 taps.
The basic update on this one is an ongoing struggle with permits. They are now looking at Q1 of next year at earliest.
Granger City Brewing – I would put this place on the verge of being in the greater Austin area, so I just went with it. Located northeast of Austin (and sorta east of Georgetown), Granger City Brewing will definitely have the small town brewpub feel to it. Granger is not a big place, but this is a perfect example of where craft beer can be headed.
They have already received their TABC approval for a brewpub and are currently waiting on their federal TTB license. However, they have started receiving equipment and plan on receiving the rest of it in the near future. No official time frame on opening, but it is looking like it will likely be before the end of the year.
Idle Vine Brewing – Idle Vine is a newer one on the brewery radar for Austin area. They have recently worked out a deal for a location in Cedar Park on 5 of 24 acres of an ex-vineyard. They will be focusing on an American Pale, Rye IPA, English Porter, and Cream Ale.as their core beers. Along with this, there will be one seasonal per season, and the rest of their 10 taps will be from their rotating pilot batches. They plan to have a large outdoor space with games, fire pits, and picnics.
Renovations should start happening at their location once they iron out all the details with the city and land owner. The production system will consist of a a 30bbl system, 5 60bbl fermenters and a 60bbl brite tank to begin with. With that said, they hope to get beers out from their pilot system to more local market before everything is set up with the larger system over the next couple of months.
Lazarus Brewing – Lazarus Brewing currently is working for a location. Christian, one of the founders, described what they are going for as more of a West Coast feel for the place. “I’ve been deeply influenced by what I would call a ‘west coast’ style of brewery: small, cool space, zero distribution, super intriguing beers, and if you want to try it you’re going to have to come and get it here. Maybe start by thinking of Jester King and ABGB, but then throw in some Portland funk with a distinct neighborhood feel (and add coffee and comfy seating).” They do plan on having the “go-to” beers that will consist of IPAs, Stouts, and Pale Ales. Along with these, they will be having a barrel ageing program in addition to “special beers” that may consist of more Belgian styles. They currently are aiming for mid-2016 before they open.
The main update on this comes from the location. They are very close to closing on a property but cannot disclose anything until the deal is final. If it works out, they feel that everyone will be very excited about it. Needless to say, it sounds like it will be another great Austin addition.
Orf Brewing – Orf has a warehouse location off of Burleson that has required some major renovations before they can open. Orf, who is also the owner’s name, has been part of the Austin Improv Collective for quite some time. He hopes to incorporate a movable stage into the taproom and host improv shows along with brewery tours. The mainstays for beer are all described as “hybrid” beers that do not meet to any specific style. For more details on the beer, you can see them on their website linked below.
As far as the updates go, visiting the city offices regularly as become the story of Orf. The build out is continuing but, due to some issues with the Fire Marshall, some design changes had to be changed. The current plans put them at finishing up the building by Thanksgiving and then serving their beer by the end of the year.
You will notice this seems to be an ongoing trend with a lot of breweries in Austin. Permits, and delays, are constantly an issue when trying to open.
Oskar Blues – More recently announced, Oskar Blues will be opening a 50,000 square foot brewery with a 5,000 square foot taproom in North Austin (10420 Metric Blvd). Located across the street from (the about to be open) 4th Tap, Oskar Blues is planning on having a live music venue there as well. Expect more of the same great Oskar Blues beers and barrel ageing programs. They are expected to open in late April.
Pinthouse Pizza Lamar – The latest updates are that the build out is ongoing but close to being finished. They are aiming for an opening before the holidays. So, we still have until December before we can expect to have our first pints at their second location on South Lamar.
I do not feel that I have to go into many details on this place – it is well known Austin establishment at this point. Expect much of the same with more barrel aging, and just as good of pizza.
San Gabriel River Brewing – Located in Liberty Hill, San Gabriel River Brewing is another new one on this list. They are currently still in the very initial phases of building their facility. At this point, their best timetable puts them at a summer 2016 opening. Granted, this time frame is very rough at this point. For more information on their beers, they currently have 8 beers in the works. More info on those can be seen on their website below.
Texas Beer Company – Another smaller town in the general Austin area that is receiving their first brewery – Taylor. Located east of Round Rock, Texas Beer Company has been working with the City of Taylor to help support bringing in this brewery. After starting a kickstarter, the city came through with some incentives to get the whole process going.
They are looking at creating a full production brewery to distribute to local bars and stores. I do not have much more information on their time frame to report at this time.
Treaty Oak Brewing – While Treaty Oak has been distilling for some time, this will be them venturing into the brewing world. Located on their newly acquired strip of land off of Fitzhugh, Treaty Oak is building a large complex that will not only house their new 30bbl brewery, but their new distillery, restaurant, outdoor music stage and an outdoor games area.
Some basics on the brewery, they plan on starting with 3 core beers. Those will be a Session IPA, English Mild, and a Blonde. They will not limit themselves to those 3, but they will likely be their first cans released while having more beers in the taproom. The building housing the brewery is already completed, but currently is housing their new distillery. Expect things to reshuffle inside the building to accommodate their new system, which should be arriving in late September.
Along with the brewery, they are ramping up their distilling operation. The actual distillery should be having their grand opening on September 26, 2015. From there, they will begin the build out of the actual brewery and expect that to be completed by late October or early November. The restaurant will follow all of this by a couple more months, so expect that to be opening in the spring of next year.
All in all, they have an absolutely great set up out near Jester King. It will definitely jump on everyone’s radar as a destination “brewstillery” for a nice afternoon out.
Whitestone Brewery – Currently, the goal is to be open in late November to early December. Located in Cedar Park at 601 E. Whitestone Blvd, it will be another addition to the rapidly expanding North Austin beer scene.
As far as beer selection goes, expect a wide variety of beers stylistically in this brewpub. Their initial core 6 beers will consist of the Boondoggle Brown, Siesta Saison, Lovely Day IPA, Porch Daddy Porter (Baltic Porter), Konverter Kolsch and Long Gone Blonde (Blonde ale with vanilla and orange peel).
The brewery will have a 1500 square foot taproom with a fireplace, multiple seating areas, and a full view of the brewing system. The brewing system will be a 15bbl brewhouse, 6 fermenters and 4 completely visible serving vessels. Along with the inside, they also plan on having a 1300 square foot beer garden that will be covered with fans and misters. There are plans to have food trucks out there during taproom hours.
Breweries with Unknown Status:
Atwater Brewing – This Detroit based brewery has been looking to open a place in Austin for almost two years now. It is sounding like they may be close to closing a place in Austin (but, nothing is final).
That is the first part of my paragraph from the previous article. Well, nothing is final for sure. It sounds like things may be at a standstill on this one or it may not even be happening. At the time of the last article, it seemed like it was a done deal, but it now seems that it may be falling apart. I cannot say what will happen here, so I made a new section just for them.
This section is not meant to go into many details, just give updates on where some established breweries are in building out new locations.
Live Oak – Timetable still looks like the end of this year for their new location near the airport. Not much more needs to be said except for they will finally be canning their beer. Finally.
(512) – Flying more under the radar than Live Oak, (512) is also looking at expanding in the more distant future. They do have a location out in the area of Independence Brewing to house a much larger brewery. If you have been to their current brewery recently, you know that there is no more room to expand there. This one is on a much longer timetable, likely being over 18 months out.
Opened Since the Last Article:
Bull Creek Brewing Company – Bull Creek has been bottling beers since June. They then quietly opened their taproom some time shortly after that. You can find their bottles (and taps) mainly around the Leander/Cedar Park area while occasionally making their way to other bottleshops around Austin. At the time of this article, their taproom is open from 11AM to 4PM on Saturdays.
Ironsight Brewers – As with most breweries around Austin, their opening became delayed due to the usual reasons. With that said, they officially opened their doors on September 5th. Taproom hours are likely to start in the near future. To find out more info on Ironsight, we did a brewery profile on them back in August:
Rentsch Brewing – Opening just a week before Ironsight (on August 29th), Rentsch is now officially Georgetown’s first brewery. They are focused mainly on German inspired beers. Taproom hours at the time of this article are on Fridays, from 4-8, and Saturdays, from 12-8. You can read more about them from the brewery profile we did earlier this summer: