With all that is happening in the Austin beer scene, it is hard to keep track of all the upcoming Austin breweries that are in the process of opening around town. Needless to say, the Austin area beer scene is exploding!
This biannual 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 January and new breweries that are just starting the process.
New breweries added to this list since January’s edition:
Austin Beerworks (Expansion)
Feral Tun Brewing
Flemish Fox Brewing
Flying Man Brewing
Hi Sign Brewing
Hops & Grain Brewing (San Marcos)
Osmo’s Daughter Brewing
Sam Bass Brewing
Suds Monkey Brewing
Thirsty Planet Brewing (New Austin Location)
Thousand Oaks Brewing
Current breweries/brewpubs in operation within 50 miles of Austin (at the time of this article): 49
Altmeyer & Lewis Brewing – The first of three 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 in 2016. Plans are 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.
June Update – The first batches of beer have already been brewed and the kegs are on the way to the brewery. No set date for opening yet, but likely will be early July 2016.
Atwater Brewing – In January’s article, this brewery was on it’s last leg and almost kicked off the list (for lack of updates). Well, it is definitely happening now in what some refer to as the Brewery District of North Austin. Not much to really say about Atwater, but they have been flying under the radar for the (what I believe will be) 3rd out of state craft brewery to open up shop in Texas. The other two are both Colorado breweries; Oskar Blues (also on this list) and Backcountry Brewery (opened in Rowlett earlier this year). One could argue BJ’s Brewhouse’s Temple location could be listed here, but I will just not count it for this article.
As far as how long it takes before they open, I will leave that update for the Flemish Fox further down the list.
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.
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. Eventually, they would like to have up to 12 beer available on tap!
For the food, 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.
June Update: Deep into contract negotiations for a North Austin location. If things go as they are hoping, expect to hear an announcement from them in the near future.
Feral Tun Brewing – This is a last minute addition to this list. I do not have many details on it as it looks to be in the very early on, but it likely will be a South Austin brewery opening in 2017.
Flemish Fox Brewing – There has been a lot more publicity about this place over the last couple of months. The brewery itself will be jointly used between Atwater and Christine Celis. Atwater, who will be using the brewery to produce their own beers in Austin (in addition to their Detroit location), and Christine Celis, who is bringing back her father’s original Celis recipes back to the Austin market under the Flemish Fox name, look to be starting their construction in Q3 or Q4 of this year. The equipment has already been ordered from Germany. Their timeline currently has them opening towards the beginning of next year.
Flying Man Brewery – Veteran owned Flying Man Brewery is opening in the North Austin/South Pflugerville area. The name comes from both of the owner’s hobbies of hang gliding and paragliding.
The current plans have them opening with a 30bbl brewhouse, a large taproom (with extended hours), a nice outdoor patio, and a steady supply of food trucks. The beer will come from a mixture of their backgrounds – one of which is from the East Coast and one from the West Coast. Expect to see a heavy rotation of beers on tap due to their additional 1/2bbl pilot system. The time frame for opening is heavily dependent on how log permits and licenses take to get. They do expect the build out to begin before the end of the year.
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. The initial offering should include a Session IPA (named Noisy Cricket), a West Coast styled IPA, a Belgian Table Beer, along with a slew of other seasonal offerings.
June Update – Looks like construction has begun on the F&A location which will likely conclude sometime in late September. In October, they plan to have their brewery operational with the can line and taproom opening. In the meantime, expect to see their Saison Urban Chicken released next month (which is being currently brewed at 4th Tap).
Guns and Oil Brewing – I cannot put too many details here. Basically, they are still dealing with permits for their actual location. They are hoping for construction to start in Q4 of this year.
Hi Sign Brewing – This new brewery to the list is going to be located at 1201 Bastrop Hwy (near the new location for Live Oak). Hi Sign has hired head brewer Brian Gallagher, who previously was working at Stone Brewery (and you may have tried one his recipes already – Stone’s Coffee Milk Stout).
As far as the brewery itself, they will be brewing on a 15bbl system, which is expected to be delivered in August. The brewery itself sounds like it should be a great destination spot for that area too. As Mark Phillippe, one of the founder’s of Hi Sign, put it, “We’ve got an acre of beautiful green space out back for a huge biergarten not seen within the city limits (aside from Live Oak). So we’ll have a great environment for enjoying beers in the summer and Fall and Spring.”
Expectations are to open around November, depending on how construction goes.
Idle Vine Brewing – Idle Vine has secured their location in Pflugerville (just east of I-35). They will be focusing on an American Pale, Rye IPA, English Porter, and Session Ale.as their core beers. Along with this, there will be one seasonal per season, and the rest of their 12 taps will be from their rotating pilot batches. Expect a brewpub feel with TVs, wifi, open often, and to-go beers.
June Update – With their location deal locked in, they have started installing their tanks, along with working on the interior. They are located in a new industrial park that has easy access to I-35 and could be a prime location solely due to no other breweries being in that area yet. The current plans have them opening sometime in the fall.
Kamala Garden Brewing – Dipak Topiwala (formerly of Kamala Brewing/Whip In) is heading up this new brewery. The basic concept will be a mash up of Twisted X, Kamala Brewing, and Jester King. Plans include an onsite kitchen featuring Indian spiced pizzas called “Naanzzas.”
As far as the beer goes, they plan on making both fresh and aged ales as well as lagers. “The brewery will craft quaffs of the fresh type-specific varieties we all enjoy daily along with a cellar of barrel aged ales beers cultivated with wild & sour yeasts.” Guest beers will also be on tap.
Along with this, plans are to have an outdoor stage with nightly live music. Most of the music will be focused on folk, country, Indian and bluegrass Americana styles. In the meantime, they are brewing with NXNW to get some of their beers on tap around town.
June Update – Their original South Austin location fell through so they are back to searching for a new location. They are optimistic about opening in 2017.
Lazarus Brewing – Lazarus Brewing has secured a location on the east side of Austin (near Zilker Brewing). 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.
June Update: Current plans have them opening some time around October. They recently made some news regarding hiring a brewer from Victory Brewing in Pennsylvania. Based on everyone who I have met at Lazarus, this place has a lot of potential. I would expect to see a good rotation of beers, tacos, coffee, and a nice outdoor patio right on East 6th. They, also, have recently opened up a crowdfunding campaign that can be seen here: http://www.lazarusbrewing.com/first-blush
Oddwood Ales – Oddwood Ales is finally getting their own location. The owner is branching off from Adelbert’s, where he brewed and started the side project owned by Adelbert’s, to eventually start his own brand. As many people know, there were a couple of releases of their Saison under the Oddwood Ales name. Well, they have decided to go full on with their own location and taproom.
As far as their new facility goes, they have a location near Airport and Manor. They do plan on having a rotating tap and bottle list with “no real ‘flagship’ beer per se.” The plan is to be selling bottles and growlers to go from the taproom. Oddwood’s taproom is aiming to have a cozy, neighborhood feel to it with a ambitious rotating tap list. Distribution will be hyper local.
The focus on beer will be on wild/sour ales, hoppy American styles and seasonally driven creations. Expect a lot of brettanomyces and oak inspired releases. With all of that said, they are planning on moving away from making the Saison and Taming the Wild Beast. They do think they are great beers, but are changing focus slightly on future beers.
June Update – They are currently waiting on their building permits which should be issued in August. That would lead to construction starting in September and while hoping to get their beers to the market by the end of the year.
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.
June Update – Still waiting on the TTB license. Orf has been in constant communication with the TTB and it seems that they are 2-3 weeks away from getting that license (but could be longer with them). They still need to get a couple more city approvals but it is looking like possible towards the end of summer.
Oskar Blues – 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 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.
June Update: Well, the last article’s prediction was April on their opening date. Obviously, that has come and past. They are already brewing their beers at the brewery, so the operations are running. However, due to registration issues, they have had to delay their grand opening to likely around mid-July.
Osmo’s Daughter Brewing – While this is a new one on the list, I do not have many details on this future brewery quite yet. What I do know is that it will be located in Elgin on a 3 acre plot of land in a sustainable living community called Elgin Agrarian Cooperative Development. More details about their plans can be seen on their website linked below.
Current plans have them starting construction in August, 2016, while finishing in Spring of 2017.
Sam Bass Brewing Company – The Brass Tap’s future location in The Domain is looking at installing a 2bbl system at the new bar under the name Sam Bass Brewing Company. The bar itself is expected to open sometime in the next month, but the brewing system will likely be started up by 2018..
The current plans are to have a couple of core beers, but mostly focus on fun one offs and seasonals. The core beers (as of now) include a hop bursted pale, a west coast focused double IPA, and imperial stout, and most likely a saison.
St. Elmo Brewing Company – St. Elmo is the works of two Austin Beerworks alum: Bryan Winslow, and Tim Bullock. Opening up off of St. Elmo Road in south Austin, they will be having a 15bbl brewhouse. Along with that, they hope to operate similar to a brewpub, having most of their sales on site as opposed to through distribution. When they eventually can keep up with their production, they will be sending beers to limited accounts. Do not expect them to send beer outside of central Austin for quite some time.
As for the beers themselves, they will be focused on “Everyday Beer.” The starting three core beers will be Carl (Kolsch), Chico (Pale Ale), and Angus (Dry Stout). Freshness will be one of the key focuses of the beer, and will be best when drank fresh. One of the ways to do this is by having most of the sales directly at the brewery. Another aspect will be that most of the beers will be at less than 6% ABV. They plan to have 5-6 house beers when they open and expanding to 8-10 a little further down the road.
June Update – Build out is moving along nicely. The hope is to start brewing in the next month and eventually open in 2-3 months.
Suds Monkey Brewing Company – Located on Circle Drive in South Austin, this future nano-brewery (brewing on only a 1/2bbl system) is located right down the road from the current Thirsty Planet location. The head brewer has previously worked as a brewer at Stone and BJ’s Brewhouse before deciding he wanted to go his own route. He quit Stone in 2002 and started the long process of saving up money with the intentions of opening up a brewery of his own.
They currently have a TABC brewpub license but are waiting for the federal TTB approvals, which they are hoping will come through by August (they applied in February, so that should give you an idea about how much of a backlog there is for these approvals). If that goes through, expect an opening in late summer to early fall. But, with all breweries, that could change quickly depending on licensing and permitting.
The Brewer’s Table – This future brewery is the brainchild of Jake Maddux (formerly of Salt & Time, Thirsty Planet, New Belgium and Anchor) and Ned Elliot (of Foreign & Domestic). Located in east Austin at 5th Street and Springdale Rd, this restaurant/brewery has been in the works for quite some time. The concept will be based off of wood: wood fired food and wood fermented lagers made with oak foeders. The plans include to have a large number of guest taps along with their own house beers.
June Update – Construction is going to begin at their location in July. They are hoping to have their official opening in the December to January time frame. They have also recently announced a fundraising/investment opportunity through NextSeed (which can be seen here: https://www.nextseed.co/offerings/brewers-table/?sc=teambrewers).
Thousand Oaks Brewing – A newcomer on this list. Thousand Oaks is replacing the recently shut down Ironsight location in Cedar Park (which replaced the first Twisted X location). That will make this the 3rd brewery to occupy the same garage in this industrial park. They are currently hoping to brew their first batch of beer in the next week, while opening their taproom doors shortly after those are complete.
Two Wheel Brewing – This future Buda brewery is currently under construction just south of Buda off of Loop 4. The building itself is around 5,000 sq ft with 1,200 dedicated to their taproom.
As far as the beer goes, their initial focus will be on brewing a Blonde Ale, Pale Ale, and other European styles: Kolsch, Altbier, bitter, etc. They do plan on adding an IPA eventually, along with a list of seasonal offerings.
June Update: Construction of the brewery is almost complete. Landscaping, finishing the interior, and staining the concrete floors is happening now. Once that is complete, equipment will be moved into place. Based on their current time line, they are hoping to be brewing by the end of the year.
Vista Brewing – This future brewery will be located in the Driftwood area with plans to be a destination spot. Currently, they have 21 acres of untouched Texas ranch land with over 500 Live Oak trees to provide shade. This venue will likely include a “farm-to-fork” restaurant, cottages, 5 acre farm, and a 3 acre beer garden.
For the brewery itself, expect the focus to be on approachable, balanced, sessionable beers of all styles. Along with this, there are plans to brew a series of beers based on the Texas Hill Country. These will be brewed with local ingredients including fruits and herbs grown on site, honey from their apiary, and select beers being aged in locally sourced barrels from the wine and distilling community.
Vista Brewing currently plans to open around Q3 of 2017.
This section is not meant to go into many details, just give updates on where some established breweries are in building out new locations.
(512) – (512) is looking at expanding in the distant future. The future location is near Independence Brewing south of Burleson. Current projections have them almost quadrupling their output when they do open. If you have been to their current brewery recently, you know that there is no more room to expand there.
Even with this new facility, there still are no plans to regularly bottle/can their beer, but it will offer extended taproom hours The current time frame has it opening in Q3 of 2017.
Austin Beerworks – The large expansion was recently announced, so I am not going to go into many details here. But, expect a lot more taproom hours, more production and distribution, and finally cans of Sputnik. We all win here. Some time in 2017 we can expect them to open the new place up.
Hops and Grain (Barrel and Sour Program Location) – This location still seems to be flying under the radar. It is still in the works for far East Austin (out near 130 and FM 969). Currently, they are waiting for their TTB and TABC permits before they can move any further forward. As soon as those come through, they plan to start relocating all of their barrels to this location. Hops and Grain will be trucking wort from their original brewery over to this location for all of the fermentation. Phase Two of this project will be eventually building out a taproom as soon as they have a good amount of beer available. Eventually, they want to have a dedicated brewing system at that location. Expect barrels to start moving to this location towards the end of the year.
Hops and Grain (San Marcos Location) – Most of the information on this can be seen on their crowdfunding/investing site that they have going (which can be seen here: https://wefunder.com/hopsandgrain), I will not go much into this other than it being a downtown San Marcos location that will be focused on production and having a taproom. Each location will serve it’s own beer. Expect this one to have a late spring/early summer 2017 opening.
Thirsty Planet Brewing – Thirsty Planet is moving closer to Austin. They have recently acquired a 60,000 sq. ft. facility located at 8201 S. Congress Ave. This will provide them with a larger variety of specialty and seasonal beers as well as larger distribution.
The current aim is to open by the end of the year. You can read more about their expansion plans here: http://spirits.blog.austin360.com/2016/03/28/thirsty-planets-upcoming-south-congress-brewery-to-triple-capacity/
Opened Since the Last Article:
Aquabrew – This San Marcos brewery has been in the works for some time. Expect a gastropub, beer garden with a large patio, and live music. They are planning on having 10 house beers, which will include 4-5 IPAs, ESB, Saison, and a Kottbusser. The brewing system will be a 15BBL Marks Brewhouse that is already received.
June Update – The restaurant and bar portion of this gastropub are now operational. As far as their own beer goes, they look to be releasing their first beers towards the end of June.
Barrow Brewing Company – Located in Salado, Barrow Brewing began renovation on their location back in February of 2015. 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.
June Update: Barrow Brewing opened up back in April of this year along with their official Grand Opening in early June. They definitely are one of the nicer looking brewpubs to open recently. Located in an old building with a great looking wood interior, Barrow is open currently from Thursday through Sundays weekly. All of their beers have been solid and the owners are definitely headed in the right direction.
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), They are currently open as a bar and their beer should be on tap in the very near future. The plan is to focus on German and Czech inspired beers.
June Update – Granger City is open and their beers are starting to be on tap in their bar.
Live Oak – Not much is needed to be said here. We all should know Live Oak by now, and we all should have at least visited the brewery now. The biggest bonus of this place being open? Cans of their beer seem to be everywhere.
San Gabriel River Brewing – Located in Liberty Hill, San Gabriel River Brewing officially opened their doors during the late spring. They have started to receive some bottle approvals from the TABC so their plans do include bottling.
They also have taproom hours on Fridays and Saturdays.
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.
June Update: Just like many of the other recent openings around town, this one opened without many people taking notice. Granted, it is in Taylor and they are more focused as the local, small town brewpub, one would not expect to hear all that much about it. Either way, it is good to see more of these places opening up in our general area. Be sure to check them out if you ever find yourself in that area.
Treaty Oak Distilling and Brewing – While Treaty Oak has been distilling for some time, this will be them venturing into the brewing world. Located on their 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.
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.
June Update – Their first beers were poured at their taproom over Father’s Day. While they have tapped a couple of kegs, do not expect full production to start until the end of July. Either way, I consider this completed.