417 RED RIVER ST – AUSTIN
Weds – Thurs 4-10pm
Saturday night I was on my way to the Mike Doughty Plays Ruby Vroom show at the 3Ten venue on 2nd Street. I decided to meet a buddy of mine, another beer lover, at Central District Brewing as it’s new and, well, centrally located in walking distance of our final location.
Central District recently opened and has yet to brew their own beer but they have taps from other local breweries. The current tap list stretches across the gamut of Austin breweries without being limited to the same-old same-olds.
My buddy, who’s on an English ale kick lately, started with Where’s my Flannel from Southern Heights while I kicked off with a Heavenly Daze from Zilker. We followed up with s
The place is very well located, right on the corner of 5th and Red River, inside the Convention Center parking garage. That gives you a place to park, an easy walk to the nightlife on 6th Street, a slightly longer walk to Rainey Street, and enough restaurants to choose from if you need them. Add in proximity to the Hilton and Fairmont, and you almost never have to leave.
The interior is dark green walls with copper accents, exposed brick, light wood tables with dark chairs and benches, modern industrial as befits a brewery these days. All they are missing is the artwork on the walls which I heard may be old-timey pictures of how the corner used to look.
The staff were super friendly for our time there. They chatted with us about beer, homebrewing, their brewhouse and what’s in store for the near future.
Caveat: I didn’t have my craft beer journalist hat on and didn’t write anything down but we managed to chat with some of the staff at the bar while enjoying our beers.
Here’s the details so far: From what we heard, they received their final seal last week, which means they can start the brewing operations. The plan is to buy ingredients the first week of April and have their first brew completed by the end of the week (from my own reckoning, that may not mean they put it in a fermenter immediately, as often the brewhouse needs to be dialed in over a few brews before things are right). They have a 5 barrel brewhouse from Blichmann Engineering with two 5-barrel fermenters to start, with room for four more of the same size.
We asked what they plan to brew and heard they’re expecting a Hazy IPA to be first out of the fermenter. They plan to brew only for in-house consumption and assume they’ll have a mix of the tourist/convention crowd as well as locals.
I personally really liked the feel of the place and the location. If it were stuffed with conventioneers of a certain caliber I might want to avoid it, however, I often find myself in the general area and wouldn’t mind a spot to land where I know I could get a good beer. It has a laid back vibe that says hang out a while, which is my kind of place, and I’m looking forward to what they have to offer.