The Definitive Guide to Central Texas Brewery Tours
The City of Austin is home to 45 different breweries within a 326 square mile footprint, plus an additional 71 breweries spread across the 4,285 square miles of the greater Austin area. This vast landscape is conducive to brewery experiences of all shapes and sizes. From the chic, tiny brewpubs of downtown Austin to the sprawling farmstead breweries of the Hill Country and the dozens of hidden gems in industrial parks and strip malls in between, Central Texas has something for everyone. With this great scale comes great indecision for craft beer drinkers. Picking out the perfect brewery experience can feel like an impossible task. Thankfully for car-less visitors and thirsty locals who don’t want to drink and drive, Austin has an abundance of brewery tour operators. These guides not only transport you from spot to spot, but they each also offer a distinctly curated vision of the city’s craft beer landscape.
Founded in 2018 by longtime Austin resident and self-described zythophile Elle Thomas, AirBrewnB is entirely woman-owned and -operated. Thomas and the three other members of the Lady Brew Crew offer a variety of bespoke options, including virtual, in-person, private, corporate, and custom tours. In-person tour options range from two-hour, two brewery tours to four-hour, four brewery tours with taco tasting.
ATX Beer Bus is a one-man show from certified cicerone James Lipari. Lipari offers tours in Austin or the Hill Country with 3-4 stops and free pick-up and drop-off from anywhere within the city limits. He can also adapt the tour to include wineries, cideries, and distilleries. Tours of San Antonio, New Braunfels, San Marcos, and Marble Falls are also available by special request.
Best known for their river tubing tours, ATXcursions also offers a five-hour, three-brewery tour. The tour picks up and drops off at the Austin Visitors Center and includes the cost of a flight at each brewery.
Long-time Austinite Shane Orr has led over 200 brewery tours in Central Texas. His 3-brewery tour begins and ends at the former Craft Pride location on Rainey Street and includes a flight at each brewery. Austin Brewery Tours also offers a Hill Country tour featuring a visit to Jester King.
Bat City Brew Tours owner/operator Greg Henny might have the most distinctive tour vehicle in the business, an airport shuttle bus with a faux copper tile ceiling and bench-style red leather seats. Bat City’s four-hour, three-brewery tour picks up outside of Central District Brewing and usually features a behind-the-scenes tour at one of the breweries.
For those looking to work off their flights between breweries, Bikes & Brews is an excellent choice. Hosts Adam, David, and Kyle provide the bicycles, flights, and a tasting glass to keep as part of the three-hour, three-brewery tour.
If you want to thread the needle between getting fresh air but not pedaling through your brewery tour, Taste of Austin’s Pedicab Brewery Tour has you covered. This all-inclusive tour includes a flight at three breweries, snacks including chips and guacamole at one of the stops, a photo op at the State Capitol or the mural of your choice, and a commemorative glass.
Texas Tipsy Tours focuses exclusively on the Dripping Springs brewery scene. The six-hour tour includes visits to Ghost Note, Vista Brewing, and 12 Fox Brewing and will pick up in Austin, Dripping Springs, or Wimberley.
Twisted Texas Tours takes Austin’s reputation as the Live Music Capital of the World seriously by featuring a live band on their tours, which pick up at the Austin Visitors Center. The tour visits three breweries over three and a half hours and includes a meal at a food truck.