This guest post is by Steve Duffy.
Most people love to get together for one reason or another. Community is what binds us to our place and gives us a sense of belonging. Because you’re reading this article, it’s safe to assume you also like beer and/or cider for the sense of euphoria it can impart. Combining the two together is what makes our local breweries and cideries great community spaces where you can meet friends on the weekend, let off some steam with co-workers at happy hour, or just sit and enjoy the food and drinks that are available.
Every so often, you may want to kick it up a notch. Corporate events, weddings and receptions, birthday parties, fundraisers and similar events all need a space to take place and luckily, with so many breweries and cideries around Central Texas, it’s easy to find the perfect spot. We’ve been asked a lot, here at Craft Beer Austin, about good places to book events. While we can’t book an event at every brewery and cidery in the area to find out (have you seen how many there are now???), we’ve done some of the legwork to get you going.
To start things off, I contacted 50+ breweries and cideries in the Central Texas area, meaning Austin proper as well as San Marcos, Dripping Springs, Round Rock, and Cedar Park. I heard back from many, but not all, and most have some type of accommodation for private events. If you’re ever uncertain, just head to their website. Some sites are very elaborate, some just have an info@/events@ email address listed. Short of dropping a spreadsheet on you, I’ve tried to make this organized and succinct, any inaccuracies are on me, the author.
Austin – Central/Inside the Highways
ABGB is located in South Central Austin, just off of S. Lamar on Oltorf. They’re known for having amazing lagers, great food and easy-going events. You can book the ABGB for a group reservation for 20 or more any time on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from open to 5pm on Weds, Fri, and Sat, and from 7:30 – 10pm on Sunday. They can fit 50 people inside and more outside in the biergarten and groups this size are encouraged to order from the group menu which has a $300 minimum. There’s no minimum on drinks, which includes beer, wine, and cider as well as soft drinks and you can give crowlers as party favors. Email Millie at email@example.com who says, “If you’re looking for a super chill, easy venue The ABGB is your place.”
Up on the far north end of Airport Blvd. rests one of the newer entries to the Austin beer scene, the Brewtorium. They’ve hit the ground running and have already built up a great community space that could be your place to hold an event. If you’re looking for a buy out, they encourage those for Mondays, otherwise you can do a regular private event any day they’re open. They do a per-person pricing from $15 – $45 for buyouts depending on the event or charge a minimum for their private event room of $500, of which beer and food purchases are deducted. A/V equipment rental is available and they even offer morning events. Send inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lazarus is a young-ish brewery in East Austin on busy E. 6th Street. They have an excellent events system that lets you book your party from their website and have three spaces available to rent. The Cool Room holds up to 50 people at tables and on stools and has a projector, speakers and air conditioning. It’s an active part of the brewery which makes it extra cool. The Stained Glass Patio (look up) is outside and holds up to 50 people at tables and stools. The Picnic Patio holds up to 136 people in what used to be the parking lot but is much nicer now with picnic tables, lighting, and sail shades. You can book any or all spaces for a total of 236 people. Rates vary by party size, time and day, and whether you will use full-service, which has a food and beverage minimum, or self-service for no additional cost. Events can be booked for any day of the week.
Austin – North/Brewery District
Austin Beerworks is located in an industrial area near 183 and Burnet Rd. While they don’t have sprawling tree-filled grounds, they do offer three enticing options for private parties of ~20 to 240 people. Each option offers a chance to hang out in their working brewery, enjoy an open bar, take an optional private tour, and lets you bring your own wine (no liquor allowed) and food, or use their on-site food truck Can-tina. Their Barrel Room fits 50 people, is air conditioned, and goes for $25 per person plus a 20% gratuity; take care of your bartenders. The Original Brewery holds 75 people and is $30 per head with a 20% gratuity. There’s no AC but there is a back patio for games and added seating. Both options are three-hour rentals and available Mon-Fri 6-10pm, Saturdays 12-8pm, & Sundays 1-7pm. If you really need space, you can buy out the taproom for 240 people, available Mon-Fri 11a-10pm, Saturdays 12-8pm, & Sundays 1-7pm. It costs $7,500 Sunday – Wednesday and $10,000 the rest of the time and all taxes and gratuities are included. For small parties, you can reserve one or two tables in the taproom for $50. Drop them an email at email@example.com.
Ah, Celis. We’re so glad you’re back. This once and future king/queen of Austin beer is located up on Metric Blvd. and has a grand and spacious taproom perfect for a private event. They offer events every day but Tuesdays and rental prices are $1,500, $1,800, $3,500, or $5,000 depending on the day (Saturday is highest). They require a minimum of 25 people and two drinks per person, with a per-hour bartender wage and a 25% gratuity. Rentals are for 4-5 hours and be sure to give them four weeks advance notice. Also, if you need a place in the not too distant future, their beer garden will be open and they’ll have a lot more options. Email Teresa at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Another brewery on the north end of town on Braker Lane, Circle Brewing has been around for a good time now cranking out delicious beers. You can rent their space in part or in-whole, usually after 5pm during the week or in 5-hour blocks after Noon on Sat-Sun. The cost is $15/person with a 20% gratuity and a $200 cleaning fee, and that includes three draft beers each. You can bring in your own food and soft drinks. For parties of 50 or more, they need to close the taproom and they charge an additional $500-$1,000 flat fee depending on the day. Fill out their online form to book your party.
NXNW Stonelake has the advantage of having a great beer selection as well as being a well-established restaurant. Located between 183 and MoPac on 360, they have three spaces available for parties seating 15, 40, and 80 people that are available any day of the week. There’s no charge for the space but there is a food and beverage minimum that varies depending on date and time. Food is catered at a per-person price, or can be a la carte, and food and drink purchases go toward the minimum. The small space is semi-private, the medium space can be expanded onto an adjoining patio, and the large space is outdoors, with a stage, A/V set up, and private bar and they can set up a tent if weather calls for it. Contact Elizabeth Ramsey (super helpful) at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out the online form.
The Oskar Blues brewery is an import from out of state but we’ll take ’em, especially seeing how they brought great beer. They occupy a large space on Metric Blvd. north of 183 and their taproom is spacious yet comfortable. They rent out their taproom Tuesday – Thursday from 12 – 4, Sunday evenings, and anytime on Mondays. The price varies depending on the date and time but you can bring up to 400 people. Beer and food is not part of the price but you can cater or work with their food truck to provide food and an A/V system is available for a flat rate. Got a huge party to throw? Reach out to Leilani Howard at email@example.com.
Flying Man is a younger brewery located near the corner of Dessau Rd. and Howard Ln. on the north side of Austin. They do private, semi-private, & open events at their brewery with three options on space. Their front room can be closed off and has heat and AC, if it’s that time of year. The taproom is heated but has no AC, and the beer garden has sail shades, heaters, lights and yard games. You can mix and match spaces as needed and book for any day of the week with enough notice. Pricing is dependent on day, time, and number of people and beer and food can be negotiated. They are definitely flexible and willing to work with your needs and budget. Fill out their online form or contact their event coordinator, Chef Bill, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Austin – East
The Austin Eastciders Collaboratory taproom is available any day of the week and holds 115 people inside and 50 outside. They charge $250/hr Monday – Friday and $500 Saturday- Sunday, and have a sizable discount for an 8-hour rental. Weekends also have a minimum beverage spend of $12/head for core ciders and $1.50 extra for special releases. They have A/V equipment and you can bring your own food, use the food truck on-site, or have them coordinate catering. Send an email to email@example.com.
Blue Owl has a really cool, bright space in East Austin on Cesar Chavez and lots of options for private parties. You can host a private event in their production space evenings and weekends or set up in their taproom Monday or Tuesday. They even rent out their patio when you want to be outside. There is a minimum of 20 people and a max of 30 – 65 people depending on the space and they charge $150 for each space and $16/head which includes a glass and four pours of their sour beers. You can bring in catering or a food truck and for an extra charge you can add on a guided tasting, a craft workshop, or homebrewing lessons. Contact their event guide Suzy Shaffer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Brewer’s Table is a gorgeous new restaurant/brewery on the increasingly hip Eastside of Austin. Their desire is to have a place where beer and food share the spotlight, and from reports I’ve heard, they do it well. If you have a smaller party of 16 people (18 if you like each other), you can reserve their mezzanine level that overlooks the dining room. On Thursday – Saturday there’s a $1,000 minimum to book the mezzanine that includes drinks. They’ll also do partial buyouts of their side patio and Lager Garden and full buyouts of the main dining room or the whole facility. As a side note, they can accommodate up to 26 people without a buyout in the main dining area. For parties over 12, they require a preset food menu with options at $45, $65, and $85 per person, not including drinks. They are willing to work with what you need, just send them a request at email@example.com.
Another Eastside establishment that makes incredible beers on a regular basis is Hops and Grain. Located in an industrial building at the end of East 6th St., they have a comfortable taproom and a side patio. They offer rentals of the entire place Sunday – Wednesday for a set price that includes their whole layout, beer, cold brew, sparkling water, and two bartenders (be sure to tip them well). You can also rent a table for $50 anytime they are open except on Saturday from 1-6pm. You’ll need to get your own beer for this option. Food isn’t provided, so it’ll be up to you and they can set you up with their food truck if desired. If interested, fill out their form at the link above.
Oddwood is a newcomer to Austin beer and they do it well. They don’t do private parties at their cute, rustic-style space but they do have catering packages for semi-private events set aside in a section of their taproom. There’s no charge except a cleaning fee and they’re flexible on how to do food and drinks. Head to their website and fill out their online form.
Austin – South/Southeast
If you haven’t met the mad scientist of Austin beer, head on over to Orf Brewing on Burleson Road. Tucked in a light industrial complex, the brewery has a smallish space next to a large tree that would work for a smaller event. Orf doesn’t rent out the place as a practice, but it has happened, and after finishing off the new taproom they plan to do it more. Dates and times are negotiable depending on the owner’s availability and they usually charge a single price for the whole place. Beer can be open bar or pay-per-drink and food should be handled by the renter. You can contact Orf through their website and there won’t be an added gratuity, Orf believes in fair wages.
Situated on a huge piece of property near the Austin Bergstrom Airport, Live Oak Brewing is one of the OGs of the Austin craft beer scene and makes delicious, mostly German-style beers. Live Oak doesn’t do full buyouts of the property (the taproom is always open to the public) but has three biergartens among the live oaks in their back 40 they rent for special events during regular business hours. Pricing depends on duration and head count, with a minimum bar spend and any extra add-ons that may be requested. These events take place outdoors, fair warning, but you can bring in tents for cover and rent fire pits and heaters for the cold months. Their resident food truck provides catering and can accommodate a variety of group sizes and budgets. Use their online form to request a quote.
St. Elmo’s on Austin’s Southside has a comfortable vibe and some awesome beers. Any day of the week you can reserve a table for $150 and it comes with 24 beers. You can also buy out the entire space with the price depending on the day and time you want, beer is also included. No food is available but Soursop is always there and has some amazing dishes. Inquire online at their website.
Austin – Far Southwest
Deep in southwest Austin lies Argus Cidery, who have recently made updates to their tasting room to accommodate events. Their space is available for events Monday-Friday after 5pm. Saturdays and Sundays after 6pm and costs $1,500 plus a bar minimum and 25% gratuity. Bring your own food and dishes/cutlery.
Jester King is located in southwest Austin on dozens of beautiful hill country acres. They have just opened their new JK Hall, a private events space similar to the restaurant pavilion but much prettier. You can rent JK Hall any day of the week and there’s no set price as they work with you depending on headcount, drink needs, staffing, and duration. You can also buy out the restaurant Monday – Wednesday or hold a non-private party Thursday – Sunday when the restaurant is open. Submit your inquiry online at the link above.
Last Stand is another fine drinking establishment on Fitzhugh Drive in far southwest Austin. While they don’t currently have a separate private event space they do rent their taproom for semi-private and private events. They typically book events in their taproom on days they are closed or after hours but with the right conversation and price they will close early. Cost is $800 for Fri-Sat and $600 other days. This accommodates up to 50 people with drinks, and there’s a per-head charge for extra people. Their on-site food truck can handle catering or you can bring in your own. Contact Sarah Haney at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started and watch out for their coming location in South Austin that will have a private space built in.
Austin – Far West/Oasis, TX
Come for the beer, stay for the amazing views off the patios. Oasis Brewing is located in the giant Oasis complex on the edge of Lake Travis, up 620 from Lakeway in one of the prettiest locations in the area. They book private and semi-private events in their taproom, which fits 750 people, and barrel room/cocktail bar, which fits 250 people. Private events at the taproom are $10,000 Mon – Thurs and $15,000 Fri – Sun. In the barrel room the price is $3,500 and $5,000 respectively. Semi-private events run from $1,000 – $3,000 depending on space, day, and time. The full range of adult beverages are available and can be had on a per-head basis for open bar or limited open bar, or you can do cash bar as well. They provide food on a per-head cost ranging from $6 for simple appetizers to $75 for family style surf and turf, with lots of price points in between. Find their online form by going to the taproom page and scrolling to the bottom.
Vista Brewing sits on a beautiful, 21-acre piece of property in Driftwood, TX, and can accommodate any size party for a private event. They have six spaces available, private to semi-private, with capacity from ~16 to 400 people. Spaces range from enclosed with air conditioning to semi-covered to outside in tents. Mondays through Wednesdays you can book any space for a $1,500 minimum of food and beverage (F+B), Thursday through Sunday you can book two spaces starting at an $850 minimum for the smaller space, and on Thursdays only you can book the taproom for $3,000 and a 5-hour stretch. Tented events are available any day, accommodate the most people, and have an extra fee and rental on top of a $5,000 F+B. Catered food is available as a buffet or on plates, and of course, you can get their beer as well as a selection of local ciders and wines to drink.
Dripping Springs, TX
If you find yourself out west of Austin in Dripping Springs, Acopon Brewing will book their space out anytime Sunday – Friday and after 6pm on Saturdays. They don’t have a dedicated space for private events but have a back patio that could work in a pinch. They can accommodate up to 50 people in their taproom and charge a $100 reservation fee to reserve it. The cost of a party varies and they are willing to work with the party to come up with a solution, such as cash bar, discounted tickets, or a fee per head. They don’t have food but work with local caterers or you can bring your own food.
Another one of the newer breweries in the area, Rentsch Brewery in Georgetown has a clean, open taproom and tables outside under the live oaks. They have outdoor space to rent for $150 on Weds and Thurs or for $500 Fri-Sun, during business hours. On weekends you can also rent an indoor Media room for $500 or the whole place for $6,000. There are no food or drink deals but you can bring in your own food, buy beer from the taproom, and rearrange and decorate your space as you see fit. Contact Taylor Rountree at email@example.com with your requests.
Texas Keeper is a cidery on a huge piece of property in Manchaca, south of Austin. Their space is pretty and their cider is amazing. While they always keep the taproom open to the public during regular hours, you can rent it exclusively in the off-hours or just reserve tables as needed. They’ll set you up however you need, with cider by the glass, flight, or open tab and have a cool add-on of a hive tour with Two Hive Honey nearby. Catering is welcome for off-hours events but during regular hours, order from the kitchen or feel free to bring cake or cupcakes. Contact Lindsey and she’ll set you up, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steve Duffy has been on the hunt for great beer since 1992 when his brother returned from England with tales of flavorful beer and Michael Jackson’s Pocket Guide to Beer. He has traveled with Renaissance Festivals, lived in a hippie community, and currently is a manager of analytics. He lives in Sunset Valley with his wife and two kids and spends his little free time homebrewing, making sausage, and riding bikes.