Craft Beer Austin Staff Picks | Summer 2023


Welcome back for the Summer 2023 edition of Staff Picks. We once again polled the team to see what they recommend as the weather starts to heat up in Central Texas. One addition this week is Cole Hoffman, who is contributing his first staff pick. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter and let us know your favorite  beers of the moment on our social platforms. 


Draught House | Dream State | Cream Ale

There is no beer style as reliably disappointing as cream ales. A top-fermented sibling to pre-prohibition lager, cream ale is one of the few truly American beer styles. Unfortunately, almost every craft cream ale falls into one of two traps: trying to clone Genesee (the first beer I think of when I smell wet cardboard) or topping a pale ale with miscellaneous “creamy” adjuncts. Thankfully, the brewers at Draught House have developed a cream ale for traditionalists and literalists alike. Dream State is a 4.5% ABV masterwork with the body of an ale and the flavor and clarity of a lager, the calling cards of a traditional cream ale done right. Served on nitro, it also has a luscious creaminess that lactose and vanilla can’t match. This is the rare beer that manages to be both decadent and clean, sessionable but worth sipping.
Draught House logo
Image Credit to Draught House Pub & Brewery


Various | Hopwater

Hop Water: Yes, I am going with carbonated water. It is summer, you need to stay hydrated, go ahead and order that water with your next round of beer. Many of our local breweries have started putting out their own variants – ABW, Hopsquad, Whitestone, St. Elmo, just to name a few, It is a good way to break up the beers (or if you are cutting back on the beer, a good way to still support your local brewery).

HopWater Photo Courtesy of Whitestone Brewing


Blue Owl | Lime in the Coconut | Milkshake Sour Double IPA

I started this beer recommendation by googling the meaning of the referenced song by Harry Nilsson to make sure there wasn’t any hidden meaning I was missing (there isn’t). The genius team at Blue Owl put a lime in the coconut and now you can drink them both up by drinking a glass (or can!) of Lime in the Coconut. There’s a short history in this beer; in January, Blue Owl hosted a “Test Batch Flight” in which you could come in and try four test beers. Yessiree Bob’s Spring Kölsch and Tropícal Brut: Mango + Açaí were released early April, while Tahitian Lime Pie was sent back to the workshop for release later this year. The favorite though was Lime in the Coconut, a sour milkshake IPA with lime, lemon, coconut, milk sugar, salt, and hopped with sabro and motueka. After the test batch, the recipe was then bumped up from 6.2% to 8.3% ABV with more hops added to balance the sweetness. The final version was released at the end of April and now stands as Blue Owl’s third highest rated beer on Untappd (with more than 25 ratings), behind their 2020 sour chocolate orange reimagining of Black is Beautiful, and their 2021 collab with Batch, StrawBatchy RhuBob. I’ve had all of these, they’re all fantastic, and Lime in the Coconut is their latest fruited sour bomb that you won’t want to miss.

Image Credit to Blue Owl Brewing


Real Ale | Vamonos | Sour Fruited Gose

This summer, my go to beer is a refreshing sour fruited gose beer called Vamonos. It is a year round signature beer from Real Ale. The can states it is a tart, refreshing beer with lime and salt. I for one agree with the description! I particularly like this beer for many reasons. One, it randomly showed up in my fridge and I had not tried it before. Two, it was not too heavy on the salt but just enough for me. I think this beer is perfect for a hot summer day by your favorite pool or water hole. It definitely holds true to its flavor, is light, and is only 4% abv.  



Austin Beerworks | Clear Denim| West Coast IPA

It’s never really a shock when I pick a West Coast IPA as my selection as it is the style I will almost always choose if there is one available. I will concede that it is a style that really has lost much of its meaning, though perhaps not as much as NEIPA which is basically just a marketing term these days. That changing style is the reason I selected Clear Denim. I appreciated the more traditional West Coast bitterness that does not neglect the fact that malt can balance bitter without being the star of the show. I also want to generally give accolades to ABW’s RAD lab series. That 7 barrel experimental pilot system consistently rolls out some of my favorite beers in town.   



Live Oak | Pink Pilsner| American Pilsner

My pick is Live Oak Pink Pils, an American pilsner brewed with the 2022 Pink Boots hop blend (Loral, Ekuanot, HBC 586). This year the Austin chapter of Pink Boots Society collaborated with breweries across the Austin area to create some amazing beers, with a portion of proceeds benefitting our chapter. Pink Pils in particular is a super crushable beer currently available on tap and to-go at the brewery.

Image Credit to Live Oak Brewing


See you for the Next Edition of Craft Beer Austin Staff Picks in a few weeks!

Also, See our Comprehensive List of Central Texas Breweries!

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