Top Eight Kid-Friendly Breweries in Austin

By Gin Benavidez

In a society where controversy could be an Olympic sport, one topic that will get any avid brewery-goer debating is whether or not kids should be taken to breweries. I’ve yet to meet any beer drinker who doesn’t have a fully-formed opinion on this matter, and most are of the mindset that the presence of children at a brewery is either completely fine or a total buzzkill. There’s not much in between.

This got me thinking about our local breweries and how/if they cater to families with children. I’ve never heard of any brewery that doesn’t allow children in, so in that sense, all breweries in the central Texas area could be considered kid-friendly. However, there are a handful of breweries that openly welcome families with kids, making sure there’s some sort of activity for kids to do while the grown-ups imbibe. And no matter what your stance is on kids at breweries, I think this type of engaging, kid-friendly atmosphere is advantageous to all brewery patrons.

Hear me out: Whether you’re someone who’s looking to enjoy an outing with your kids or you’re a beer drinker who finds children more annoying than Fran Drescher’s laugh, you’re going to want to be at a brewery that has something fun for the kiddos. Because if the wee ones are going to be at the brewery regardless, wouldn’t you rather have them occupied?

That’s why I put together this list of the top 8 kid-friendly breweries in Austin so that you have the best chance of enjoying a brew without being bothered by somebody’s brood.

Austin Beerworks Liquid Bake Sale Pale Ale
Austin Beerworks

Austin Beerworks

Adjacent to the covered patio is a playground with little hills, a tunnel, a giant chalkboard, and playthings like hula hoops and balls. Or if you’re my kid, you can just find a dirty asphalt puddle the grackles have been using as a birdbath and jump in that until your pants are soaked up to the knees. But I’d really recommend the former since it’s literally good, clean fun.

The Brewtorium

At first glance, this may not seem like a place that has much to offer kids. However, the staff has always been quick to offer toy buckets and shovels to kids who want to play with the gravel ground of the beer garden outback. Also, trains run right behind the fenced-in beer garden, so if your child is train-obsessed (or you are still enthralled with them as a fully-grown adult like me) it’s quite thrilling to watch them regularly pass by!

Central Machineworks

People love bringing their children here, not only because there’s ample space in the beer garden for them to run around and, perhaps, play a game of cornhole completely incorrectly, but also because this is one of few breweries where you will find an actual kids menu to order from. So buckle up for a family-friendly food experience, and try not to get too excited about finishing off the last three bites of your kid’s grilled cheese.

Infamous Brewing Company

If you’re looking for a brewery to hit up after a fun day at the lake, bring the kiddos over to Infamous Brewing Company. There’s a playscape outside for them to enjoy while you knock back a peanut butter stout and wonder how much better it would make all those peanut butter and jelly sandwiches you’ve made for school lunches over the years taste.

Jester King Brewery

Where do I start with the kid-friendly activities at Jester King? Located on a farm in the hill country, this brewery has a ton of acreage. You can explore trails on the land, let the kids play in the sandpit next to the open-air barn full of seating, or teach them the importance of farming. Rumor has it there’s even a playground at Jester King now, and of course, there are also goats. GOATS! Admire them from a distance or get up close and hands-on when you book a Jester King Goat Experience ($10 per person, children under 2 are free).

Meanwhile Stage - Nomad Sound
Meanwhile Brewing

Meanwhile Brewing

There’s a surprising amount of outdoor activities to partake in at Meanwhile Brewing, considering it’s located in an otherwise industrial area of Austin. Kids can play on their expertly-constructed playground or run until they drop on the small soccer field that’s also on the property. If you’re going to be giving your children any amount of sugar while you’re brewery hopping, do it here so they have an opportunity to burn it off.

Oddwood Brewing

If your kid prefers the indoors to the outdoors, Oddwood is the perfect spot for them (and you!). There is an entire game and media room with free-play arcade games and TVs for movies as well as Super Nintendo and N64 games. Grab a pizza, a pint, and pwn the kiddies in a few Mario Kart races. They’ll be so impressed, I promise.

Slackers Brewing Co.

Slackers Brewing was obviously built with kids in mind. Proof of that can be seen in their dedicated kid’s area inside the taproom. The colorful corner is full of games, toys, books, and otherwise fun items to keep kids entertained. There are also comfy spots for them to sit and read or play so they don’t have to bring all of their favorite new playthings to your table and take up room where beer should go.

While these are the ultimate kid-friendly breweries in the Austin area, as I mentioned before, kids are allowed at all of them. Many breweries offer board games and tabletop activities that can help distract kids for a while and provide some family fun. And if all else fails, you can always bust out the tried-and-true iPad, snag the Wi-Fi password, and start streaming. Regardless of the methods you choose to occupy those kiddos, just remember that if you brought them to the brewery, you’re in charge of them. Anyone and everyone at a brewery deserves to enjoy themselves, including the kids, but not at the expense of those who don’t wish for unengaged children to be part of their beer-drinking experience. So please be considerate and responsible. Cheers!

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