Fast Friends Beer Co. Opens in South Austin
Located at 7313 S. I-35, Austin
Long awaited South Austin brewery Fast Friends Beer Co. is now open to the public. With Director of Brewing, Keith Shaw, at the helm, the beer program will feature a wide variety of styles, starting with eight initial options. Fast Friends Beer Co. is poised to be a destination brewery while still in town, featuring a coffee program, a menu that includes vegan and gluten-free options, and a space that is both kid and patio-dog-friendly.
As of now, the main taproom is open with plans to open a downstairs taproom, barrel room speakeasy, and additional outdoor space.
Originally published November 2021 by Emilee Guernsey
The newest brewery coming to South Austin, Fast Friends, is hoping to forge a “Happy Place” for all customers in their hill country oasis, just off I-35 between William Cannon Drive and Slaughter Lane. Founder, David Childress, has plans to open the brewery in 2022.
The creation of the name “Fast Friends” was formed during a company retreat in early 2020. With many of the teammates having just met for the first time, partner, Christian Helms, commented on how everyone became “such fast friends.” Thus, the name was born.
“Those three days were pretty magical,” Childress said. “Everyone was hyper-engaged, building off each other’s ideas, and fanatical about creating something that is a beacon of positivity in the city of Austin. It really felt like everyone had been friends and working together for years.”
With the help of their architect, Bob Shelton, and their landscape architect, Cheri Ruane, the Fast Friends location captures the low-key manufacturing roots on the west side of the site that seamlessly melts into a lush, central Texas beer garden on the east side of the property.
“By the time you’re on our back porch you’re hearing birds chirping and leaves rustling amongst some beautiful Oak Trees,” Childress said. “We think people are going to love the space. In the future, we have plans to develop a 30,000 SF light manufacturing, creative office, and retail building to further establish our campus as a fun destination filled with big-hearted makers, do-ers, and entrepreneurs.
As for the beers that will be produced, Fast Friends plans on having options for all different types of preferences. There will even be wines, ciders, and other guest beers.
“Our mantra is ‘something for every palate,’” Childress said. “We love the lager renaissance that’s happening in the craft beer space but also love everything about IPAs and hoppy beers. We’ll have plenty of farmhouse-style ales, kettle sours, wheat beers, some darker beers, and barrel-aged stuff to round out our tap list.”
The brewery does plan on having some cans available for distribution, but it will be limited in the first months of production. The main focus will be on the taproom and creating memorable experiences for guests.
“Our partner Christian Helms describes it really well – Fast Friends is an example of life imitating art,” Childress said.