Wild West Brew Fest: A Wildly Good Time in Pflugerville
On Saturday, April 8th, 2023, Pflugerville’s first-ever beer festival took place at Typhoon Texas Waterpark right off Highway 130. Wild West Brew Fest (WWBF) is an annual event run by the Rotary Club of Katy since 2012 (here’s our preview of their 2018 event, for a trip down history). Now the event has a second location, right here in Central Texas! The event is fully volunteer-run, and all proceeds are given back to the local community.
WWBF was actually a multi-day festival, starting with a golf tournament on Thursday, April 6th, and a launch party on Friday, April 7th. The golf tournament was held at The Golf Club at Star Ranch in Hutto and was a four-person scramble across 18 holes, with a Central Texas-style barbecue dinner and awards ceremony. The launch parties were held at five locations in Pflugerville: The Growler Bar, Spirit of Texas Brewstillery, Three Legged Goat, Big Country Organic Brewing, and Finley’s Kitchen & Bar (in Round Rock). Each of these locations held special events – Spirit of Texas released a whiskey barrel-aged brown ale just for the festival, The Growler Bar had several rare aged beers on tap, and Big Country Organic was celebrating its reopening after rebranding from Willard’s.
Then on Saturday, April 9th was the main event! Typhoon Texas provided a large and unique setting for a beer festival, with over 65 breweries attending, and over 30 local vendors as well. The festival was arranged in a loose circle around the waterpark, with plenty of space for each brewery or vendor to set up as they’d like. Some of the fun highlights were the Shiner car on the hill, Bear King’s photo van, No Label’s cornhole toss, HEB’s wheel spin, and Twisted Tea’s big inflatable couch. Compared to other beer festivals, this was a late one – VIP entry at 2 PM, general entry at 3, and the event ran until 9! The weather was as perfect as it could be: 70 degrees Fahrenheit and overcast (hey, this is my idea of perfect weather, but I’m sure many of you prefer the sunlight).
For the VIPs, there was a private section with four bars, each with a different selection of beer options not otherwise available at the festival, along with included food, swag, and a private stage with musical performances. The general audience had no shortage of options though, with over 150 beers and other hard beverages available and a public stage as well, with food available for purchase. Speaking of other beverages, there was a full wine tent, across from the “non-beer” section featuring Austin Eastcider’s cider, Meridian Hive’s mead, and Wild Ohio’s Hard Tea. On the hard seltzer front, there were Four Sixes, San Juan, a newcomer to the scene Picadas, and Austin local Blue Northern, premiering their new line of ranch water-themed seltzers.
Back to beer! There was a good mix of local, regional, and macro breweries in attendance. In the front were a number of craft breweries from around the state, including Wild Acre, Martin House, Equal Parts, and Altstadt. Making your way clockwise, you’ll also come across Austin locals Independence, Starbase, and Infamous. There were also a number of breweries from the greater Central Texas area, including Temple’s Fire Base, Killeen’s Phantom Warrior, and Dripping Spring’s Family Business. At this point was the stage, where you could stay for a bit and watch the live performances, which was right next to the double tent of the Pflugerville local and freshly rebranded Big Country Organic Brewing (and seltzer).
Continuing around, we pass by more local breweries Bear King, Jester King, and one of Austin’s newest breweries, Lass Haüs Ales. Next, we go by the previously mentioned wine and non-beer section, heading around the back of the waterpark where a number of larger breweries were presenting – Shiner, Yuengling, Boston Beer Company, and Odell. Passing through this area, we end up in a more open pavilion-type area (after spinning the HEB wheel), where you can find local favorites Meanwhile, Austin Beerworks, Whitestone, and Red Horn.
Almost done! Closing the loop towards the beginning, the final few breweries you might see are Celis, Boulevard, and Man Overboard, before returning to the entrance and beginning the loop again. Of course, you’re just as welcome to take the loop in the other direction too. Note that this was absolutely not a complete list, there were over twice as many breweries in attendance as were mentioned here!
If you missed it, WWBF was a huge success and will likely be returning next year, so be sure to check back here as we’ll be sure to share the dates as soon as they’re available.