My daughter is in to the comic/game/sci-fi/cosplay stuff, so my wife and I agreed to visit her and go on a family outing to RTX. Rooster Teeth, a company well-known for their web-series and gaming content, hosts RTX every July in Austin, Texas. As with other comic-style conventions, people attend dressed-up as their favorite characters. My daughter went as Black Cat from the Spider-man comics, my wife was Tank Girl costume (both designed and handmade their own outfits), and I had on a Captain America shirt. Yes, I know I was the party pooper, but it was my duty to take all of the photos of the two with other cosplayers and fans. But wait a minute, where is the beer and music? While there weren’t any beer booths at the convention, Mike’s Hard Lemonade was hosting a bull-riding machine in the shape of a mirror-covered shark. As there was no beer, my wife thought: why not get some pictures riding a disco shark?
Austin is well known for its music seen. From the “Austin City Limits” show on PBS to the many nightclubs, music is everywhere. There is not a single bar or club that does not offer live entertainment! During previous visits to Austin, my wife got to sit in on the filming of “Austin City Limits”, visit tap houses and listen to bands. We thought this trip would be a great opportunity to visit some of the local breweries.
My wife and I arrived in Austin a little after noon on a Thursday. After setting up the 5th wheel, we headed out for some food and to find the Hops and Grain Brewery. It is tucked behind an industrial park, resulting in a less-than-inviting exterior. However, inside was not bad and my wife ordered her flight. As I am not a beer drinker and usually hold the position of designated driver during our trips, there isn’t much for me at breweries that do not also serve food. Thus far, I have found two breweries that offer their own root beer on tap and have greatly appreciated it. But I digress.
The beer was not all that interesting. The ones my wife tried were good, but not especially noteworthy. Her flight consisted of: ALTeration, Zoe (a pale lager), Porter Culture (a Baltic Porter with a hint of coffee), and Maibock (a bock style beer). The most interesting part was the fact that they also sold dog biscuits. Apparently instead of dumping the spent grains from the brewing process they use them to make dog treats. I thought that was pretty cool.
The next day we stopped at Adelbert’s Brewery. While it was also in an industrial park, it was far more inviting. We arrived just as they were opening and it quickly became packed. Here, when you order a flight, you get an 8oz glass that you can keep and your choice of 4 samples. But be warned, beer with a higher alcohol content can count as two samples. My wife went up to order her flight while my daughter and I waited. She finally returned to the table carrying a very large sample of beer. Apparently, she found common ground with the lady behind the bar and were busy friending each other on Facebook. Every sample Lucy tried was a hit. The people were very nice and friendly, but no music that night. The beer was excellent and can be purchased in many places around Texas.
The last brewery we went to in Austin was a little out of the city. The Jester King Brewery is an open venue situated on a working ranch. It can be a little hard to find, but well worth the effort. It has a great family atmosphere with large shady trees and boasts wood fired pizza place which shares the property. Stanley’s Farm House Pizza alone is worth stopping for. The area is dog-friendly and they have a sand box for kids to play in. Despite the outdoor environment, the brewery and pizza house are both very clean. They also recycle and compost all the leftover boxes. It was difficult to get a flight, as the beer list was extremely long. Instead, Lucy enjoyed a couple of samples. I wish we were there when they offered live music, but our bad luck on this trip was continuing: no music. If you are in Austin, I would strongly suggest stopping by the Jester King Brewery. With such a long list of beers, there is sure to be something for everyone.