Texas Hill Country Breweries
It’s hard to say how many Breweries are in the Texas Hill Country these days, especially if you count all the Brew Houses in Austin. There has been an absolute explosion of small craft breweries in the region over the past decade, and the brew scene continues to grow. Two of the original Micro or Craft Breweries are not so micro anymore, are Altstadt and Real Ale, they continue to be two of our favorites.
ALSTSTADT BREWERY | FREDERICKSBURG!
Located a few miles east of downtown Fredericksburg, the Altstadt Brewery recently built a large castle-like building on the highway coming into town from Johnson City. Since it opened this has quickly become one of our favorite places in all the Texas HIll Country. They have a large German style beer hall, outstanding food, and of course outstanding beer. Amenities also include a traditional bar and restaurant. Since covid hit, we have not been inside the grand hall that celebrates a fun Octoberfest like atmosphere year round. Whether you are touring the area or planning on making a special trip, Altstadt is definitely worth a visit.
JESTER KING | AUSTIN
The local Austin favorite is located just a few miles from our home base and about 20 minutes from downtown Austin. It features a large ranch style property with a huge barn house with family style seating. You typically need a reservation and the wait times for food can take a while. Menu offerings include pizza, charcuterie boards featuring local cheese and the house made sourdough bread, specialty appetizers and dips round out a menu built to perfectly compliment your beverage of choice. Beverage selections include mainly craft beers and ciders. No alcohol or wine, although there are occasionally guest wine tastings featuring local vineyards . The beer selection is outstanding and the scenery and ambience are top notch. They feature live music, so keep an eye on their billing and music schedule.
There is also another brewery and one very cool distillery just down the road.
REAL ALE BREWING | BLANCO
Full disclosure, one of our good buddies works for Real Ale so we are a little biased about this one. Real Ale is located in Blanco and is one of the largest Microbreweries in Texas. They have a large selection of beers and you can buy nice IPA’s as well as other non-American style loggers in most convenience and grocery stores around Texas. They have a nice tasting room bar area that overlooks the massive bottling warehouse, and that alone is worth the trip to this iconic Texas Brewery.
The real gem of Real Ale is their annual party. It’s something we circle on the calendar every year. They have A LOT of beer and some decent music to draw in big crowds from all over. The first time I went to this party my good buddy took me on a behind the scenes tour of the place. The entire time we were walking around him and his co-workers would hi-five each other as they walked by. They had this look on their face like “Do you know what’s so awesome about today?” Answer “We work in a brewery”
BEAR KING BREWING | MARBLE FALLS
Located in downtown Marble Falls, Bear King is now one of the major hot spots in this lake town. It’s one of the newer breweries we visit in the Texas Hill Country, it’s a nice addition to the area. If you’re looking for something a little different and on the sweet side try their chocolate marshmallow milk stout. The simple craft user friendly menu includes appetizers, burgers and unique tacos. Many televisions make this spot a perfect place to catch a game near round.
BANDERA BREWERY | BANDERA
This Brewery is a pleasant drive out from San Antonio, and then lucky you! Bandera brewery is a hidden Gem. With an ever changing craft beer menu that had an SNL theme when we visited, featured brews such as “I Live in a Van Down By the River!”, a Dark Red Ale and for you IPA lovers, give “Your Mother Was a Hamster” a try. This spot is a must stop, with plenty of space for every one. Their indoor facility boasts a huge dance floor, a family style seating area, and a bandstand directly underneath a big screen TV so you can keep your eyes on the live entertainment in house and your favorite team at the same time.
They have a large shared game shelf, or you can bring your own. Head outside for some fresh air and a friendly game or two of cornhole. Family game nights are hosted regularly and a great way to interact with family, the community or swap stories with a fellow traveler.
TWISTED X BREWING COMPANY | DRIPPING SPRINGS
You can’t have a brew tour, virtual or in person, and not talk about Twisted X. Deep in the heart of Dripping Springs, this fun tasting room offers an ever changing choice of brews. Craft lagers, popular IPAs, and refreshing pilsners are always in rotation, along with a few house made hard seltzers. The Prickly Pear Hard Seltzer is delicious and refreshing on a hot Texas afternoon. Snacks are available, but the menu is very limited. Stop in for a flight and taste a bit of everything.
ROUGH DIAMOND BREWERY | SPRING BRANCH
Truly a “Diamond in the Rough”, this Hill Country brewery offers a unique trip for your palate. Set on 6.5 of pristine land, the tasting room offers views of the Twin Sisters, two distinct peaks set high peaks that are featured on the logo. The owner and Master Crafter, Costa, creates his signature and seasonal brews with exotic flavors not found in your typical craft brews. Costa was born in Greece and traveled the world before settling in Texas, and he brings with him a wealth of knowledge about flavors and essences that compliment and balance.
Make sure you give the Sunset Lager a try, and the Underground Oatmeal Stout is a great, thick brew and a perfect finish to an evening in the Hill Country.
BARROW BREWING CO. | SALADO
Every Brewery has an origin story, and Barrow Brewing Co. is not different. Founded by an airline pilot, someone used to performing in an environment where your equipment, your crew, and your decisions can make or break you, and he brings these same standards to their processes. Ever building on their base line of brews available year round, and seasonally introducing brews inspired by their experiences and the people in their community, these brews are sure to delight and impress you. The Evil Catfish IPA is a favorite, and the Big Bubbly Blonde is just what you need while you listen to the calm bubbling of the Salado Creek that runs along the property.
SAVE THE WORLD BREWING CO | MARBLE FALLS
A Marble Falls institution, Save the World Brewing Co. not only produces fun, quality craft brews but is also to a 100% philanthropic approach. All profits go to charity. Habitat for Humanity, Meals on Wheels, the local food pantries, recovery houses, if there is a list of humanitarian sponsors, you are certain to find their name on the list.
They’re super nice people, and the atmosphere they’ve created at this one of a kind local hot spot is pretty cool.
Stop by on Thirsty Thursday, enjoy a Lux Mundi Patersbier while participating in themed trivia nights. Cornhole, ring toss, and ladder toss are also available to keep you entertained. The brewery is family and pet friendly. Their website is in depth and informative.
THE DODGING DUCK | BOERNE
“The Duck” as it is known locally is situated on the Cibolo Creek in a refurbished farmhouse. Offering indoor and outdoor seating, a regional contemporary menu with fresh ingredients that allows for a vast menu, everything from Akayushi or Bison burgers to plates that will satisfy the most discerning vegetarians and vegans.
The Harvey Duckman Kolsch and Big Duck IPA are in house favorites, and I personally can’t wait to go and try the Quackin’ Berry Blueberry Sour.
Live music is enjoyed almost nightly. As with most of these hot spots, family friendly and well behaved, leashed four legged besties are welcome.
BOERNE BREWERY | BOERNE
A Brewhaus that purposefully stays small to actively keep production quality at a high level, this group of crafters take their beer seriously. Located on an old Farmstead previously owned by a family after which a huge local Father’s Day celebration known as “Berges Fest, their new building features a treasure trove of fun items found buried on the property. Stop by for a tour and test out the Willys ESB, and English Extra Special Bitter that immigrated from England to Boerne in 1878. Looking for a Texas twist on a German classic, try the Denim-Hosen. It doesn’t disappoint.
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