With all that is happening in the Austin beer scene, it is hard to keep track of what breweries are in the process of opening around town. Needless to say, the Austin scene is exploding!
This upcoming Austin Breweries, biannual article is mostly focusing on the breweries that currently have locations, most of which are already under construction or about to release their beers. It includes updates from the previous article in June and new breweries that are just starting the process.
New breweries added to this list since June’s edition:
Destination Brewing Company
Family Business Beer Company
LeRoy & Lewis
NLand Surf Park
Southern Heights Brewing
Texas French Bread
Current breweries/brewpubs in operation within 50 miles of Austin (at the time of this article): 63
Acopon will be the new name for the Barber Shop’s brewing operations in Dripping Springs. Basically, the brewing operation is moving two doors down from the current Barber Shop bar, brewing will cease at the current location, and the new building will open as a brewpub under the Acopon name. The focus will be on English style ales, with plans to tap a cask every weekend, but they will not limit themselves to just that style. Using their 3.5bbl system, they plan on having four core beers along with other rotational beers sold primarily on site.
For those who are curious, Acopon is an Old English word meaning restorative.
This Detroit based brewery is going to be brew out out of the Celis location, to begin with, in what some refer to as the Brewery District of North Austin. Not much to really say about Atwater, but they have been flying under the radar for the (what I believe will be) 3rd out of state craft brewery to open up shop in Texas.
As far as how long it takes before they open, I will leave that update for Celis further down the list.
The Brewer’s Table
This future brewery is the brainchild of Jake Maddux (formerly of Salt & Time, Thirsty Planet, New Belgium and Anchor) and Chef Zach Hunter (formerly of Fixe). Located in east Austin at 5th Street and Springdale Rd, this restaurant/brewery has been in the works for quite some time. The concept will be based off of wood: wood fired food and wood fermented lagers made with oak foeders. The plans include to have a large number of guest taps along with their own house beers.
February 2017 Update: City permits are getting approved and the work is about to begin at the facility. The current aim is to have the facility open sometime in the late summer area.
The Brewtorium crew (Chris Rauschuber and Whitney Roberts) will be opening a casual brewpub in North Austin. As far as the beer line up goes, they are thinking of having 5 Constant Beers on tap with the Austin craft beer drinkers in mind.. These beers will be focused on being able to enjoy them over a couple of hours with friends and good food. All but one of these will be falling in just around 5%; the exception being their Propeller Head IPA. As Whitney put it, “These beers are all full of flavor, but don’t come with the potential nap-inducing effect of higher ABV beers.”
But, they will not be limited to just their Constant Beers. The variable lineup will be much more complex with other higher ABV beers. These will include Belgians, English Ales, Sours, Hybrids, Experimental releases, and Barrel-Aged beers. Eventually, they would like to have up to 12 beer available on tap!
For the food, they are focused on elevated pub fare with an emphasis on fresh and interesting ingredients. Every food item on the menu should pair up with a specific house beer.
February 2017 Update: It is actually happening! Location has been secured near the old Highland Mall (off of Airport Blvd) in North Austin. The location, which will be a short 5 minute walk from the Highland Metro Rail Station (hey, another brewery for the Red Line Brewery tours), will include over 10,000 square feet of space. Expect to see them open sometime around late summer.
There has been a lot more publicity about this place over the last couple of months. Christine Celis, who is bringing back her father’s original Celis recipes back to the Austin market under the original Celis name, look to be finishing construction around May of this year. The equipment is all starting to arrive and the brewhouse is already in place. Along with the new system, Celis is bringing back her father’s original system from Hoegaarden, Belgium, to display as part operational, part as museum piece. The taproom is utilizing an original copper tank, that has been cut in half, to serve as the centerpiece of the bar.
February 2017 Update: As of this month, Celis became their official name again from Flemish Fox. They had been looking to get the naming rights back for years, so it is great to hear that they can do it under the name that it should be under. Look for the beer in late spring or early summer. It sounds like some of the first beers that they will brew will be IPAs (surprisingly) and then working towards the rest of their core lineup. These will include a NE IPA and a Belgian IPA. The museum is likely going to be on a longer time frame.
Destination Brewing Company
Destination is going to be a new brewery operating out of Infamous Brewing Company. One goal is to “promote global tourism and travel by introducing people to different styles of beer from all over the world through our brand and products,” as owner/founder Justin Berry put it. Expect to start seeing their first Irish Red Ale sometime around March. From there, the plan is to brew a variety of beers from various regions of the world.
Family Business Beer Company
The Dripping Spring’s area is definitely making it’s name known on this list. Family Business is yet another brewery opening in that area of the Hill Country. Located off of Hamilton Pool Road, this family run brewery will be operating on 15 acres of land with Nate Seal, original head brewer from (512), as their brewer. The beers will cover a wide spectrum of craft beers, with a barrel aging program and a few Brett beers.
On site, there will be a tasting room, that opens to a large oak grove outside. Expect a variety of outdoor activities like horseshoes, corn-hole, and others. Food trucks will be providing food, along with live music. Plans are to have taproom hours Thursday through Sunday. Current projections has the brewery opening sometime in May.
Flying Man Brewery
Veteran owned Flying Man Brewery is opening in the old Rogness Brewing location. The name comes from both of the owner’s hobbies of hang gliding and paragliding.
The current plans have them opening with a 30bbl brewhouse, a large taproom (with extended hours), a nice outdoor patio, and a steady supply of food trucks. The beer will come from a mixture of their backgrounds – one of which is from the East Coast and one from the West Coast. Expect to see a heavy rotation of beers on tap due to their additional 1/2bbl pilot system.
February 2017 Update: Construction is ongoing. While there have been some delays, most of the permits are in place and they are working towards a May opening. Like most opening breweries around Austin, that date is very fluid.
Friends & Allies
This new East Austin brewery are the workings of Ben Sabin (formerly of Thirsty Planet) and Devon Ponds (formerly with Lost Abbey/Port Brewing). It will be located off of Springdale Road near Airport Boulevard. The initial offering should include a Session IPA (named Noisy Cricket), a West Coast styled IPA, a Belgian Table Beer, along with a slew of other seasonal offerings.
February 2017 Update: Construction is finishing up and we should see the brewery open within the next month.
Kamala Garden Brewing
Dipak Topiwala (formerly of Kamala Brewing/Whip In) is heading up this new brewery. The basic concept will be a mash up of Twisted X, Kamala Brewing, and Jester King. Plans include an onsite kitchen featuring Indian spiced pizzas called “Naanzzas.”
As far as the beer goes, they plan on making both fresh and aged ales as well as lagers. “The brewery will craft quaffs of the fresh type-specific varieties we all enjoy daily along with a cellar of barrel aged ales beers cultivated with wild & sour yeasts.” Guest beers will also be on tap.
Along with this, plans are to have an outdoor stage with nightly live music. Most of the music will be focused on folk, country, Indian and bluegrass Americana styles.
In the meantime, they are brewing with NXNW to get some of their beers on tap around town.
February 2017 Update: Land negotiations are continuing for a location near Dripping Springs. No set opening date. Expect them to continue contract brewing with local breweries for the time being.
LeRoy & Lewis
This is a BBQ restaurant/brewery that will opening off of 290 towards Dripping Springs. While the brewery part is not expected to open until 2018, they do know that their focus will be on American and German lagers, wheat beers, American inspired craft ales, as well as a barrel aging program. Nathan Lewis, who will be an alum of Karbach and Austin Beerworks, plans to head up the beer side of the business.
NLand Surf Park
A yet to be named brewpub will be operating out of the NLand Surf Park. Todd Henry (formerly of Independence and Lovejoy’s) will be leading up the location. There is not an ETA for opening at this time.
As many people know, there were a couple of releases of their Saison under the Oddwood Ales name through Adelbert’s. Well, they have decided to go full on with their own location and taproom.
As far as their new facility goes, they have a location near Airport and Manor. They do plan on having a rotating tap and bottle list with “no real ‘flagship’ beer per se.” The plan is to be selling bottles and growlers to go from the taproom. Oddwood’s taproom is aiming to have a cozy, neighborhood feel to it with a ambitious rotating tap list. Distribution will be hyper local.
The focus on beer will be on wild/sour ales, hoppy American styles and seasonally driven creations. Expect a lot of brettanomyces and oak inspired releases. With all of that said, they are planning on moving away from making the Saison and Taming the Wild Beast. They do think they are great beers, but are changing focus slightly on future beers.
February 2017 Update: Late Spring is their best estimate at this point. Construction is ongoing.
Orf has a warehouse location off of Burleson that has required some major renovations before they can open. Orf, who is also the owner’s name, has been part of the Austin Improv Collective for quite some time. He hopes to incorporate a movable stage into the taproom and host improv shows along with brewery tours. The mainstays for beer are all described as “hybrid” beers that do not meet to any specific style. For more details on the beer, you can see them on their website linked below.
February 2017 Update: All permits are in, and beer is starting to be brewed. Granted, Orf is starting on a small pilot system to begin with, but he is brewing. Expect for the first beers to be coming out sometime around Spring Break.
While there is a name in that likely will be used, due to copyright reasons, I was asked not to list it yet. With that said, this will be Forrest Rogness’ venture after Rogness shut down operations in 2016. It will likely be located off of Pecan Street in Pflugerville. Expect a restaurant/brewpub with a goal of at least one new beer every week. The plans currently have it opening sometime in the fall.
Sam Bass Brewing Company
This brewery was listed as Feral Tun on the previous edition of the article, but has since switched it’s name to Skull Mechanix. Opening in South Austin, near where St. Elmo’s location is, this future brewpub is looking to open likely in 2018. With that said, they do have a location secure. I should know more about Skull Mechanix in the next revision of this article.
Southern Heights Brewing Company
Suds Monkey Brewing Company
This future nano-brewery (brewing on only a 1/2bbl system) is located near 290 heading towards Dripping Springs. The head brewer has previously worked as a brewer at Stone and BJ’s Brewhouse before deciding he wanted to go his own route. He quit Stone in 2002 and started the long process of saving up money with the intentions of opening up a brewery of his own.
February 2017 Update: The current time frame has Suds opening sometime this spring.
Texas French Bread
The bakery place near campus? Yes, exactly that place. Texas French Bread received their brewpub license at some point last year with plans to start brewing test batches already. While they likely will not have an official launch until May, they may have some smaller batches of beer on tap before then. The two batches currently being worked on are a dry hopped table beer and an IPA, but they do expect a large rotation of beer. The system they are using is only a 2bbl system, so do not expect any wide distribution (if any).
Located in North Austin behind iFly off of 183, Uncultured Ales will be focused on mixed culture and spontaneously fermented oak barrel aged beers. Due to this, expect them to be a very limited production brewery, to the order of only a couple hundred barrels of beer a year. The current goal is to open the doors sometime likely in early 2018.
This future brewery will be located in the Driftwood area with plans to be a destination spot. Currently, they have 21 acres of untouched Texas ranch land with over 500 Live Oak trees to provide shade. This venue will likely include a “farm-to-fork” restaurant, cottages, 5 acre farm, and a 3 acre beer garden.
For the brewery itself, expect the focus to be on approachable, balanced, sessionable beers of all styles. Along with this, there are plans to brew a series of beers based on the Texas Hill Country. These will be brewed with local ingredients including fruits and herbs grown on site, honey from their apiary, and select beers being aged in locally sourced barrels from the wine and distilling community.
February 2017 Update: Vista Brewing is going to break ground on their land this spring.
Other Future Prospects and News:
Further down the road, it looks like Hopfields could be looking into a second location with a brewery. You can see the investment information on that location here: http://hopfieldsaustin.com/intro/. Since that is in it’s very early phases, I chose not to include that as it’s own entry.
Guns & Oil Brewing has officially pulled out of looking into a downtown Austin location. They have been on this list for quite some time, but it appears that project will no longer be moving forward. I know they had been struggling with the city on getting everything in place. They mentioned that maybe in 12-18 months, they could begin looking at other options for a new brewery somewhere (likely not in Austin city limits). Until then, they will continue contract brewing their beer.
Jester King’s former head brewer Garrett Crowell is still looking at opening a place out in Johnson City. Until anything permanent is known on that, I am just leaving that as a future prospect. You can read more about that project here: http://goodbeerhunting.com/sightlines/2016/12/21/jester-king-head-brewer-leaves-to-start-own-brewery
A couple of other breweries are in the works. I was asked not to include them on here until they have an official press release, which I will honor. So, until then, there may or may not be other projects in the works.
This section is not meant to go into many details, just give updates on where some established breweries are in building out new locations.
(512) is looking at expanding in the distant future. The future location is near Independence Brewing south of Burleson. Current projections have them almost quadrupling their output when they do open. If you have been to their current brewery recently, you know that there is no more room to expand there.
Even with this new facility, there still are no plans to regularly bottle/can their beer, but it will offer extended taproom hours
February 2017 Update: Current goal is to open in the first half of 2018.
Hops and Grain (“Ranch” Location)
This location still seems to be flying under the radar. It is still in the works for far East Austin (out near 130 and FM 969). Currently, they are waiting for their TTB and TABC permits before they can move any further forward. As soon as those come through, they plan to start relocating all of their barrels to this location. Hops and Grain will be trucking wort from their original brewery over to this location for all of the fermentation. Phase Two of this project will be eventually building out a taproom as soon as they have a good amount of beer available. Eventually, they want to have a dedicated brewing system at that location.
February 2017 Update: While this project is still in the works, the main focus for H&G is to complete the San Marcos location. Once that is complete, the focus can shift back to this location. There is still optimism that this can be completed by the end of this year.
Hops and Grain (San Marcos Location)
Most of the information on this can be seen on their crowdfunding/investing site that they have going (which can be seen here: https://wefunder.com/hopsandgrain), I will not go much into this other than it being a downtown San Marcos location that will be focused on production and having a taproom. Each location will serve it’s own beer.
February 2017 Update: Construction is ongoing and the plans currently put them opening their taproom in late summer (August/September).
Thirsty Planet Brewing
Thirsty Planet is moving closer to Austin. They have recently acquired a 60,000 sq. ft. facility located at 8201 S. Congress Ave. This will provide them with a larger variety of specialty and seasonal beers as well as larger distribution.
February 2017 Update: Construction is ongoing and the current plans have them starting up their production lines sometime around April. The future taproom will likely open sometime in mid-to-late summer.
Opened Since the Last Article:
Altmeyer & Lewis Brewing
A&L has been in the planning phases since 2012. After receiving both their TABC and TTB licenses last summer, they are hoping for distribution and taproom/tour hours in 2016. Plans are to begin with 2 lagers and 2 ales, which all will be kegged and distributed locally. Eventually, they will start canning their beers and shipping them to San Antonio and Austin.
February 2017 Update: A&L officially opened their doors in the fall of 2016. They currently have weekend hours at their brewery just south of San Marcos.
Austin Beerworks (Expansion)
The new taproom and expansion is now completed. Not much more can be said about this that you do not already know.
Hi Sign Brewing
Located at 1201 Bastrop Hwy (near the new location for Live Oak), this brewery will consist of a 15bbl system, taproom, and large outdoor space. The starting four beers include a New England IPA, a blood orange coffee stout, a pale ale and a blonde. The brewery itself sounds like it should be a great destination spot for that area too. As Mark Phillippe, one of the founder’s of Hi Sign, put it, “We’ve got an acre of beautiful green space out back for a huge beergarden not seen within the city limits (aside from Live Oak).”
February 2017 Update: As of this month, Hi Sign has officially soft opened their doors (currently hours are Wednesday through Sunday). Expect them to have their Grand Opening party sometime in March.
Idle Vine Brewing
Idle Vine has secured their location in Pflugerville (just east of I-35). They will be focusing on an American Pale, Rye IPA, English Porter, and Session Ale.as their core beers. Along with this, there will be one seasonal per season, and the rest of their 12 taps will be from their rotating pilot batches. Expect a brewpub feel with TVs, wifi, open often, and to-go beers.
February 2017 Update: Production is in full swing and the grand opening has happened last month. Current taproom hours have them open Thursday through Sunday.
Lazarus Brewing has secured a location on the east side of Austin (near Zilker Brewing). Christian, one of the founders, described what they are going for as more of a West Coast feel for the place. “I’ve been deeply influenced by what I would call a ‘west coast’ style of brewery: small, cool space, zero distribution, super intriguing beers, and if you want to try it you’re going to have to come and get it here. Maybe start by thinking of Jester King and ABGB, but then throw in some Portland funk with a distinct neighborhood feel (and add coffee and comfy seating).” They do plan on having the “go-to” beers that will consist of IPAs, Stouts, and Pale Ales. Along with these, they will be having a barrel aging program in addition to “special beers” that may consist of more Belgian styles.
February 2017 Update: Lazarus officially opened their doors in December of this year. It also seems to have one of the fastest growing taplists for a new brewery in town (somewhere around 10 beers were on tap the last time I visited).
Oskar Blues will be opening a 50,000 square foot brewery with a 5,000 square foot taproom in North Austin (10420 Metric Blvd). Located across the street from 4th Tap, Oskar Blues is planning on having a live music venue there as well. Expect more of the same great Oskar Blues beers and barrel ageing programs.
February 2017 Update: Not all that much needs to be said here either other than their doors have officially opened since the last article. Most people know OB’s beer by now and it can be enjoyed fresh from their North Austin taproom.
Osmo’s Daughter Brewing – Beta Brewhouse
They have been operational out of their temporary location called Beta Brewhouse. Their current hours are updated on their facebook page and seem to be doing weekend tastings. The build out of the actual location is ongoing and should be completed sometime this year.
Ruggedman Brewing Company
This brewery gets the honor of jumping straight to the completed section as I did not know about this place until they were basically open. Located near the outlet malls in San Marcos, this brewery has had their doors open for around a month now. Started by three ex-marines, they are currently operating with a 7bbl brewhouse and a 1/2 barrel pilot batch system. Expect a heavy rotation of beers, and since they have a brewpub license, beer to go.
St. Elmo Brewing Company
St. Elmo is the works of two Austin Beerworks alum: Bryan Winslow, and Tim Bullock. Opening up off of St. Elmo Road in south Austin, they will be having a 15bbl brewhouse. Along with that, they hope to operate similar to a brewpub, having most of their sales on site as opposed to through distribution. When they eventually can keep up with their production, they will be sending beers to limited accounts.
As for the beers themselves, they will be focused on “Everyday Beer.” The starting three core beers will be Carl (Kolsch), Chico (Pale Ale), and Angus (Dry Stout). Freshness will be one of the key focuses of the beer, and will be best when drank fresh. One of the ways to do this is by having most of the sales directly at the brewery. Another aspect will be that most of the beers will be at less than 6% ABV. They plan to have 5-6 house beers when they open and expanding to 8-10 a little further down the road.
February 2017 Update: The doors have been open for a couple of months now and have already expanded their tap list quite a bit. They are currently are open 6 days a week (minus Mondays) and have an excellent food truck on site (Soursop).
Thousand Oaks Brewing
Thousand Oaks is currently operational up in Cedar Park. They opened shortly after the last edition of this article in the old Ironsight location. The taproom is open on Fridays and Saturdays.
Two Wheel Brewing
This future Buda brewery is just south of Buda off of Loop 4. The building itself is around 5,000 sq ft with 1,200 dedicated to their taproom.
As far as the beer goes, their initial focus will be on brewing a Blonde Ale, Pale Ale, and other European styles: Kolsch, Altbier, bitter, etc. They do plan on adding an IPA eventually, along with a list of seasonal offerings.
February 2017 Update: I am putting this one as complete even though their doors may not officially be open. They have started to brew beer and expect to have to send their first beer out sometime in late February/early March.