Where To Get A Coffee and Beer Buzz Around Austin
Autumn is upon us and the back-to-school season has begun!
As temperatures drop back into double digits, we all need a few go-to coffee and beer spots to post up and enjoy the beverages that help us reach peak productivity. Whether “productivity” for you means homework, work, or just making a decent dent in your Austin bucket list, here are a few noteworthy spots to frequent this Fall.
Nestled in a historic building on Cesar Chavez, Cenote is a peaceful oasis among Austin’s quickly-growing East Side, with an emphasis on providing a full range of locally sourced and organic offerings. The inner lounge is coffee-shop-cozy, while the palm-treed patio makes you feel like you’re at a chic cantina in Tulum.
The staff at Cenote offered some different insights into the origins of the concept behind Cenote. “When we opened five and a half years ago, not many people were doing both beer and coffee,” Ruben shared, “people wanted a place to have a beer that wasn’t a bar.” Jason gave an alternate explanation: “Beer makes you sleepy, so here you can also have a shot of espresso to wake you up.”
Beyond beer and coffee, Cenote also offers an eclectic wine list, some hearty menu items, and even lodging in their studio and one-bedroom vacation rental units.
What to drink
Suds: Austin Beer Works’ Pearlsnap Pilsner, or any of their other fresh local offerings.
Sips: Dirty iced chai with oat milk.
With over 30 rotating taps (including a dozen or so mainstay and experimental beers brewed in-house), Red Horn has one of the most diverse and impressively curated beer menus in Austin. When asked why Red Horn has so many taps versus other brewpubs that only serve their own beer, Red Horn’s Head Brewer Zach explained, “we want Red Horn to be a celebration of community.”
That strong community focus is clear from the multiple collaboration brews they release (most recently, Life by the Drop, a tart farmhouse witbier brewed with the soon-to-open Brewtorium), and how they prioritize giving back to the community. Red Horn hosts a wide array of events to support local nonprofits and community initiatives, from disaster relief fundraisers to cycling races. You can keep up with Red Horn’s active event schedule by following them on Facebook.
Not to be overlooked, Red Horn’s coffee is also on-point. They roast their own specialty coffees in-house, and the roaster is actually on the main floor of the taproom so everyone can enjoy watching the process.
What to drink
Suds: Whatever’s currently on tap that Red Horn’s Assistant Brewer Eric recommends (you won’t be disappointed).
Sips: Cold brew on Nitro. Creamy and served in a beer glass, this drink will almost make you think you’re actually drinking a stout.
For those looking for a take-home option for their craft beverages, Growler Room has you covered. More than just a place to fill your growler, Growler Room has both bar and table seating for you to stay a while and enjoy a cold brew ‘for here’ before you get it ‘to go.’
Dean, owner of Growler Room, serves up not only craft beer and cold brew coffee, but also new friendships and custom growlers he makes himself. Dean shared, “People become friends here. It’s like Cheers in here, this is where everyone knows your nickname!”
Beyond the benefit of making new friends, there are other incentives for frequenting the Growler Room. Those who Dean deems a ‘frequent and good customer’ are inducted into his club of regulars. And as with any exclusive club, Growler Room has its own initiation ceremony: those who are inducted into the Growler Club are presented with their own nickname-labeled stein, custom-engraved by Dean himself.
What to drink
Suds: Tallgrass Brewing Co.’s Key Lime Pie (served with a graham cracker rim)
Sips: Frios Mio! by Third Coast Coffee
Spokesman just opened in May, but is already adding its own colorful flair to Austin’s artsy South Side. Danielle from Spokesman explained: “We want to give the community a place to come hang out – a safe place to come and work or look at the art, where people aren’t intimidated and everyone knows they’re welcome.” The walls are covered with black and white murals hand-painted by Briks, a local artist. Briks painted Spokesman mostly in grayscale, but incorporated a rainbow-colored bike seat to highlight their pride in creating a welcoming environment for the whole community.
The bike theme doesn’t stop with the murals. Spokesman’s taps are all topped with colorful bike handles, and they have a custom-made bike rack crafted by their neighbors, Drophouse. Co-owner CJ is an avid cyclist and wanted to make sure there was plenty of space for customers to hang up their bikes when they come out for a beer.
“We love that we can get people that know a lot about beer and we can teach them about coffee, and vice versa,” Danielle said as she served up samples of her favorite beers and house-roasted espresso. “Spokesman’s Coffee Roaster Ethan does a ‘cupping’ on Fridays after roasting, where you can taste the flavors of their coffee at different stages in the roasting process.”
What to drink
Suds: Willin’ Mosaic Pale Ale from Brazos Valley.
Sips: Come out for Ethan’s cupping (usually around 4:20pm on Fridays) to get the full tasting experience for their Oaxacan and Ethiopian roasts.
The force is strong at Stouthouse. The owners of this relaxed and quirky coffee shop are big Star Wars fans, and you can tell by the little figurines and other thematic elements subtly incorporated into their bar decor. Stouthouse has Star Wars watch parties on May the fourth, and even sells shirts to commemorate the event. When it’s not May the fourth, a big projector above the bar is usually playing a football game or TV show to entertain customers as they enjoy their drinks and snack on deliciously stuffed pretzels. If you’re there to work and need to logon to wifi, just remember: Usetheforce.
Stouthaus’ Stormtrooper Espresso Machine
What to drink
Suds: Christie the Fruited Blonde, Hi Sign’s blonde ale made with blueberries.
Sips: Spiced vanilla latte – a seasonal special with syrup that’s made in-house.
There are plenty of other coffee and beer places around Austin like:
Please share with us your favorite coffee and beer spot in the comments below!