National Beer Day is April 7th, which means it's time to put your drinking hats on. However, instead of grabbing some Natural Light — Budweiser's college beer — head out to some of our local Austin breweries for high quality beer in cool locations. Here's a list of some of Austin's best breweries to check out in time for National Beer Day.
Located a few blocks from the airport, Live Oak Brewing Company is one of the best Austin breweries. It is the perfect place to spend an afternoon sitting in the shade of some oak trees, sipping on some delicious beers. The Pilz is the perfect brew to start with if you are new to the craft beer scene, and the limited-offering Schwarzbier is also delicious. All of Live Oak's beers are made to be sipped on while chatting with friends in their beautiful outdoor biergarten.
Jester King Brewery is a little off the beaten path, but it's well worth it. About a 40-minute drive southwest of Austin (almost to Dripping Springs), you eventually take what looks to be a farm road until you reach a large parking lot. The brewery sits on a hill with a beautiful view of the Hill Country sunset. Close to the brewery is Stanley's Farmhouse Pizza, which serves up delicious pies with adorable barn-style seating. Jester King's beers are farmhouse style, which means they have a lower level of carbonation than typical beers. If you never had one, Le Petit Prince is a great farmhouse table beer to start with.
Hidden among warehouses in South Austin, St. Elmo Brewing Company is one of my favorite breweries. The biergarten is cute and a little hipster, with minimalist picnic tables and a food truck in the corner. They use many different flavors in their beer, which makes it taste a little more flowery than regular beers. My favorite is the Chico, a pale ale with a hint of grapefruit and an ABV (alcohol by volume) of 5.3%. You should also try the Carl, a German-brewed beer that tastes a little like grapes, as well as the Slater, an American IPA (India pale ale).
If you have ever seen a can with a giant red "A" on it, you've seen Austin Beerworks, one of the Austin's most iconic breweries. Their beers come in colorfully designed cans that scream for you to try them, and try them you should — almost all of their beers have won awards from various beer critics. If you love a bold, hoppy taste, try their top beer, the American IPA called Fire Eagle. Another good option is the classic Peacemaker, which happens to be the first beer they've brewed. Its ABV of 5.0% makes it perfect for when you want something to drink, but don't want to get drunk.
Quite possibly my favorite beer can design is Independence Brewing Company's Power & Light Pale Ale, which looks like something inspired from an F. Scott Fiztgerald novel. But in all seriousness, Independence offers some delicious beers such as their Berliner Weisse-style Red Bud, which has unique flavors you may have never tasted before. If you're looking for a more substantial beer, try their Oatmeal Stout or Convict Hill.
Out of all of the Austin breweries, Hops and Grain takes the prize for being the most sustainable craft brewery. Located in East Austin, they offer beers such as their famous Zoe, an American Pale Lager that comes in a bright orange can you can't miss, as well as their Dispensary Pale Ale, which has a pretty color and tastes just as great.
Hopefully, reading through this list of Austin's best breweries has got you hyped for National Beer Day. Get ready to get out there on the April 7th and drink with your fellow Austinites to ring in this special day.