When we lived in Houston for several years, it was fun to frequent the Ice Houses around town. They were really glorified garages with the doors pulled open and ice cold beer was served to you while seated around a picnic table. Once we moved to Austin, I longed for my days at the White Oak Ice House in the Heights, or the West Alabama Ice House. I was curious as to why Austin, with its more enjoyable weather, didn’t have these neighborly watering holes. Now, several years later, it looks as if Austin is catching up to the chill, hang out vibe Houston had. Austin now has several options offering picnic style seating where Austinites can sit among friends or even meet new friends while enjoying an ice cold beer. Not only do these spaces work well with the afternoon beer vibe, but several are multipurpose in their goal of keeping you around for most, if not all, of the day by having coffee in the morning, snack options, and beer in the afternoon and evenings.
Following are several options to begin the day productively, hopped up on caffeine then transitioning from a job well done and a celebratory beer.
RADIO Coffee and Beer is a place I tend to frequent for morning meetings with clients and coworkers. They have really good coffee, and the lattes are a cup of love as revealed by their baristas artwork of the milk foamed hearts. There is a warm and welcoming vibe inside, that feels like a really good old coffee house or pub, and if the weather’s nice, there’s ample room to spread out beneath the oak trees. Veracruz Food Truck serves up delicious tacos. I haven’t been there in the evening for beer, but they have a substantial list of local beers on tab, and have bluegrass bands playing on a regular basis to kick back and enjoy the surroundings.
I recently have stumbled upon COSMIC Coffee and Beer Garden. It is tucked away behind S. Congress on Pickle Road. They feature specialty coffee, locally brewed beer, craft cocktails, food trucks+live music in a permaculture inspired garden setting. There are several food trucks, and the area surrounding the interior space is vast, with plenty of room to have group meetings in the morning, bring along your computer and do work in a relaxed space, and then reward yourself later in the day with an ice cold beer from a local brewery. The area feels like an urban farm where kids can roam freely during the day.
Other spaces that are specific to beer and gathering that are fun to go to include St. Elmo’s Brewery. It is easy to get to, and fun to meet friends there to enjoy the vast assortment of beers on tap. Live Oak Brewery is also a fun afternoon or early evening spot, and the kids can run around under the giant oak trees while the adults enjoy a HefeWeizen or Live Oak Pilz. Support the locals! Jester King is a wandering journey down Fitzhugh Road, but well worth the trip. Many of their beers are award winning, and not your run of the mill variety. If you are willing to be adventurous in your beer tasting, Jester King is the place!
I know there are ample other spaces and places for both the coffee and beer lovers of Austin. Shoot me an email to let me know what else is out there for the exceptional outings around town. I look forward to Spring taking us all outdoors, gathering with coworkers and friends, enjoying a good local coffee or beer.