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Banger's Sausage House & Beer Garden

Tasty new eats in the central city for hungry ACL fans

Reviewed by Kenny Pailes, Fri., Oct. 12, 2012

New on the Menu
Photo by John Anderson

Banger's Sausage House & Beer Garden

79 & 81 Rainey; 386-1656
Sun.-Wed., 11am-11pm; Thu.-Sat., 11am-2am
www.bangersaustin.com

Since opening just ten weeks ago, Banger's has quickly gained a loyal following in that sardine can of popular cocktail lounges known as the Rainey Street Historic District. Owner Ben Siegel struck liquid gold with his first-ever concept, which strives to deliver an unrivaled "American-style beer garden" experience for both your pint glass and your plate.

The playful atmosphere of the roomy, communal-seating pub provides a subtle balance to the serious sophistication of the offerings behind the bar, where Austin's largest tap system awaits with over 100 spouts. From hand-pumped traditional cask ales (currently tapping a (512) Pecan Porter) and gluten-free drafts (including ginger kombucha and hard ciders) to limited-release specialties (like Real Ale's barrel-aged Mysterium Verum) and bitter bombs for hops fetishists (Bear Repub­lic Racer 5 possibly topping that list), the Bang­er's drink menu reads like the manifesto of a genius turned madman obsessed with suds.

While you would be more than satisfied enjoying the bar's frequent special events and live music (keep your ear to the ground: Reliable sources speak of a huge-name ACL Fest after-show in the works) with just your friends and a carefully drawn glass of brew, it would be a mistake to ignore the eats. The menu's obvious focus on a very specific form of food – some 26 varieties of sausage – is no gimmick. Every recipe was crafted by in-house chefs to evoke the art form that is sausage making. International traditions are honored here, and vegetarians will find inviting choices, as well (beet and goat cheese; broccoli and cheddar). The real stars of the show, though, are the exotic offerings like a duck, bacon, and fig frank, and the specialty dishes, headlined by fried chicken sausage.

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