The Austin Chronicle

Tap Dance

Who needs a three-martini lunch when there's beer?

By Brandon Watson, March 20, 2015, Food

Running all over town during SXSW can get stressful. The best thing to do would be to stop for a long lunch. And since you're already sitting, well, you know the rest.

Wright Bros. Brew & Brew

500 San Marcos St. #105, 512/493-0963

Brew & Brew is tiny – not much more than a long bar and a few seats – but it is packed with great things. There are 38 taps on rotation, featuring the best from local makers and a curated craft selection from elsewhere. That's all presented in an ingenious chalkboard grid that makes it easy to select beer by weight, hops, and alcohol content.

Hops & Grain Taproom

507 Calles

H&G's pale lager, The One They Call Zoe, is on menus all over town. No wonder, it's the perfect accompaniment to everything from saba sashimi to a veggie burger. It's even better when you have it at the source. But at the taproom, you also have the first taste of experimental brews. Some are weird, and some might eventually be canned, but all are worth raising your glass.

Hi Hat Public House

2121 E. Sixth, 512/478-8700

This is a beer list, but we would be remiss if we did not mention Hi Hat's duck confit nachos, a work of slacker high art, with pickled poblanos, roasted tomatoes, and fondue. It's the perfect thing to order with one of their carefully selected craft beers – a selection that ranges from crowd-pleasing IPAs to barleywines and farmhouse ales. And it's just far enough outside the SXSW hub to make it feel like a vacation.

Banger's Sausage House & Beer Garden

79 Rainey, 512/386-1656

Hot dog. Banger's knows beer as much as they know sausage. Ask anyone on the staff for a recommendation and they'll miraculously come out with the perfect blonde or triple. There's no better accompaniment for the slate of live music they have scheduled throughout the week.

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