Top 10 Local Seasonal Brews
Austin’s best rotating beers that ditched the beer shelves and our ventilated livers far too soon
In no particular order...
1) JESTER KING | Montmorency vs. Balaton (Spring) Sure, diggin' on Jester King is like, so mainstream, but who would've guessed their best season-specific beer isn't actually Atrial Rubicite (their legendary raspberry sour ale), but instead their barrel-aged cherry sour beer, Montmorency vs. Balaton, which absolutely slays with its sweetly tart tasting notes to its pugilist label art.
2) LIVE OAK BREWING COMPANY | Gold (Spring) Before you harass us over our Primus Weizenbock snub (you should), hear us out: Gold pilsner is much more relatable to the needs of overheated Austinites than a big, beefy 8% dark wheat lager. While Primus is a magnificent beer, we only get to enjoy a three-week autumn and a 20-minute winter where Primus thrives best. Gold is that clean, crisp, refreshing lager Austin not only needs, but the one it deserves.
3) REAL ALE BREWING COMPANY | Coffee Porter (Fall) Perhaps no other seasonal on the list does more damage to my holiday savings than Real Ale's Coffee Porter, with its deep and robust flavor profile, overt with notes of organic fair trade Katz Coffee farmed by magical elves on the moons of Saturn. Google tells me that's not true, but whatever. It's another sixer of coffee porter for you again this year, kids!
4) ZILKER BREWING CO. | Festbier (Fall) We're definitely NOT putting some puke pumpkin beer on this list, but we are certainly gonna celebrate the grandeur of autumn and all of its Oktoberfest glory as it ushers us into our safe space from another mediocre summer. Almost every brewery makes a Munich-style tribute beer to celebrate DRUNK SZN, but few do it like Zilker, a golden lager with a crisp yet malty flavor achieved by using a three-step mash process.
5) BLUE OWL BREWING | Little Gose (Spring) Sometimes goses taste like someone mixed La Croix and beer together, charged $6 for the pleasure of dehydrating every pore in your mouth, and called it a day. But not Little Gose! Little Gose tastes like it was handcrafted by kettle sour experts, because it damn well was. I mean, if you're the kind of person willing to go out on a limb with tart beers, why not get it from the brewery who makes that their everyday mission?
6) AUSTIN BEERWORKS | Sputnik Russian Imperial Oatmeal Stout (Winter) Hey, everyone! Let's just check in with local beer marvels and Canadian tux co-op, Austin Beerworks, to see what they're cooking up: Shit yes! Looks like it's STOUT MONTH! With the recent release of ABW's enrapturing Sputnik R.I.C.O. – a blend between Michael Bublé, Judas Priest, and Big Freedia's "Rudy, the Big Booty Reindeer" – comes a beer that is rich, complex, and pretty drunky.
7) CELIS | Dubbel Coffee Porter (Fall/Winter) I didn't think I could get over my self-seriousness for Celis White enough to enjoy a Celis seasonal beer, because why buy knock-off Celis when you can get the REAL DAMN DEAL, the Belgian full-throat witbier reinvented in Texas by legendary beer man and funny-accented Pierre Celis? Dubbel Coffee Porter is that cold-brewed disruptor, and frankly, such a hallmark beer that they should just keep it around permanently.
8) UNCLE BILLY'S | Texas Ruby Red Radler (Summer) Here's a brewery who is genuinely enthusiastic about being the boozy conduit to ACL Festival, Trail of Lights, and LARP meetings at Zilker Park. And while not the hype-iest brewery in Austin, they have a very nice program over there with a really great head brewer. One of his recipes, Texas Ruby Red Radler, is like a genuinely exhilarating, non-despicable version of a canned rosé.
9) VISTA | Laissez Faire Wild Brett Ale (Winter) Vista makes bangers up and down their menu, but Laissez Faire is a modern miracle. Aged for over four months in freshly emptied Montepulciano wine barrels, this pink-hued wild ale takes on a bubbly tropical fruit profile with additional dabs to rose and pear, making this beer our brunch replacement for Topo Chico. And tacos. We just drink this beer for brunch.
10) AUSTIN BEERWORKS | Super Awesome Helles Lager (Summer) This list easily could have just been an archive of ABW's last 10 seasonal beers and we could have cut out early for a boozy lunch. But for the sake of variety, we'll dote over them only twice. In a brewing town devoted to relieving you from summertime bitchassedness in the ribaldry heat, ABW gives us a cheat code with their GABF award-winning helles. ABW continues to know us better than we know ourselves.
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