The Best Dark Beers in Austin

It's the best time of year for dark roasty ales


Courtesy of Vista Brewing

No, we aren't ready to abandon our loyalty to crispy golden lagers in favor of dark roasty ales like some beer snob version of Lincoln Riley just yet, but these are our 10 favorite local darks just in time for Uggs season.

(512) Brewing Company | Pecan Porter | 6.8% ABV No list of Austin icons goes without a mention of this inimitable, nutty classic that is enshrined on city tap walls from dive bars to high-end restaurants.

Live Oak | Primus Weizenbock | 8% ABV Primus is the dramatic, roasted, and malty cousin to Live Oak's internationally acclaimed hefeweizen. Features notes of holiday-season goodies like chocolate, caramel, and toffee.

Austin Beerworks | Sputnik Russian Imperial Coffee Oatmeal Stout | 8.5% ABV When the AC is crowned World Dictator of Austin, Sputnik RICO Stout Release Day will be a city holiday, young comrades will play ice hockey in the streets (each February), and Austin Beerworks' other outstanding dark beer, Black Thunder, will once again become a year-rounder. Vashe Zdorovie!

Zilker | Coffee Milk Stout | 5.8% ABV If there was such a thing as a year-round, dark ale, fridge beer, then Zilker's creamy, chocolatey, frankly delightful coffee milk stout would be the one. Are we afraid to drink rich, robust stouts in gale force heat? Reader, we are not.

Real Ale | Coffee Porter | 6.6% ABV Great news! The best coffee your Starbucks-lovin' ass will drink all day will be in your beer. As always, Real Ale integrates fresh, cold-brewed, organic, fair trade Katz Coffee just prior to packaging for that ideal double hit of booze and caffeine in this literally perfect seasonal brew.

Independence Brewing Company | Convict Hill Oatmeal Stout | 8.0% ABV Look, most of these selections aren't new beers or anything. But as one of those insufferable nostalgia dads, we gotta tell you to respect the classics. My kid is always trying to pitch DaBaby or Roddy Ricch to me on Hip-Hop Nation without ever dialing it back to Rock the Bells Radio. Convict Hill is the Scarface of Austin stouts. Let us pray.

The Brewtorium | Schwarzengiggles Schwarzbier | 5.2% ABV A lot of you aren't ready to hear this but dark lagers are 65.5% better than dark ales. Facts. You just gotta know where to find 'em good in the wild. Many good dark lagers are fostered at the Brewtorium, a famous place for beer in Austin. Schwarzengiggles is just one excellent representative of the style, but there are others there, too.

Southern Heights | Hoodie Weather Russian Imperial Stout | 10% ABV Hoodie Weather may have not yet crossed your radar, because this big, chewy, boozy bastard comes only from the diminutive Southern Heights taproom fridge, but knowing this kind of information will make you all edgy and cool with your pals when you show up to Friendsmas with a four-pack of this beer that relies on heavy lifting from vanilla bean, TCHO dark chocolate, and Red Horn coffee.

St. Elmo | Angus Dry Stout | 5.1% ABV One robust ass dry stout within a slight frame. Like that one bantam rock & rolla or whatever.

Vista Brewing | Dark Skies Black Pilsner | 4.9% ABV Now that we've got you on the dark lager train, try perhaps the best in Central Texas with notes of roasted marshmallow and coffee and fresh pastry. You just gotta know you're never going back.

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