We’re certain the brewers over at Live Oak, the premiere makers of Bavarian-style lagers in Austin, are rooting around in some Hill Country cave right now, wrestling some ancient, wooden barrels filled with Big Bark onto their beer vans.

It’s National Lager Day.

It was Big Bark, a solid coon’s age ago, that started us down the craft beer path via a chance meeting with master brewer Steve Anderson. We’ve never been the same. Nowadays, Austin is chock-a-block with note perfect lagers, but back then Live Oak was (nearly) the only game in town.

Five Texas beers to drink to celebrate this august day.

1) Live Oak Brewing. Big Bark, our favorite Austin lager by a country mile, and a hallmark of a carefully curated beer wall.

2) Deep Ellum Brewing Company. Double Brown Stout. This Baltic Porter is spot on with plenty oats and molasses notes in the flavor profile. Amp it up by pouring a shot of espresso and a tablespoon of your favorite bourbon straight into the glass.

3) Saint Arnold Brewing Company. Black Kolsch. Dark as midnight. The 900lb gorilla of Texas craft brewers, Saint Arnold appears to have invented this brew out of whole cloth.

4) Community Beer Company. Vienna Lager. Impossible to find in Austin unless you have a Dallas friend who can spirit it to Travis County. Community is famous for their ales but their lager work is at the top of the Texas game with this brew.

5) Austin Beer Works. Black Thunder. The ABW crew’s day in day out beers are near perfect (like this one) but it’s their specialty IPA Heavy Machinery series that has jaws dropping around Austin. Black Thunder looks like a stout, goes down like a pilsner and is nicely sessionable at just over 5% abv.

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