ABGB is a throwback bar. We’d love to corner a few 65 year old Austin hippies to see if what we think is actually true. This beer garden would’ve been just as big a hit on a night out in the 60s or 70s. Freda and the Firedogs at The Split Rail, Legendary Stardust Cowboy at Little Wheel and…$1.50 pitchers in the beer garden at ABGB?The brewery’s only been around for three years but it feels like it opened up back in the 90s. There’s a weathered feel to the old building that we dash in and out of to get beer refills or order pizza.
But we spend as little time inside as possible. We always make our way to the patio and navigate around the toddlers and dogs til we find a peaceful little corner where we can get drunk and talk about the trains or moon over watching the Dicks at the Ritz.Does ABGB make the best beer in Austin? Arguing that they do not would be a fool’s errand.
After a few glasses of New American Girlfriend, Rocket 100 and Industry Pilz we’re left drunken and wondering if they’re not brewing the finest lagers in town although Live Oak might have something to say about that. We’d love to see Jester King try and pull off an ABGB-level lager. Wonder how that would work?There are no TV screens at ABGB. Football-mad Austinites will have to go elsewhere to watch the Longhorns win or lose. This space is kept pure for the bacchanalian senses: drinking, eating, and listening to music. Would that all breweries exercised such resolve.
And the outdoor space is a genuine garden with towering trees and plants, and people sitting around talking to strangers. Just like they used to do before wi-fi removed that from the partying equation.We’re now 500 miles from the hustle and thrum of Austin but we still love that old town. Just like NYC it’s a special treat to visit but just like Manhattan a little goes a long way. 1305 W Oltorf St, Austin, TX 78704
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