ABGB's soft opening week is drawing to a close as the new brew pub prepares to slam and go hard for Austin beer connoisseurs and plain old drunks.
We ran by last night to take the lay of the land and peer behind the curtains at the inner workings of brewers Brian Peters and Amos Lowe's shiny new eatery in South Austin.
We knew the beer would be top flight given the men's resumes, which includes a who's who of Austin's finest breweries as well as national awards that are only doled out to the cream of the crop of beer makers in the US.
Head brewer Brian Peters name is spoken of with reverence by the national beer cognoscente.
After working through a handful of 10oz "half pours" ($2.50) and a few slices of pizza from the kitchen, we're ready to declare that there is a new and major player in the game in criminally under-served South Austin.
That Gretchen's Brown Ale is an absolute killer and brought back many fond memories of Gentleman's Relish from Lone Pint over in Magnolia.
Walking into the mammoth beer hall, you're immediately greeted by the pleasing lack of televisions. If zombie-ing out to the endless pleasures of Sportcenter is how you like to spend your out and about time, then keep stepping hoss. ABGB will be putting up a big screen for special events but day in and day out TV-watching will have to take place elsewhere.
We've watched some of our favorite watering holes in Austin devolve into sports bars so this is a welcome change of pace in football-mad Travis County.
Long tables on loan from ABW will soon be replaced by ones of hand-crafted Russian Red Cedar from the workshop of Travis Norman. The bier hall holds roughly a hundred and fifty people with plenty outdoor seating on the way for the smoking set.
Live music devotees will happily note that there is a stage on one end of the room where we're certain Butthole Surfers will play a surprise set at some point in the near future. Or maybe the Dicks. The cats running this joint were old school when they built the school so we would not be shocked to see either.
Looking forward to many a hazy evening spent at Austin Beer Garden and Brewery.
Regular Hours (beginning on Friday August 30th):
Closed Mondays (Open Labor Day!)
full Texas craft beer coverage http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/index.cfm/Austin-Cr