August drinking events calendar

Emma Janzen/American-Statesman. The Tigress Pub is one of the bars participating in Texas Tiki Week this year. On Mai Tai Tuesday, visit the North Loop bar for an $8 mai tai.
Emma Janzen/American-Statesman. The Tigress Pub is one of the bars participating in Texas Tiki Week this year. On Mai Tai Tuesday, visit the North Loop bar for an $8 mai tai.

Banger’s Third Anniversary Party, 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 1. More than 100 rare or highly rated beers will be on tap at this blowout of a bash. Plus, live music and a pig roast.

First Saturday at Independence Brewing, 12 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 1. The monthly tradition continues. Pay $12 for 3 of any of their beers or buy 4 oz., 10 oz., and 16 oz. options by the glass.

Texas Tiki Week, ongoing Monday, Aug. 3 through Sunday, Aug. 9. Let the seven days of boozy rum punches, bright tropical shirts and elaborate island décor commence at local bars.

Pint for Life Donor Nights Out, 6 to 8 p.m. every Thursday in August. Grab a pint of Real Ale at Doc’s Motorworks on 38th Street if you gave a pint of blood to the Blood Center of Central Texas.

Hibiscus Beer Face-Off at B.B. Rover’s, 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 6. Who has the better hibiscus beer, Adelbert’s or Uncle Billy’s? Try Adelbert’s Whimsical Hibiscus Saison against Uncle Billys’ Schiso Petal-Hibiscus Lager and declare the winner of this hibisc-off.

National IPA Day at Stouthaus Coffee, 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 6. 7 IPAs will be tapped in honor of this hop-loving holiday — 3 from Texas, three from around the U.S. and maybe one wildcard, too. Taste ’em for a Texas vs. U.S. blind tasting contest.

Antonelli’s Cheese at Cuvee Coffee with Juliet Ristorante, 8 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 6. Cheese paired with a liquid offering of coffee, beer or wine from Cuvee and an Italian dish from Juliet. $30.

National IPA Day at Hops & Grain, 12 p.m. Friday, Aug. 7. A Pale Mosaic, Greenhouse IPA and the Dispensary IPA will all be on tap in honor of this very special national holiday.

Glass Half Full Second Anniversary Party, 12 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 8. Big beers from Deschutes, Odell, Real Ale and more are on the beer list for this celebration — plus, there will be a $5 screening of “Strange Brew,” the best beer movie ever made (or so says the Drafthouse staff).

Waller Creek Pub House Grand Opening Party, 12 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 8. Yeah, yeah, this beer bar across the street from Easy Tiger has been opened for awhile, but go toast them anyway.

Independence Brewing Beer Dinner at the Driskill, 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 10. Four courses with four beers in the Driskill’s historic setting. $40.

Left Hand Brewing Flight and Seminar, 6 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 11. The co-founder of Left Hand Brewing in Colorado, Eric Wallace, will lead an educational seminar paired with Left Hand beers, including Polestar Pilsner, Introvert Session IPA and the most well-known of Left Hand beers, the Milk Stout Nitro. $15.

Goose Island Beer Dinner at Apothecary, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 11. Six courses with Goose Island beers, including the much-coveted Bourbon County Coffee Stout. $65.

Beer/Wine/Cheese/Coffee Pairing Night at Red Horn Coffee House & Brewing Co., 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 12. A little bit of everything good at this pairing event.

Geraldine Memorial Celebration at Craft Pride, 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 15. It’s been almost 1 year since Rainey Street lost its beloved guinea fowl, Geraldine. To remember her, Craft Pride is throwing a benefit for Austin Pets Alive. Special beers include a (512) IPA cask with peaches, apricots and nectarines.

“Beer Lover’s Texas: Best Breweries, Brewpubs & Beer Bars” author at BookPeople, 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 21. Mike Cortez, the founder of Texas Beer Guide, has written a comprehensive regional guide to craft beer; meet him and enjoy some good local beer in the process.

Hops & Grain’s 1400 Mile Bike Affair, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 22. This fundraiser for prostate cancer prevention-focused 1400 Miles will feature two of the brewery’s favorite things: bikes and beers.

Max’s Wine Dive’s Eat, Drink, Empower, 6 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 22. This female empowerment dinner, featuring the bites and sips from local female chefs and beverage professionals, benefits nonprofit SafePlace. $195 and up.

Uncle Billy’s Lazy Night Beer Cruise, 8:45 p.m. Friday, Aug. 28. This cruise, done in partnership with Craft Beer Austin, will feature Uncle Billy’s mainstays and one-offs, as well as live music and raffle giveaways.

Lone Star Beer Texas Heritage Festival, 1 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 29. Live music from Texas artists (Grupo Fantasma, Dale Watson, etc.) that you can tap your feet to while sippin’ good old Lone Star.

Founders Brewing Movie Night at Stay Gold, 7 to 9 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 30. Watch “Hot Fuzz” and enjoy beer specials from Founders.

Hops & Grain and Antonelli’s Cheese Pairing, 7 to 10 p.m. Monday, Aug. 31. The eighth in Hops & Grain’s beer and cheese pairing collaboration with Antonelli’s will feature six pairings  — all of them different from the ones that came before. $42.95.

Texas Tiki Week to get the rum flowing at Austin bars next week

Drink.Well's Lake of Fire (mezcal, Jamaican rum, fino sherry, fresh pineapple and lime, vanilla syrup, Jamaican Bitters #2) is just one of the tiki specials available during Texas Tiki Week.
Drink.Well’s Lake of Fire (mezcal, Jamaican rum, fino sherry, fresh pineapple and lime, vanilla syrup, Jamaican Bitters #2) is just one of the tiki specials available during Texas Tiki Week.

Austin’s fourth annual Texas Tiki Week — the one time each year you’ll almost wish, by the end, that the rum were gone — is returning just in time for the summer doldrums, when a boozy pick-me-up is just the ticket for making it through the next few weeks of never-ending heat.

The rum-fueled fun launches on Monday with a kick-off party at Isla, Austin’s year-round tiki temple. For the party, you’ll be encouraged to come in your best island attire and be ready to enjoy discounted tiki cocktails and bar snacks. Get tickets for the kick-off either online or at the door.

Get your fill of the mai tai at local bars this year at Texas Tiki Week, which is having a special Mai Tai Tuesday in honor of the sweet tropical drink.
Get your fill of the mai tai at local bars this year at Texas Tiki Week, which is having a special Mai Tai Tuesday in honor of the sweet tropical drink.

But that’s not all. The Austin chapter of the U.S. Bartender’s Guild, which has been throwing this week-long rum bash since 2012 to celebrate what’s become known as tiki culture (you know, the only remaining appropriate situation for wearing a Hawaiian shirt), has gotten many other Austin bars involved. Here are the events that you can participate in this year.

  • Monday: Tipsy Texan David Alan and Dallas bartender Mate Hartai are taking over the Jackalope’s patio bar for a happy hour from 3 to 5 p.m. with Pyrat Rum.
  • Tuesday: Croon into the microphone for a late night of tiki-oke at the King Bee Lounge. Starting at 10 p.m., the King Bee will offer a special cocktail menu featuring Mt. Gay Rum and other spirits, which will, of course, get you all loosened up for that surf rock song you’ve secretly been dying to cover.
    • Mai Tai Tuesday is an earlier option for tiki lovers who don’t want to be up too late on a work night. Try the classic tropical drink at bars like the Tigress, Half Step, Weather Up and the King Bee Lounge (which is preparing ’em frozen, and if they’re anything like the bar’s frozen Bee’s Knees, these mai tais will be very good). The Corner Bar at the JW Marriott will also have a Texas Mai Tai made with Treaty Oak rum.
  • Wednesday and Thursday: Bartenders from the famed Chicago-based tiki spot Lost Lake are stopping by the courtyard at Hotel San Jose for a happy hour pop-up, from 3 to 6 p.m. both days, that will feature cocktails from Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum, Rhum Clement and Plantation Rum.
  • Thursday: Play “Beach Party Bingo” with Frankie Avalon and the gang at the Alamo Drafthouse’s tiki edition of the theater’s Cocktails and Cinema series. While you watch, you can sip on boozy tiki treats from Drink.Well’s Jessica Sanders. You might even receive a free armadillo tiki mug to take home with you.
  • Friday: The Jigglewatts Burlesque Revue will take you on a tropical holiday to the glamor of the silver screen’s golden era at this live entertainment show at the Roosevelt Room. Starting at 9 p.m., this Hollywood Havana party will have a special cocktail menu featuring Caña Brava Rum.
  • Saturday: Cool down and close out your tiki week adventures with the Tiki Takeover Pool Party at Rio on West Sixth Street. Tiki tunes will have you swaying poolside as you sip on tropical cocktails from Grand Marnier and Kappa Pisco.

In addition to those official Texas Tiki Week events, there will also be special tiki nights at various local bars through Aug. 9, when the days of boozy rum punches, bright tropical shirts and elaborate island decor sadly come to a close.

Among the fun side events is Whisler’s 3rd Annual Tiki Takeover on Tuesday with collectible tiki mugs galore. Weather Up will also be throwing a pig roast with daiquiris starting at 6 p.m. on Thursday, and the Volstead will have an island-style cook-out with yet more daiquiris for you to drink up. For weekend tiki fun, visit Searsucker downtown starting at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, when $8 tiki cocktails such as the Peg Leg and La Sirena will transport you to a tropical paradise.

No Va on Rainey Street, Bar Congress and Drink.Well, which have been spotlighting tiki drinks throughout the summer on their cocktail menus, will also be good spots to visit (especially on Tuesday).

Even a local liquor store is getting in on the fun. Throughout the week, Twin Liquors is celebrating Tiki Week, but the big event is Thursday, when Tiki Fest will bring in Treaty Oak Distilling,  Liber & Co. and Austin Cocktails for free tastings.

For more information about Texas Tiki Week, visit texastikiweek.com.

Feel refreshed with all your #Austin360Drinks beverages

Even though Austinites are finally experiencing the burn of a 100-degree day — and so late into the summer, too — we’re staying cool by drinking up, sipping on everything from cold-brew coffee to beer to margaritas, and we’re also, of course, documenting each one on Instagram.

The Statesman’s social media campaign #Austin360Drinks has been asking readers to tag their photos with that hashtag for the past few months now. A Storify has been rounding them all up. And starting today, some of those tagged photos will also be featured here on the blog in a bi-monthly post that just might give you some ideas about what to drink next, alcoholic or not.

Summers in Austin always mean one tropical tradition returns in local bars: Tiki Tuesdays. At No Va on Rainey Street (@novaonrainey), that means the Mitsubishi Flyby, made with dark rum and other island ingredients, is on special.

The Infinite Monkey Theorem is a Colorado-based winery gearing up to open an Austin location off South Congress very soon, but in the meantime, Amy Drohen (@sushigirl_atx) recommends looking for their bottles and cans of wine (and this new dry-hopped pear cider) in local bars and stores.

Getting through the work week can be tough, but it’s just a little easier to swallow when you have the right cup of coffee. For Ane Urquiola Lowe (@thehungrychronicles), that perfect cup comes with cinnamon sprinkled on top.

One of Austin’s newest bars, the Townsend, hasn’t been opened for very long, but Matt McGinnis (@mcginnisatx) can already recommend the Lamplight, with bourbon, Drambuie, lemon and Chinese 5-spice.

Hops & Grain’s old small-batch Greenhouse series of beers is now the Dispensary series, and it focuses more on hop-forward styles like this Double IPA that Chris Sheppard (@crafttaste) tried in the taproom.

Whole Foods Brewing to start distributing to Austin stores in September

When a new Houston location of Whole Foods added a brewery within the store there last year, the Austin-based company branched into new territory — and it’s doing so again, now that Whole Foods Brewing Co. begins distributing beyond the store starting next month.

Whole Foods Brewing in Houston is going to start distributing to Austin in September, bringing beer to other Whole Foods locations.
Whole Foods Brewing in Houston is going to start distributing to Austin in September, bringing beer to other Whole Foods locations.

The beers of the first craft brewery inside a grocery store will become more widely available on Aug. 8, when all 10 Houston-area Whole Foods locations plan to tap the first distributed keg of Whole Foods Brewing. A statewide launch will follow on Sept. 18 and will include a special tapping, hosted by brewmaster Dave Ohmer, at the flagship location of the store on North Lamar Boulevard.

Whole Foods Brewing’s debut into the Texas market will start with one beer at first, according to a press release: the Post Oak Pale Ale. It’ll be keg-only, as the brewery doesn’t have the capacity yet for cans or bottles, according to the Houston Chronicle’s Ronnie Crocker.

“The first beer for Houston distribution will be a Post Oak Pale Ale, a deep golden beer that starts off with an orange marmalade sweetness and rolls directly into tangerine, grapefruit, and tropical tones,” according to the press release. “The hoppy bitterness continues to build all the way through, finishing dry, and inviting you to take that next sip.”

The pale ale (which is named after the street where Whole Foods Brewing is located) is one of 38 beers that the brewery has produced so far since opening in November last year. Already, it’s not the only grocery store where beer is brewed: a Whole Foods Market in San Jose, Calif., has opened the company’s second onsite brewery.

For more information, visit brewing.wfm.com.

Austin jazz and blues club the Brass House in danger of closing

Julia Robinson / for American-Statesman. Evgueniy "Gene" Todorov, left, and Jason White, right, dreamed of opening a bar from their Marine outpost in Afghanistan in 2012. They opened the Brass House, a jazz and blues club, in downtown Austin in February 2013, but are now at risking of losing it to rising costs.
Julia Robinson / for American-Statesman. Evgueniy “Gene” Todorov, left, and Jason White, right, dreamed of opening a bar from their Marine outpost in Afghanistan in 2012. They opened the Brass House, a jazz and blues club, in downtown Austin in February 2013, but are now at risking of losing it to rising costs.

The Brass House, a downtown 1940s-inspired speakeasy that serves as one of Austin’s few venues dedicated to jazz and blues, is in danger of closing — its two owners have until Friday to raise $25,000 or risk eviction from the landlord.

“We were hit hard by the slow Austin summer months,” co-owner Jason White wrote on a GoFundMe page raising money for the bar.

So far, the GoFundMe page, which expires with the Friday deadline, has raised nearly $5,000, but the Brass House owners, two Marines whose dream of opening a jazz club kept their spirits up while serving overseas in Afghanistan, are exploring other means for getting the funding, according to a KVUE article. Co-owner Gene Todorov, White said in the article, is doing contract work abroad. Plus, both men are looking for investors.

The Brass House is singing the same tune as other downtown music venues: Austin’s skyrocketing rents are getting too high for their owners to keep up with the costs, so many of these businesses are at risk of shutting down. Red River district club Holy Mountain has already set its last day as Oct. 1.

Just as it will be a blow to Austin’s live music scene to lose that venue, as Austin360 writer Deborah Sengupta Stith wrote earlier this summer, it’ll also sting to say good-bye to the Brass House, one of the few places in town that regularly features live jazz and blues music.

The bar was the vision of Todorov and White after several deployments to war zones in both Iraq and Afghanistan. They often relied on music, Austin360 writer Nancy Flores noted in this big profile about the two veterans in November 2013, to stay sane.

“In the middle of war, death and destruction, every Marine needs something to help them realize they still have humanity,” White said in Flores’ story.

He and Todorov opened the Brass House in February 2013 and, after seeing early success, expanded it in the next year to include an events space and restaurant — but business lately has been slower than they expected.

“The operating costs were a little more than we calculated and while we tripled our gross sales in just one year, we were hit hard by the slow Austin summer months,” White wrote on the GoFundMe page. (In the KVUE article, he noted that part of the problem was the nonstop rainstorms that hit Austin in May, keeping people out of downtown.)

“My prayer is that someone will step forward and help us keep this dream alive as we fight to save the Brass House,” he wrote.

To help out the Brass House, located at 115 San Jacinto Blvd., visit the GoFundMe page here.

Vote for your favorite margarita in Austin

This may be the readers’ poll that everyone has been waiting for.

The Sotol Margarita brings out the grassy nature of the agave-based spirit. It's slightly less sweet than a traditional margarita, and was served as part of the experimental Mixology Wednesday series at El Monumento in Georgetown. Emma Janzen/American-Statesman
Emma Janzen/American-Statesman

After naming Austin’s favorite guacamole, Austin’s favorite queso and Austin’s favorite place to grab a beer, it’s finally time to name Austin’s favorite margarita.

Will it be the house margaritas from Austin’s Tex-Mex institutions like Z’Tejas or Matt’s Famous El Rancho? Or will one of the more exotic newcomers like Azul Tequila’s Chamoy margarita or Licha’s Cantina’s watermelon margarita be crowned Austin’s favorite?

Consider your vote carefully and then share it with all your margarita-loving friends. Once all the results are in, we’ll create an interactive guide to lead you to all of Austins’ favorite margaritas.

Lastly, don’t forget to show us what you’re drinking by adding #austin360drinks to your photos on social media.

For more of Austin’s favorites, make sure to check out our past Readers’ Picks guides.

Enjoy National Tequila Day at Austin bars

Jacoby's Livin' the Daydream is a fruity and refreshing cocktail that shows off tequila's bright side. Try it today for National Tequila Day.
Jacoby’s Livin’ the Daydream is a fruity and refreshing cocktail that shows off tequila’s bright side. Try it today for National Tequila Day.
Yeah, yeah, there are a lot of these hokey national holidays that celebrate pretty much everything under the sun, from NASCAR to crossword puzzles, but National Tequila Day is actually a good one. At least from my point of view. Celebrate by stopping by an Austin bar for happy hour when you get off work today — or you can recreate their tequila concoctions in your own home with these recipes. Consider these your recommendations whether you go out or stay in.

Tres G Manhattan 

From Rainey Street’s El Naranjo

1 1/4 oz. Tres Generaciones Añejo
3/4 oz. Averna Amaro
3/4 oz. Old Tawny Port
Garnish orange peel

Combine the tequila, amaro and port in a mixing glass with ice and gently stir. Pour into a coupe glass and garnish with an orange peel.

Livin’ the Daydream

From Jacoby’s Restaurant & Mercantile

1 1/2 oz. El Jimador silver tequila
1 oz. strawberry/rosemary simple syrup (see below)
1 oz. fresh lime juice
2 dashes of peach bitters

Shake over ice and strain over ice into a high ball glass. Top with a splash of soda and add a strawberry coin or rosemary garnish to float on top.

Strawberry/Rosemary Simple Syrup

1 quart chopped strawberries
1 quart sugar
1 quart water

Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes. Macerate strawberries and strain. Place four 3-inch pieces of rosemary into syrup and chill.

The JW Marriott in Austin specializes in tequila and mezcal drinks like this one, the Tranquilo, which features Qui Tequila and a mezcal rinse.
The JW Marriott in Austin specializes in tequila and mezcal drinks like this one, the Tranquilo, which features Qui Tequila and a mezcal rinse.
Tranquilo

From Carley Dunavant at JW Marriott Austin

1 1/2 oz. QUI Tequila
1/4 oz. good mezcal for rinse
1 oz. fresh watermelon juice
1/2 oz. bell pepper syrup
1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
Pinch of Maldon salt

In a shaker, combine the tequila, watermelon juice, bell pepper syrup, lime juice and salt. Add ice and stir. Rinse rocks glass with mezcal. Strain the other ingredients into the rocks glass with fresh ice.

The Clare

From Icenhauer’s

1 1/2 oz. of Espolon Blanco tequila
1 oz. of yellow chartreuse
1 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
3-4 medium size mint leaves
1 large round slice of cucumber
1 oz. simple syrup or agave nectar
Pinch of kosher salt

Add tequila and chartreuse in a mixing glass. Combine the mint, cucumber and pinch of salt to muddle. Add lime juice and sweetener. Shake well over ice and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with cucumber wedge and mint leaf.

Event: Mexic-Arte’s tequila barrel exhibit opens tomorrow

VM Fisk's "Nectar of the Gods," made from an Herradura tequila barrel, centers around the agave plant.
VM Fisk’s “Nectar of the Gods,” made from an Herradura tequila barrel, centers around the agave plant.

Austin artists have long loved using unusual canvases on which to create their work, so finding inspiration from tequila barrels was a welcome challenge for those who participated in Tequila Herradura’s Barrel Art Competition last year. Now, long after the winners were declared, it’s time to view their creations at the Mexic-Arte Museum.

Timed with National Tequila Day, Mexic-Arte’s Art + Tequila event tomorrow night plans to showcase the museum’s latest exhibit: each of the pieces made from those oak tequila barrels.

The event is unfortunately sold out, but the 10 barrel art pieces that were entered in Herradura’s competition will remain on display at the Congress Avenue museum through Aug. 23. Among them are the works that won first, second or third place: VM Fisk’s “Nectar of the Gods,” Eric Port’s “Moler El Corazon” and JaelahFAD’s “Kinect.”

Fisk’s, which Vetta magazine said was “inspired by the beauty of the agave plants at Casa Herradura and the legend of the Goddess of Agave, Mayahuel,” took the top prize — and $10,000.

Herradura, according to Mexic-Arte, was inspired by the craft that goes into the tequila-making process and has been offering the Barrel Art Program as a way to showcase creativity in all its different forms.

For more information, visit Mexic-Arte’s website.

Juliet on Barton Springs adds Italian flair to bar program

At many restaurants, the bar program is an afterthought, the drinks an accompaniment to the ultimate prize of a good meal, but that’s not the case at Juliet, the new Italian eatery on Barton Springs Road.

Juliet's La Petite Negroni, with vodka, Aperol and Lillet Rouge, is just one of the Negroni variations on the cocktail menu.
Juliet’s La Petite Negroni, with vodka, Aperol and Lillet Rouge, is just one of the Negroni variations on the cocktail menu.

Juliet, which has gotten early praise for its decor and its food, is like other recent additions to Austin’s dining scene. Many of them have gone beyond the basic boozy tenets of their culinary concepts and are making their drinks with the same care and consideration they apply to the cuisine. They want their drinks to pair with their food.

At Juliet, that means the bar program, helmed by Firehouse Lounge co-founder and sommelier Robert Millican, applies the same sort of Italian focus to the cocktails and the wine as the kitchen does to the food — and it does so with stellar results. The restaurant has a whole menu of Negroni variations, that classic bittersweet symphony of gin, Campari and sweet vermouth, as well as an emphasis on grappa, a fragrant grape-based brandy made in Italy that’s not often seen on bar menus here.

Honing that Old World focus was a natural fit for Millican because of his background, he said.

“I was classically trained, so I wanted a focus on the classics, on European spirits and cocktails with three ingredients,” he said. “I wanted the bar to be symbiotic with the design of this place, which has a ’50s Italian feel to it.”

Here are four things to know if you’re going to the Barton Springs restaurant for happy hour or dinner and want a drink (or two) to complement your food.

  • The Negroni menu has eight different Negronis available, all made from a variety of different spirits, from the traditional gin to the far more striking Cognac and mezcal. If more than one strikes your fancy, try a tasting; Juliet offers a flight of four at 1 oz. each for $15. Millican said that’s how the Mezcal Negroni has become popular. “You wouldn’t think it’d be a hit, but the combination of flavors works really well,” he said, noting that the smokiness of the Mexican agave spirit might not have gin’s botanical bite, but it still plays nicely with the sweet vermouth and bitter Campari.
  • So far, people have also been receptive to the cocktails with grappa in them, he said. “It’s an interesting and potent spirit, but no one has really been featuring it until now,” he said. The Italian Mule, with grappa, lime, ginger beer and amaro, is a “light and easy” introduction to it, especially because “it’s grounded in the familiarity of the name and the ginger beer.” Or, if you’re looking for something a little boozier, the food-friendly Sword Fight, with Cognac, grappa, triple sec and house bitters, is more the way to go. The bold citrus finish of this original creation from Millican can stand up to the salty grip of meats like prosciutto.
  • Juliet isn’t afraid to let you try just about any wine on the menu, even the higher-end varieties, because of one nifty tool that allows bartenders to keep the wine fresher for longer than normal. This special preservation system, which uses argon gas to keep out the oxidation process, means that you can enjoy a glass of wine that is usually only available by the bottle.
  • Add this place to your ever-growing list of top happy hour spots in Austin. Juliet’s got a large patio area for outdoor sipping, as well an indoor and outdoor bar — and good happy hour deals every day from 3 to 7 p.m. on draft beer, cocktails and rosé wines.

Juliet Ristorante, 1500 Barton Springs Rd. 3 to 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, 3 to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. 512-479-1800, juliet-austin.com.

Round Rock’s the Brass Tap adding second location at Domain

Photo by Marcial Guajardo / Round Rock Leader. The Brass Tap franchise is expanding out of Round Rock and into the Austin city limits.
Photo by Marcial Guajardo / Round Rock Leader. The Brass Tap franchise is expanding out of Round Rock and into the Austin city limits.

After the sudsy success of the first Brass Tap location in downtown Round Rock, the owner has decided to bring the beer bar’s focus on quality brews closer into Austin and plans to open a new, much larger location in the Domain.

Owner Steve Sheets, who partnered with his son Travis to bring the first Central Texas Brass Tap into fruition in 2013, is expanding the draft beer offerings at the second location. The Brass Tap at the Domain, across the street from the iPic Theaters, will have one of the biggest tap walls in town at 90 to 100 taps. he said.

The new bar will also offer a full food menu — as opposed to the small menu of bar bites at the Round Rock spot — and it’ll be three times the size as the original. But Sheets emphasized that despite these changes, the Brass Tap at the Domain will remain “a bar that serves great food as opposed to a restaurant that serves great beer.”

“We will be true to our core, which is craft beer,” he said.

The new Brass Tap, which he hopes to open at the earliest by the end of this year, will have about 30 to 40 more taps than the original location in Round Rock’s historic downtown.

“I just think the Austin area in general and the Domain area specifically is absolutely perfect for an upscale craft beer bar,” he said.

Plus, like the Round Rock bar, the Domain’s Brass Tap will offer live music — something Sheets said he noticed the Domain area doesn’t really have yet. The new Brass Tap will have a separate, adjacent space for a variety of acts to play in.

These two Brass Tap locations are part of a larger franchise based in Florida. When Sheets and his son collaborated to open the Round Rock bar in 2013, they were the first people to bring the Brass Tap franchise out of the state.

Sheets, the city attorney for Round Rock and a University of Texas graduate, is not all about beer. He has also been raising registered Texas longhorns on his property outside of town for the past 30 years, now owning 26 of the majestic animals. The skull of Maverick, one of the longhorns he raised “from a baby to 22 years,” is displayed prominently at the Brass Tap in Round Rock.