Austin’s beer scene named among the best in the nation — but is it the best?

Austin, as we’ve known, has always been a reliable place to find good drinks — especially beer.

That’s becoming true on the national level with USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards: a series of categories, such as “Best Beer Scene,” “Best Brewpub” and “Best Beer Bar,” that were recently announced anew. This year, Austin’s got nominees in all three of the ones listed: the ABGB in the brewpub category, Easy Tiger and Craft Pride in the bar category. Our beer scene as a whole is also getting major love.

The publication needs your help to further refine the choices in each of the categories, whittling them down to (you guessed it) 10 finalists.

Now through March 13, vote on the place you believe is most worthy of the honor. You’re allowed only one vote in this category per day, and you can keep an eye on how your choice is doing by checking out the 10Best leaderboard of each category, which lists all 20 nominated places in the order that people are voting for them.

At the moment, the ABGB is number two in its category, with Easy Tiger at number six and Craft Pride a little farther down in that category at number 18.

Easy Tiger has been nominated for best beer bar in the U.S. the second year in a row. Arianna Auber / American-Statesman.

Easy Tiger has been nominated for best beer bar in the U.S. the second year in a row. Arianna Auber / American-Statesman.

Austin’s overall beer scene is, meanwhile, at the number 11 spot, squaring off against other beer-obsessed cities like Chicago, Asheville and Portland, Oregon. Grand Rapids, Michigan, home of the popular Founders Brewing, is currently in the top spot.

Easy Tiger made the Readers’ Choice list of Best Beer Bar last year as well but ultimately placed out of the top 10.

It’s not hard to figure out why the East Sixth Street beer garden and bakery has been featured on the list again, however, which was put together by a four-person panel of beer experts. As 10Best notes, the 30-tap bar “makes it easy for Austin beer lovers to settle in for a lengthy visit. Picnic tables and large fans in the shady garden contribute to the easygoing atmosphere.”

Although Easy Tiger’s draft wall and bottled and canned brews are a mix of both local and national offerings, the 54-tap Craft Pride is far more niche — precisely why it was added to the running this year. “Craft Pride stands out from the crowd in Austin’s burgeoning beer scene with its policy of Texas-only beers sourced from craft breweries around the state,” according to 10Best.

For the ABGB, getting nominated in 10Best’s Readers Choice Awards is just the latest in a string of accolades for the pizza- and music-loving brewpub. Last year, the ABGB dominated at the Great American Beer Festival, taking home the Large Brewpub of the Year award and other medals.

All three of these sudsy spots also made it into the American-Statesman’s roundup last year of 20 of the best bars in town — a list I found incredibly hard to put together because of many worthy choices. That just goes to show Austin’s place among the cities of 10Best’s Best Beer Scene is well-deserved.

USE OUR GUIDE: GET TO KNOW AUSTIN’S BREWERIES, DISTILLERIES AND MORE IN THE AUSTIN360 BOOZERY GUIDE

The final winners of each of the 10Best categories will be announced on March 17. For more information, visit 10best.com/awards/travel/.


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