Editor’s note: This story was originally published on April 7, 2017 for National Beer Day.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year: National Drink A Beer Day. Austin is home to a booming craft beer scene, and any Austinite can talk until they’re blue in the face about their favorite beers and breweries around town.
For example, I’m a sucker for a good German or Czech-style beer (blame it all on my roots), so my local go-to is Live Oak Brewing’s HefeWeizen: it’s light, smooth and just the right amount of sweet (those banana and vanilla flavors are so crisp and refreshing). The day they started selling it in cans changed my life.
So, I surveyed my colleagues at the Austin American-Statesman and asked the simple question: What’s your favorite local beer? Here are their responses:
“All of them, except the sour beers from Jester King. Thirsty Goat is probably my go-to when I’m at a bar and can’t decide.” — Addie Broyles, food writer
“512 Pecan Porter! It’s the little engine that keeps on chugging, been around a while, but you can’t get it except off a tap, almost only served at the coolest places around. Lone Star, on the other hand, is a great tourist identifier.” — Gardner Selby, PolitiFact Texas editor
“I second Gardner’s endorsement of the 512 Pecan Porter. It’s heavenly. I also love Austin Beerworks’ Pearl Snap Pils and Thirsty Planet’s Thirsty Goat.” — Jake Harris, social content producer
“Devil’s Backbone” — Andy Alford, senior editor
“I’m all about the cider. Austin Eastciders Pineapple is the perfect middle child between the Original (which is a little dry) and the Honey (which is suhweeeeet). With a kiss of pineapple at the end. Stoked to try their new blood orange flavor!” — Alyssa Vidales, multimedia producer
“Beers, ranked (4/7/17) – will change tomorrow I’m sure – and off the top of my head:
- Rocket 100 – ABGB
- Live Oak Pilz
- Hops & Grain’s (The One They Call) Zoe
- Real Ale’s 15th Anniversary Russian Imperial Stout
- Ballast Point Big Eye”
— sports editor Jason Jarrett, who is infamous around the newsroom for his controversial rankings of various points of interest (here’s an example)
“The only correct answer is Live Oak HefeWeizen.” — Mike Craven, sports writer
“Hans Pils. Real Ale.” — Robert Eckhart, investigative editor
“Cold. Free. Free cold above the others. Thirsty Goat is my favorite local beer. Amber is my favorite style. German Pilsner is my second favorite style.” — Christian McDonald, online projects and data editor
“Blue Owl. All of them. I will give a shoutout to Shiner Bock, the first beer I learned to like. But I first sampled Blue Owl’s wares at a craft beer festival, and I felt like I had found my “thing.” They do so many different things with the idea of a sour – sticky cherry stout Professor Black, bright and not too hoppy Spirit Animal, and my favorite, the endlessly drinkable wheat beer that is Little Boss. Little Boss will get you in trouble. Plus, their can designs are dope.” — Eric Webb, social media and engagement editor
“Live Oak HefeWeizen is best traditional hefe in country, IMO. Good summer beer, too. Real Ale Devil’s Backbone is awesome, if you like bite. ABGB’s Helles is a great summer beer, clean as a whistle.” — Thomas Jones, community sports editor
“I had Live Oak’s Primus Weizenbach at Barley Swine last week and it was so good I went to Live Oak Brewery to have some more. One of the best beers I’ve ever had. (Their hefeweizen is great, too, and served at the Alamo Drafthouse).” — Omar Gallaga, technology culture writer
“Big Mama Red at ABGB, probably.” — Peter Blackstock, music writer