What's a guy have to do to get an IPA around here? Well, turns out he can head over to the Barton Springs Beer Hall, nestled next to the Honda and Austin Kiddie Limits stages.
I was skeptical about the use of the word "craft" to describe any beers at a major music festival, but C3 actually delivered this year with their craft beer tent.
Inside, lights are draped above unfinished wooden picnic tables and a pair of monstrous monitors broadcasting the major sports events of the hour. The 100-foot-long wooden bar has 16 beers on tap — all for $8 — for the day drinker with more discriminating taste.
Representing the local beer scene is Real Ale with three options, including the crowd-pleasing Fireman's #4 and newer (and mighty fine) brews Four Squared and Hans Pils.
Also on the grand tap wall are Left Hand Milk Stout, Stone IPA, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Lagunitas IPA, Founders All Day IPA, Alaskan White, Alaskan Amber, Harpoon UFO White, Brooklyn Lager, Breckenridge Agave Wheat, a couple ciders for the gluten-free and/or sweet-toothed folks (Ace Pear Cider and Woodchuck Amber Cider), and… Bud Light. This is still ACL after all, not the Draught House.
From the tent, drinkers can catch a decent view of the AMD or Austin Ventures stages.
Sipping a Sierra Nevada, Jason Reed and his wife Nessa agreed the beer hall is much better than the tiny craft beer tent last year. "The price isn't bad either," he said. "It's a better deal than what you'd pay for a beer at a concert."
The Austin couple are at Zilker Park for their fourth ACL Fest and were getting a feel for who they would see later in the day.
"I'm most excited to see The Cure, Depeche Mode and Kaskade," Nessa said. "We would come no matter who is playing. We're newly 40, and it's a weekend away from our kids — just to have the experience together. We come every year."