We already knew there was something special about the brewing industry in Austin — the juicy IPAs of Pinthouse Pizza, the farmhouse ales of Jester King Brewery, the clean lagers of the ABGB. Now, the rest of the world is catching on, too.
Drinks publication VinePair recently named Austin as the top beer destination in the world this year. Yes, that's right, the world: Popular beer-centric spots like Belgium, Colorado and Munich were mentioned at the beginning of the story. But they were ultimately not included in a list that sought to include more unexpected cities.
"With 7,000 breweries and counting in the U.S., and more breweries in Europe and Asia increasingly inspired to supplement their own traditions with American craft brewing innovations, there are plenty of less obvious destinations calling for your next beercation," according to VinePair. "In 2019, as in past years, VinePair challenged ourselves to look beyond the usual suspects and seek out beer cities beyond the proverbial beaten path."
Paris, Seattle and Los Angeles were all honored, but Austin came out on top because of our prolific number of breweries (the highest in Texas, according to the publication) and the quality of each one. VinePair made sure to mention, in particular, that our city is "home to some of the country's best lager brewers," such as Live Oak, the ABGB and Austin Beerworks. All three breweries have won awards at prestigious competitions like the Great American Beer Festival for lager beers.
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"Austin’s beer-and-food-pairing game is equally impressive, spanning esoteric newcomers like the Brewer’s Table, an upscale brewpub aspiring to an all-Cicerone staff, to Batch Craft Beer and Kolaches, which pairs south Texas’s beloved 'Czexan' pastries with local brews," according to VinePair.
Unlike the others mentioned, Batch is a bar and not a brewery — but it plans to open a brewing facility, becoming one of the more than 70 breweries that now fuel thirsty Austinites in the city and surrounding Hill Country.