Kids aren't the only ones who can have fun on Halloween and the days leading up to it. Thanks to these Austin bars and breweries, adults can scare up a good time, too, sugar rush not required. Try a little booze instead. Some of these local spots transform into "haunted" spaces for the season; others are simply throwing Halloween-related events. Whatever the case, we can expect adult-level scares and sips wherever we go.
Here's where to go for some boos and brews.
Craft Pride, 61 Rainey St.
Well, maybe we'll join the kids in having a little bit of a sugar rush. This craft beer bar serving Texas-only offerings has brought back its annual Candy Beer Party, which features exactly what you might figure: eight candy-inspired beers paired with actual candy. All day Oct. 26, Craft Pride will have a sweet lineup of drafts including the Blue Owl Warhead Sour, Ingenious Brewing Stout Chocula and Austin Beerworks Skittle Braü.
Crow Bar, 3116 S. Congress Ave.
For the past decade, the neighborhood bar across from St. Edward’s University has gone all out with decorations for Halloween. And each year, owner Steve Gee adds to the decor, so it’s become quite an event putting everything up and then taking it down again. Gee said he even has a replica guillotine that he built himself. And on Halloween night, Crow Bar throws a big Halloween party with “off-the-hook costume contests,” drink specials and more.
DuMont's Down Low, 214 W. Fourth St., Suite B
This whiskey-loving speakeasy doesn't have to get all decked out for Halloween — possibly really haunted, it'll give you the creeps year-round. (Skeletons, cobwebs and other seasonal decorations do currently play up the space's spooky past.)
DuMont's took over the former Fado's basement in the Warehouse District last year. The bar might be new, but the building isn't — and has made sure DuMont's employees and guests alike know it. "Starting in 1860, the building operated as a brothel, run by Sally Dagget and Blanche Dumont until their eviction in 1912," according to the bar. "Stories of flickering lights, ghostly figures, dummy walls and an eerie, otherworldly presence are a regular occurrence."
Geraldine's, 605 Davis St.
Classic fall flavors combine in four $12 cocktails at the Hotel Van Zandt bar and restaurant this month, and each one is sure to get you into the Halloween spirit.
• Children of the Candy Corn: Sexton Irish whiskey, Kahlua, candy corn syrup, cream
• Resurrection: Maestro Dobel silver tequila, Cointreau, hibiscus, lime, brains
• You Coulda Had a Bad Witch: Jack Daniels apple whiskey, caramel, dulce de leche, Fuji apple sake
• Purple Potion: Hangar One vodka, with "eye of newt, pinch of goblin dust, a scale of dragon and pixie shimmer" served in a large-format punch bowl
Gibson Street Bar, 1109 S. Lamar Blvd.
A large, creepy clown leers over the tables in the covered patio. A grassy courtyard has been transformed into a skin-crawling graveyard. Cobwebs cover the walls and ceilings of the indoor bar area. And did we mention the dry-ice punch bowls? For the second year running, Gibson Street Bar has made sure Halloween isn't just celebrated one day a year. The Nightmare on Gibson Street pop-up runs now through Oct. 31, with a costume contest on that night.
The Roosevelt Room, 307 W. Fifth St.
Enjoy Halloween night with a classy spin. The downtown cocktail bar will have haunted decor and candlelight for one night only Oct. 31. But that's not all: The Roosevelt Room will have spooky live jazz starting at 9:30 p.m. Classic black-and-white horror films will play on the projector. A Halloween-inspired drinks menu will be available. Plus, guests who come in costume and order from that menu can get 20% off their bill.
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Whisler's, 1816 E. Sixth St.
The scrappy bartenders at this East Austin cocktail haven know how to make the most of their small space. Each Halloween night, a portion of Whisler's turns into a haunted house called the Hallway of Horrors. Plus, the inside bar has a Day of the Dead theme complete with cumbia-psych music. And of course, it wouldn't be a proper Whisler's bash without themed cocktails, such as the Demon's Blood Punch with mezcal, jalapeño and blood orange.
Zilker Brewing, 1701 E. Sixth St.
Here's the part where we get dressed up in Halloween costumes but drink beer, not eat candy. The East Austin brewery's Spooky Scary Soiree runs from 6 to 10 p.m. on Oct. 31 with frights and laughs galore. DJ Sad Dad will play the "Monster Mash," and there will be a costume contest hosted by a panel of some of our favorite local celebrities. Don't let your hunger turn you into a beast: Zilker's on-site food truck, Spicy Boys, will be open, too.