As the weather cools off, it is prime time to get out and enjoy a new local brew—especially in a time when bars need support the most.
These five businesses are changing the landscape of beer and bars, challenging the norm and opening mid-pandemic.
Offering small-scale carbon capture technology, Earthly Labs provides breweries with the technology to make their beers in a greener way. This technology enables brewers to capture and reuse CO2, which combats the CO2 shortage industries often face and allows them to capture the CO2 and use it before it enters the atmosphere.
But is the beer produced with CO2 capture good? Earthly Labs CEO Amy George said yes, according to Craft Beer Austin, plus CO2 capture beer helps with head retention--making for frosty beers.
The Good Lot
Coming to Cedar Park on 2500 W. New Hope Drive, The Good Lot is a family-friendly beer garden that plans to open in 2021. The Good Lot will serve craft beers, both local and specialty, cider and wines. With food trucks planned, covered seating and non-alcoholic options, The Good Lot sounds like a perfect weekend afternoon.
Last Stand Brewing Company
Popping up on 7601 South Congress Ave., Last Stand Brewing Company opened its doors on Oct. 22, right next door to Southside Flying Pizza, which will provide food for the brewery. This is the brewery's second location, with another location on 12345 Pauls Valley Road.
The brewery and beer garden will offer favorites like the Citra Smash IPA, Fuzzieluscious IPA and Texas Forever Lager. Plus, if pizza isn't your thing, Southside created a menu of burgers just to go with the beer.
While it isn't open yet, Vacancy Brewing is coming to 415 St. Elmo Road this December. With three year-round beers, a sparkling new interior and a food truck search underway, Vacancy brewing is shaping up to become one of Austin's new favorite hangouts.
Serving the North Austin and Pflugerville crowd, Willard's Brewery comes complete with its own food truck. Located on 2400 Patterson Industrial Drive, Willard's has a "passion for well-crafted libations" and has been open since Oct.16. Willard's offers three beers from its own brewery: "Fistful of Fury" Hazy IPA, "Forbidden Helles" Lager and "Zero Hour" pale ale.When you stop by, grab a braised beef taco or a Cubano quesadilla from Mojo, the on-site food truck.
- map of Austin bars converted to restaurants to reopen - austonia ›
- TABC reverses breweries guidelines, forcing patio shutdown ... ›
- Restaurants, bars, breweries scramble to reinvent themselves to get ... ›
- For an authentic Austin burger, head to Balikesir, Turkey - austonia ›
- 10 Texas wines to try out this holiday season - austonia ›
- Blue Norther seltzer company sweeps competition in San Francisco - austonia ›
- Don’t sacrifice safety for a good time at these 15 socially-distanced outdoor patios in Austin - austonia ›
- Sober New Year? Sans Bar provides the bar without the booze - austonia ›
If you are a committed, grunge-wearing resident of the Pacific Northwest, it is easy–almost automatic–to look at Texas as an extraordinarily dry, hot and culturally oppressive place that is better to avoid, especially in the summer. Our two granddaughters live with their parents in Portland.
Recently we decided to take the older girl, who is 15, to Dallas. Setting aside the summer heat, a Portlander can adjust to the vibes of Austin without effort. So let’s take Texas with all of its excesses straight up. Dallas, here we come.
Our 15-year-old granddaughter and her sister, 12, have spent summer weeks with us, usually separately so that we could better get to know each individually. In visits focused on Austin and Port Aransas, the girls seemed to be developing an affection for Texas.
Houston and Dallas are two great American cities, the 4th and 9th largest, each loaded with cultural treasures, each standing in glittering and starchy contrast to Austin’s more louche, T-shirts and shorts ways.
Three hours up I-35, Dallas loomed before us as a set of gray skyscrapers in a filmy haze, accessed only through a concrete mixmaster of freeways, ramps and exits. I drove with false confidence. Be calm, I said to myself, it will all end in 10 minutes under the hotel entrance canopy. And it did.
The pool at the Crescent Court Hotel in Dallas. (Crescent Court Hotel)
We stayed three nights at the Crescent Court Hotel ($622 a night for two queens), a high-end hotel in Uptown, patronized by women in white blazers, business people in suits, and tall, lean professional athletes, their shiny Escalades and Corvettes darting in and out, and other celebrities like Bill Barr, the former attorney general who shoe-horned his ample self into a Toyota.
Each morning as I walked to Whole Foods for a cappuccino, a fellow identified by a bellman as Billy the Oilman arrived in his Rolls Royce Phantom. Where does he park? “Wherever he wants to. He likes the Starbucks here.”
We garaged our more modest set of wheels for the visit. We were chauffeured for tips by Matt Cooney and Alfonza “The Rev” Scott in the hotel’s black Audi sedan. They drove us to museums, restaurants and past the enclaves of the rich and famous. In Highland Park, The Rev pointed out the homes of the Dallas Cowboys' Jerry Jones and Troy Aikman along with the family compound of the Hunts, oil and gas tycoons.
The Dallas Museum of Art’s “Cartier and Islam” exhibit (until Sept. 18) attracted an older crowd; the nearby Perot Museum of Nature and Science was a powerful whirlpool of kids’ groups ricocheting from the Tyrannosaurus Rex to the oil fracking exhibit. Watch your shins.
A Geogia O'Keeffe oil painting called "Ranchos Church, New Mexico" at the Amon Carter Museum of Modern Art. (Rich Oppel)
For us, the best museum was the Amon Carter Museum of Modern Art in Fort Worth, a 50-minute, madcap drive away via a 75 mph toll lane along I-30. Don’t try it during rush hour. The Carter has an exquisite collection of Remington paintings and sculptures and an excellent array of 19th and 20th-century paintings as well. Pick one museum? The Amon Carter. Peaceful, beautiful, uncrowded, free admission and small enough to manage in two hours.
The Fort Worth Stockyards, a place of history (with a dab of schmaltz), fun and good shopping, filled one of our mornings. The 98 acres brand the city as Cowboy Town, with a rodeo and a twice-daily (11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.) cattle drive. We shopped for boots, drank coffee and watched the “herd” of 18 longhorns. So languid was their progress that if this were a real market drive the beef would have been very tough and leathery before it hit the steakhouse dinner plate.
The cattle drive at the Fort Worth Stockyards. (Rich Oppel)
But we could identify: the temperature was 97. “I saw a dog chasing a cat today,” said the emcee, deploying a very old joke. “It was so hot that both were walking.”
With limited time, we chose three very different restaurants:
- Nobu, in the Crescent Court Hotel; Jia, a modern Chinese restaurant in Highland Park; and Joe T. Garcia’s in Fort Worth. Nobu’s exotic Japanese menu set us back $480, with tip, for four (we had a guest), but it was worth it.
- Jia was an ordinary suburban strip mall restaurant, but with good food and a reasonable tab of $110 for four.
- Joe T.’s is an 85-year-old Fort Worth institution (think Matt’s El Rancho but larger), a fine Mexican restaurant where a meal with two drinks was $115.
Sushi at high-end restaurant Nobu. (Crescent Hotel)
It was all a splurge for a grandchild’s visit. Now we will get back to our ordinary road trips of Hampton Inns, where a room rate is closer to the Crescent Court’s overnight parking rate of $52. And to corner cafes in small towns.
Did Dallas change our 15-year-old’s view of Texas? “Yes. I think it’s a lot cooler than I did. The fashion, the food.” So, not only Austin is cool. Take Texas as a whole. It’s a big, complex, diverse and wonderful state.
Giga Texas, the massive Tesla factory in southeast Travis County is getting even bigger.
The company filed with the city of Austin this week to expand its headquarters with a new 500,000-square-foot building. The permit application notes “GA 2 and 3 expansion,” which indicates the company will make two general assembly lines in the building.
More details about the plans for the building are unclear. The gigafactory has been focused on Model Y production since it opened in April, but the company is also aiming for Cybertruck production to kick off in mid-2023.
While there is room for expansion on the 3.3 square miles of land Tesla has, this move comes after CEO Elon Musk’s recent comments about the state of the economy and its impact on Tesla.
In a May interview with Tesla Owners Silicon Valley, Musk said the gigafactories in Berlin and Austin are “gigantic money furnaces” and said Giga Texas had manufactured only a small number of cars.
And in June, Musk sent a company wide email saying Tesla will be reducing salaried headcount by 10%, then later tweeted salaried headcount should be fairly flat.
- Grand opening of Giga Texas faces push back from the community ... ›
- Giga Texas may start production of Model Y's this week - austonia ›
- Tesla hosts Cyber Rodeo grand opening party for Giga Texas ... ›
- Musk: Recently opened Giga Texas is a gigantic money furnace ... ›
- Elon Musk is spotted driving a Cybertruck through Giga Texas ... ›
- PHOTOS: Peek inside the Tesla Gigafactory producing Model Ys in ... ›
- Cyber Rodeo: what we know about the Giga Texas opening party ... ›
- Excitement over Giga Texas grand opening continues at Tesla Con ›
- Tesla's mileage range on new Model Y lowers - austonia ›