A trip to the Zoo
During the planning phase of our trips we always do our best to make our beerventures both fun and educational. If you’ve known us for a while you will know our obsession with zoos and our trip to Texas obviously had to include a trip to the Austin Zoo. The Austin Zoo isn’t like most regular tourist attraction zoos as this zoo is located a ways out from the city limits and is also a rescue zoo – maybe the first rescue zoo we’ve visited.
All the animals at this zoo have fun (and sometimes sad) back stories as to why they live in the Austin zoo proudly displayed on a placard in front of the exhibit. One of our favorite stories from the zoo was the alligator who was brought to the zoo after the family realized an alligator was not a great pet for a young child. The kicker here is that the pet alligator was from the child’s grandparents. My grandparents didn’t even want us getting a dog because it may bite us…
There are tons of exotic birds, big cats and tortoises so if any of those are your favorite animals you’re in for an exciting treat. If not, the zoo holds several other fascinating and delightful animals, opens early and is deceptively large so you will hit your daily steps just by visiting all of the zoo’s residents.
Central District Brewing
Austin is home to some fabulous breweries. Surprisingly however, Downtown Austin (the district) only has one brewery at the heart of this city and about 10 blocks away from the Texas State Capitol building. Central District Brewing offers 16 taps of beer – so just one flight wasn’t going to cut it today.
Our two tidy flights of four had a delicious array of styles and without much deliberation we concluded that our favorites were the IPA’s and the stout. Depending on your IPA preference, you will either really enjoy the Texas Skies or the Concentric Circles. Concentric Circles claims it’s a NEIPA on untapped, but also conflictingly says West Coast Hazy IPA; it’s probably somewhere in the middle but don’t get hung up on the description. The Short Straw stout didn’t have a lot of ‘heft’ and body behind it, but it did offer robust roasty notes that combined well with lighter body on the sweltering day.
Zilker Brewing Company
Do you have a dog (or want to pet other people’s dogs) and like food trucks? Look no further than a stop at Zilker Brewing Company. After excitedly saying HI and petting every pup, placing an order in with the Spicy Boys Food Truck (always at Zilker apparently) sit yourself down to another round of delicious pours.
Unfortunately, Zilker was not doing flights yet but they do have a nice rotating list of seasonal and flagships to choose from in full or half-pours. As we were limited to half-pours, our festivities were a tad limited but we will absolutely recommend Birthday Sauce IPA and the Top Shelf sour.
Zilker boasts on their untappd page that the Birthday Sauce IPA had previously sold out in under 24 hours! So it sounds like we were certainly lucky to get our hands on this dank, citrus and piney brew. The Top Shelf sour is a Margarita inspired kettle sour with salt and wow – absolutely crushed the Margarita flavors – this could easily be one of the best variations of a margarita beer we’ve ever had the pleasure of consuming.
Lazarus Brewing Company
After your trip to Zilker, walk across the street to Lazarus Brewing Company to cool down under 1 of a dozen or so cooling mister fans – which are awesome. The large outdoor space was alive with people drinking, playing table games and yes – “working” from “home.”
Unfortunately again, Lazarus was also partaking in the zero-flight Covid challenge and serving only full pours! With no half-pour in sight, we had to limit ourselves to three. “Are We There Yet?” Hazy IPA, “Le Roi Soleil” Apricot Sour and the “Cool and the Gang” English Mild Ale. Now I’m sure you’re wondering – why did we pick a full pour of an English Mild as, yes, it does seem a bit mild for us.
Cool and the Gang by far blew every other beer out of the water during our trip (at least according to Andrew). That’s right, we came across another Earl Grey Tea infused beer in collaboration with Blue Owl Brewing. In full disclosure, the beer only stands at 3.5% abv, hardly qualifing it as alcohol, but the light beer and full body tea taste are amazing on a hot afternoon. What is Andrew’s infatuation with this Earl Grey? I’m still not entirely sure but it probably has to do with Star Trek and the that this really is a delicious addition to just about every base style we’ve had it in.
Links to the rest of our Texas Beerventure
Waffle House, Live Oak + Hi Sign Brewing
Meanwhile + Pinehouse Brewing – Watch out for Electric Jellyfish!
Central District, Zilker + Lazarus Brewing – Plus a Zoo!
Hill Country – Just West of Austin!
Pour Your Own Beer in Austin! – Also, other places too.
Top 5 Breweries of San Antonio!