28 May . 2019
VinePair taps Austin as world’s No. 1 beer destination
Austin is the top beer destination in the world for 2019, according to the respected industry drinks publication VinePair.
Starting with a nod to well-known beer destinations like Munich, Belgium, both Portlands (Oregon and Maine) and Colorado, VinePair challenged itself to look beyond the usual suspects and seek out new cities for beercations, especially if they offer new nonstop flights, hot new restaurants and unique cultural attractions.
World capitals like Paris, Tokyo and Berlin made the list, along with emerging U.S. beer destinations including Raleigh, North Carolina and Rochester, New York.
Austin nabbed the No. 1 spot in the world, with VinePair raving that Austin’s beer-and-food-pairing game is equally impressive as its craft-brewing scene.
Austin has more craft breweries than any other city in Texas – no small feat, since Austin ranks fourth statewide in population. Of the 257 craft breweries in Texas, 37 are located within Austin’s city limits, and that doesn’t even include breweries in surrounding metro areas cities such as Georgetown and Round Rock. Many of these are close to Rancho Sienna – more on that in a bit.
VinePair says that Austin is home to some of the country’s best lager brewers, including Live Oak, whose Grodziskie was one of their favorites in 2018. Fun fact: Grodziskie is a centuries-old Polish brew that ceased commercial production in the late 20th century, until Live Oak brought it back to Texas.
Other Austin breweries that have achieved distinction include Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co., winner of two gold medals at the 2018 Great American Beer Festival. Austin Beerworks won a bronze medal for its light lager at last year’s GABF.
VinePair also praised Austin’s up-and-coming food scene, which is thriving with new players such as The Brewer’s Table, an upscale East Austin brewpub that was named one of Zagat’s Most Anticipated Restaurant Openings in 2017, and has earned glowing reviews from Food & Wine magazine.
VinePair also loved Batch Craft Beer and Kolaches, which pairs a curated selection of craft beers with elevated versions of Texas’ beloved Czech pastries.
Austin has also attracted the attention of international foodie authorities such as Travel + Leisure and Zagat.
Travel + Leisure proclaimed Austin as America's Next Great Food Town in 2018, writing that “a renegade wave of talented chefs with Texas-size ambitions and rock-and-roll swagger is turning Austin into the country next seat for great food – and barbecue is just the beginning.”
In 2017, Austin ranked No. 2 on Zagat’s list of the most exciting food cities in America.
Located in Georgetown and North Austin, Rancho Sienna is close to some of the most promising new craft breweries and brewpubs in the Austin area, including:
- Rentsch Brewery proclaims itself as Georgetown’s first craft brewery, and this family-owned establishment is proudly powered by 100% wind energy. Popular brews include Red Poppy Red, inspired by Georgetown’s famous Red Poppy Festival, and Texas Lager. Food trucks, live music and games add to the festive atmosphere in the biergarten.
- Bluebonnet Beer Company in Round Rock is another family-run brewery, where master brewer (and dad) David Hulama crafts Cream Ale, Texas Pecan Brown Ale, Bluebonnet Wit and other varieties.
- Bull Creek Brewing in Liberty Hill is transitioning to a farm brewery, where they will be able to control production of brewing ingredients to produce seasonal and small-batch brews such as Longhorn Blonde and Iron Balls for limited distribution and guests in their Tap Room. Their Secret Sipper Society is a membership program with exclusive perks for beer-lovers.
- Whitestone Brewery in Cedar Park brews varieties like Konverter Kolsch, Long Gone Blonde and Boondoggle Brown, along with seasonal beers such as Keyboard Gangsta and 8.5 Minute Abs. They have a curated selection of food trucks, with special events and recurring events such as Name That Tune Bingo, Ladies’ Night, Geeks Who Drink Trivia, and Namaste & Have a Beer.
- Pinthouse Pizza in Round Rock is part of a small, Austin-based trio of brewpubs founded by “six guys who share a passion for craft beer and good food. Our goal is to serve award-winning beer and hand-crafted pizza in a warm and casual setting.” Pinthouse focuses on quality and sustainability when choosing suppliers for its beers and pizza. Where possible, they prioritize locally sourced and organic ingredients.
For even more eateries and activities to discover near Rancho Sienna, check out our Local Flavor Guide.
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