Everything’s bigger (and better) in Texas. In Austin, beer and cider are no exception to this rule. Over 50 breweries operate in the capital city, the most out of all Texas cities. And if you’re a live music fan, you’re in luck—we’ve put together a list of the 10 best Austin breweries to enjoy a cold one (or a cold many) while experiencing Austin’s live music scene.

Outdoor patio at Central Machine Works Brewery in Austin Texas
Central Machine Works. Credit Jenna Krackenberger

1. Central Machine Works Brewing

Central Machine Works, located on the far east side of the city, is a former machine parts manufacturing warehouse that operated during the WWII era. Today, this carefully restored space now houses a modern brewery that works hard to preserve the industrial environment of the 1940s in Austin. The brewery has become a hot spot for local music, showcased on its outdoor stage.

2. Meanwhile Brewing

On the south side of town is the family-friendly, dog-recommended Meanwhile Brewing. Boasting a massive outdoor space and elegant indoor bar, Meanwhile shows a full calendar of live music and events. The space features a well-curated ensemble of food trucks, a soccer field, a playground for the kids and a well-built music lovers’ stage outdoors. 

3. Austin Eastciders

For our cider-loving friends, Austin Eastciders has a beautiful taproom in East Austin on Springdale Road. Eastciders has grown in national prominence as one of America’s best-selling ciders, and the company is known to release new flavors at its home base locations. To make it even sweeter, the taproom regularly features live music and other fun events!

people dining with pizza and beer at large table
ABGB. Credit Jody Horton Photography

4. Austin Beer Garden Brewing Company

ABGB, short for Austin Beer Garden Brewing Company, provides both patrons and musicians with world class hospitality. The venue is stationed in a warehouse-like space in the South Lamar area off of West Oltorf. Austin’s top local musicians are invited to play the indoor stage of which the venue’s famous “PILS! PILS! PILS!” signage sits above. While you enjoy the live music and cold beer, make sure to indulge in ABGB’s wonderful selection of pizzas, salads and sandwiches.

5. Independence Brewing

Freethinkers and drinkers alike will want to stop into Independence Brewing in southeast Austin for one of their many canned brews over some live music. Set in a warehouse-style space, Independence Brewing has a laid-back industrial vibe with a patio in the front outfitted with a small stage for live music. From electric rock music to honky tonk tunes, you'll find great local music and beers at Independence. 

6. Jester King Brewery

18 miles west of downtown Austin sits the massive 165-acre ranch that is Jester King Brewery. As part of its farmhouse philosophy, the brewery incorporates its own Texas groundwater and local ingredients in its beer and food. On the weekends, patrons can enjoy some time out in the beautiful and spacious Texas Hill Country along with a variety of live music events.

7. St. Elmo Brewing Co.

Located in The Yard, St. Elmo is a great spot to grab a beer and chill a while. In addition to other events throughout the week, St. Elmo hosts Grassy Thursdays is local bluegrass artists every single week in the beer garden. 

Five members of a bluegrass band play on the outdoor stage under a large tree at Vista Brewing
Courtesy of Vista Brewing

8. Vista Brewing

In the neighboring town of Driftwood is the beautiful 21-acre destination brewery, Vista Brewing. The venue is fully made for your beer-drinking pleasure with a tasting room, farm-to-table restaurant, organic farm, apiary, and event spaces for live music and private events. Experience live music behind the beautiful drop of the Hill Country.

9. South Austin Beer Garden

South Austin Beer Garden provides a spacious and rustic-themed environment with 60 beers on tap, backyard games, a giant 3000 sq ft deck, fire pits, and live music fit for the South Austin soul. As one of the destination watering holes of the South Austin Shuttle, patrons can easily hop on a shuttle to visit surrounding bars including the Armadillo Den and Lustre Pearl South.

10. Twisted Texas Tours

If you can’t decide which breweries you want to visit, don't worry! The Twisted Texas Tour is Austin’s only concert on wheels. Their popular “Brew Bus Austin Brewery Tour” features a 3.5 hour tour of three various Austin breweries with live music on deck to entertain patrons in between stops. The tour includes a mid-way stop for an included meal from a food truck located onsite at one of the breweries. This is the perfect Austin experience for groups like bachelor or bachelorette parties, a birthday vacation with friends, or any other special occasion!

Contributed by Nathalie Phan.Nathalie Phan author headshot
Nathalie Phan is a local music connoisseur and the founder of On Vinyl Media and SoundSync Music. She is passionate about helping Austin musicians and the local music industry.
Twitter: @natphantastic