When out-of-towners bombard SXSW for the music industry's spring break, finding a free beverage is most definitely not a difficult task. While many parties will be boasting Lone Star, a beer that is definitely a Texan tradition, and a lucky few will have the always delicious Shiner Bock for your drinking enjoyment, we have a few tips on drinks not to miss while you are in our great city.
Shiner - The holy grail of Texas beers, but many might not reazlie that there are several varieties of Shiner that are available. The one most are used to, Shiner Bock (yellow label), is the tried and true standard. But, if you're feeling a bit adventurous, we suggest sampling their other varieties. The brewery has recently released their black lager, which is mighty tasty. They also have Shiner Blonde, Shiner Light, Shiner Hefeweizen, Shiner Kolsch, Shiner Dunkelweizen plus anniversary brews, so try a sampler of them all!
Independence Brewing Company - A newcomer to the area, and a TRUE Austin brewery, makes this one a requirement for sampling while in town. They have a few varities, including Austin Amber, Bootlegger Brown, Indepence Pale Ale and Freestyle, you've got plenty to try. Their Bootlegger Brown Ale is a personal favorite.
Real Ale Brewing Company - Based out of Blanco, these guys have some mighty good brews. Fireman's #4 makes for a perfect beverage for a sunny day, and has become a local favorite. They've also got Rio Blanco Pale Ale, Full Moon Pale Rye Ale and Brewhouse Brown Ale.
Rahr & Sons Brewing Company - Another Texas brewery, this one based out of good ol' Cowtown itself, Fort Worth. They have started making a name for themselves in the state, with such great brews as their Blonde Lager, Rahr Red, Ugly Pug and Stormcloud IPA. They have also recently released their Bucking Bock, which is damn amazing.
If you're coming to Texas, you're going to drink margaritas. That is just a given. But not all margaritas are worth a Texan seal of approval, so here are a few tips.
Freddie's Place - This was a huge surprise when we migrated to Austin, but this place is amazing. For starters, their outdoor area is badass, with plenty of trees to give you shade while enjoying random local artists performing on stage. The grub is quite tasty, but where they really hit the mark is on their potent margaritas. A couple of those and you are SET for the day. This is worth the cab ride away from SXSW central.
Trudy's - Another cab ride for this one, but it is well worth the dough. Their old-school location near the UT campus is great, which includes a favorite: Mexican Martinis. Don't worry guys, this is not a chick drink, and they have the ability to kick your ass as well. Take a stiff margarita on the rocks, drop it in a martini shaker, add olives and you have Trudy's Mexican Martini. They will only let you order two of them, and for good reason.
Up next... tips on good eats! Stay tuned...