So we've told you wear to eat and what to drink, but now it is time for the most important part of your upcoming trip to Austin: where to drink! Yup, you'll be whipping out that corporate card like mad next week, so get ready to expense your heart out! Although you'll get plenty of free beverages at the various parties and events, sometimes you'll want to break away with clients, friends, etc., so here are a few tips on alcohol destinations.
Broken Spoke (3201 South Lamar) - Well, if you're going to visit Texas, you'd might as well experience one of the most well-known honky tonk bars on the planet. Grab yourself a Lone Star Beer, order up some chicken fried steak, and get ready to dance the two-step with a local.
Casino El Camino (517 East 6th Street) - We mentioned this one in our "eats" guide, but this is also a great spot to grab a beverage as well. It is on 6th Street, making it within walking distance from most of your SXSW events. They have a good beer selection, plus seating both inside and out.
Creekside Lounge (606 East 7th Street) - The Tripwire crew stumbled upon this great bar last year during SXSW, and it quickly became a favorite. The inside is fairly small, with some of the nicest barstaff you'll find in the city. The outside patio area is perfect for escaping the wrath of music overload, making it a great spot for taking a load of and catching up with acquaintances.
Dog & Duck Pub (406 West 17th Street) - Finding a good Guinness pour in Texas isn't easy, but this is one of the few places that does it right. If you're craving some traditional pub grub and a pint of lager, cider or your favorite stout, you'll enjoy the Dog & Duck.
Donn's Depot (1600 West 5th Street) - Seriously, who doesn't want to get wasted in a train depot, or even a train car. Donn's Depot is housed in an old Missouri-Pacific train depot, and even the ladies' restroom is a real train caboose. You know the phrase "keep Austin weird?" Well, this is a prime example.
Draught House (4112 Medical Parkway) - If you love beer, and I mean REALLY LOVE BEER, you will want to hop in a cab and venture out to the Draught House Pub & Brewery. This has one of the finest selections of beer in the city, with plenty of space to chill outside and enjoy your pint of heaven. Come mingle with locals, pet some dogs and chill out.
Ginger Man (304 West 4th Street) - Although the Draught House has one hell of a beer selection, if you don't feel like springing for the cab ride, the Ginger Man is within walking distance, located near most of your typical music venues and the convention center. They've got tons o' brews, so you'll be able to find just about anything you'd want. Plus they have a great patio in the back, shaded by trees.
G&S Lounge (2420 South First Street) - This is one of the finest dive bars you'll find in Austin. It looks shitty, has a good selection of beers, but where it rules is in its air hockey tables, pinball machines and other games. Yup, it is like a crusty, run down Showbizz Pizza, but with better beer, and no animatronic show.
The Mean Eyed Cat (1621 West 5th Street) - This has become a local favorite, and a bar that is distinctively Austin. It is filled with Johnny Cash themed memorabilia, making it all the cooler. Their beer is cheap, the music is awesome and it is a perfect spot catching some local music as well. Do yourself a favor and make it down to the Cat. It is worth it!
Opal Divines (700 West 6th Street) - Another spot that we previously mentioned in our eats guide, but this is just as great of a pub to grab a pint of local beer. They have a mighty good selection, and their outdoor space is hard to beat. Being located on 6th Street makes it a great pitstop in between our music-related obligations.