Our first brewpub visit was to ABGB in the south-central area of Austin, TX on 1/10/14. As a matter of fact, if you use Google Maps to look up zip code 78704, the pinpoint lands directly on ABGB. This restaurant, brewery, and music venue that opened just last year was the perfect place for us to sit down and enjoy some good beer and pizza for lunch on our last day in Austin.
Co-owner Mark Jensen sat down with us when we arrived and told us that at one point ABGB was going to be a production brewery rather than a brewpub. “We always wanted to be a music venue,” he stated, “but at one point we were going to be a production brewery with a music venue and that might have meant that we would have needed to be further out of town. It still would’ve had the same kind of Roadhouse vibe to it, but it’s nice that we got to do it right in town by finding this place.” After making their choice to become a brewpub and writing up a business plan, the Texas laws changed in a way that will ultimately benefit their decision. ABGB now has the option to distribute their beer out of the brewpub, which was previously against the law in Texas.
The taps at ABGB consist of their house beers, and as of now there are 5 year-round “Always” offerings – Hell Yes Helles, Industry Pils, Day Trip Pale Ale, Superliner IPA, and Big Mama Red Hoppy Red Ale. Head Brewers Amos Lowe and Brian “Swifty” Peters both came to ABGB after making beer together at Uncle Billy’s, another brewpub in town. They teamed up with Mark as well as Curt and Jill Knobloch, husband and wife, to build “their dream.” Amos, Mark, and Curt all went to high school together near the Space Center in Houston. In fact, one of their high school friends went on to become a burlesque performer, and also became the namesake for Big Mama Red. It’s big, bodacious, and robust just like her. Their tap selection also contains rotating seasonal “Sometimes” drafts, 3 of which were on tap during our visit. If you can’t decide which one to try out first, they also offer flights with 5 samples of your choice.
ABGB has a diverse selection of live music every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, and hopes to “Keep Austin Weird” by being a destination location for performers during SXSW. Once a week there is a Bring Your Own Vinyl night, so make sure to bring your albums with you if you end up there on a Tuesday night! They also offer tables outside to sit at in their beer garden, and long, bench-style seating inside to allow for more of a community feel.
Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co. is open every day except Monday, so make sure to go by and get yourself some pizza, salad, and beer next time you’re close! Thanks to Mark, Amos, and Swifty for taking time out of their day to show us around.
Author: Michael Roberts