A visit to Austin would not be complete without seeing the Stevie Ray Vaughn monument and visiting Uncle Billy’s Brewery and Smokehouse. Uncle Billy’s is a delightfully funky, old timey looking place near Barton Springs. You know it’s going to be a cool place before you even walk in the door. Craft Crawler visited on a Monday evening, and the place was absolutely hopping.
The bar and restaurant has that comfortable, down-home Texas feel about it. The restaurant and brewhouse are not separated by walls, so you feel like you’re actually in the brewery – you are. Sitting at the bar gives you a great vantage point for watching brewing operations. The aromas from the brewery and the smokehouse combine for awesome ambience.
Outside there is a very large covered patio area. Even though it was plenty hot that day (100 degrees or so), the shade and numerous misters kept the area comfortable. This would obviously be a great place to hang while listening to a good Texas blues band. Uncle Billy’s has live music on the patio regularly, including a fall series in conjunction with a local radio station.
The brewing crew create some interesting and diverse beers, including both ales and lagers. The crew includes a third generation assistant brewer who learned the fundamentals of brewing from her grandfather, a renowned Belgian brewer. Uncle Billy’s beers have won numerous awards at the Beer World Cup and the Great American Beer Festival. I tried several different beers – they were all very good.
Uncle Billy’s is now distributing kegged beer to local craft beer bars in Austin, and some of their beers are available in cans at local stores. If you’re in the Austin area, look for it.
Be sure to stay for dinner when you visit Uncle Billy’s. The restaurant menu goes beyond traditional smokehouse fair with items like mussels, oysters, salmon and several German entrees. However, the good ole smoked beef brisket is hard to beat.