This quintessential Austin brewery / brewpub is has 3 locations in South Austin, Burnet, and Round Rock. And an East Austin location is coming soon! Wherever in Austin you roam, you can find a Pinthouse near you. I usually visit South Lamar.
Like many breweries, Pinthouse has some standard recipes that are always on tap as well as a rotating schedule of seasonal brews. Their website has a calendar of release dates for each location, and you can often find different specialties at different times by going to an alternate location.
During my latest visit to Pinthouse (December 2020) I drank and shared the four beers below. This was certainly not my first time to drink at Pinthouse, but it was my first time taking notes and pictures, so I will update with some other favorites next time I go.
Papa Bear Barley Wine
Sweet, a little syrupy, astringent finish on the back of your tongue almost like strong black tea.
3.0 out of 5.0 stars
Lo Brau Lager
Citrusy, light, solid wheat body and absolutely no bitter back end. One of my favorite lagers, and my current top favorite lager from a local Austin brewery.
5.0 out of 5.0 stars
Electric Jellyfish Hazy IPA
Perhaps their most famous beer. Strong grapefruit notes but without the bitter aftertaste of many IPAs. Pleasant bubbly and crisp mouthfeel. I’m not always a big fan of strong hoppy flavor that ends up tasting like soap, but this is hops done right in my book. Currently tied with Austin Beer Garden Brewery for my favorite IPA.
5.0 out of 5.0 stars
Old Beluga Amber Ale
Not bad, but not very eventful…perhaps slight notes of coffee? I personally prefer a heavier mouthfeel and more flavor in an amber. It was pleasant to drink with food, but I probably won’t order it again.
2.0 out of 5.0 stars
True to its name, Pinthouse mostly sells pizzas, although there are also salads available. Although none of their “Classic Pies” are vegan, you can build your own pizza with vegan cheese and any toppings of your choosing. I chose mushroom and red onions to keep topping prices down, but I could have gone all out with basil, garlic, cherry tomatoes, poblano peppers, or even jalapeños. They also offer Beyond Meat plant-based sausage for an extra 3.50!
Add their delightfully crispy and chewy crust, and this is definitely one of the best vegan pizzas in town. If that doesn’t make a great Austin brewery, what does?
In normal times, Pinthouse Pizza is a fun place to go with lots of friends because of their large tables and quick turnaround on food orders! There are TVs playing sports, but the audio is quiet enough that they are easily ignored if you aren’t there to watch football. The staff is always very friendly and the bartenders are happy to talk beer if they aren’t busy.
Of course, this is 2020 so everything is different. Pinthouse is doing an excellent job with social distancing and safety measures in their restaurant. We checked in with the outside and were asked to wait in our car until we got a text that a table was ready. Inside, diners were very spread out. There was hand sanitizer at each table and everyone was asked to wear masks when getting up to order. The staff was kind but kept their distance. All of these measures combined with the fairly large air volume of the building make it feel as safe as any indoor dining could be this year.
Pinthouse Pizza is pretty darn cheap, as Austin breweries go. Most beers at Pinthouse cost $5-6, and a small pizza starts at $5.75 + $1.25 for each topping. Classic Pizzas start at $7.25. There are not a lot of breweries around where you can eat dinner for less than $10 (beers not included, of course).