I didn’t expect much from the Deep South in terms of craft beer but was pleasantly surprised to stumble onto and out of some great craft beer venues in New Orleans and Austin.
The Avenue was a great pub near my hostel in the Garden District of New Orleans. A big old southern mansion with lots of characters and a great range of beers, including local ones. The pick of the local brews for me was the NOLA Irish Channel Stout with its classic dark roasty flavours.
Whilst in Houston for a night, I struck up a conversation with the guy next to me who happened to be behind Leprechaun Cider, a locally brewed cider made from apples grown in the Northwest.
The guy was super cool and passionate about providing a good product. The cider was dry, light and refreshing, reminding me of one of my favourites in Victoria, Napoleone Cider.
In Austin, Texas, I again stumbled upon a great beer venue near my hostel, Draft Pick, with a wide selection of local beers on tap. I had a few paddles to sample the local wares and found the 512 brewery’s Pecan Porter of particular interest, though the whole lot were pretty solid.
If you’re looking for a good place to drink in Austin, head to the Rainey St. bars. Rainey St. seems like your average neighbourhood street but a few of the old houses have been converted into cool bars. They’re really chilled places where locals like to hang out, and you will too. I loved all the fairy lights strung up outside, the people playing cornhole, and the warm Texas climate, which was just perfect for drinking.