Since I have moved to Austin in 2008, I have been amazed by the explosion of the local craft beer scene here in Central Texas. Striving to reach the regal brewing ranks of great cities like Portland, Chicago, Denver and Seattle, Austin is now home to roughly 20 microbreweries and brewpubs scattered about town, according to the outstanding publication that is the Austin Beer Guide.
While I certainly have a penchant for the finer pints pulled from the likes of area standouts (512) Brewing, Jester King, Black Star Co-op and Independence, none hit the nail on the head harder when it comes to excellent beers than Thirsty Planet Brewing Company, located out off of Highway 290 East and Circle Drive, between Austin and Dripping Springs.
Founded by owners, Brian and Tammy Smittle, in the Summer of 2010, Thirsty Planet prides themselves on a variety of different styles and flavors to satisfy the most distinctive beer-drinking pallets. A personal Thirsty Planet favorite of mine is the American-style Buckethead IPA – a somewhat sweet taste with a bitter finish and chock full of hops. A great selection with another local Austin favorite of mine, Home Slice Pizza.
Other Thirsty Planet standouts include their Thirsty Goat Amber – a malty and smoother option that goes great with burgers and sandwiches, as well as the Yellow Armadillo Wheat – an excellent selection for beating the heat during these long and hot Texas Summers, refreshing and cool.
However, I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention the uber-creative seasonal from Thirsty Planet here in 2012, that being a brew Brian and his crafty associates, Mike Haiges and Jake Maddux, created in celebration of their two-year anniversary – the Franklin Smoked Porter. Yes, for fellow Texas BBQ aficionados, this release contains malts smoked in the pits of the “mecca of seared meats,” the one and only, Franklin Barbecue, here in Austin. A unique flavored brew, to say the least. Kudos, fellas!
In addition to the many locations around ATX – restaurants, bars, finer watering holes and the like, where you can find their brews on tap, Thirsty Planet is also a fantastic locale to spend a Saturday afternoon. Brian, Mike, Jake and the gang offer two different tours of the facility – at 11am and 1:30pm – with tastings, tunes and grub for a steal of a price. Check out their web site below for more information, details on the tours and the latest at what’s happenin’ at TP.
So, if reading this, alone, has you drooling for a cold one, head on out and find yourself a Thirsty Planet brew. I promise it won’t be your last! Stay thirsty, my friends.
Thirsty Planet Brewing Company
11160 Circle Drive
Austin, TX 78736