Do you ever go on a wine-buying mission and find yourself standing in front of the shelves, frozen with indecision? In these moments, the options are usually to phone a friend, decide based on the appeal of the label, or just turn around, defeated by the despair of indecision. Note: The Austinot does not recommend this last approach.[Read more…]
I heard about a speakeasy called Here Nor There in passing. The entrance was hidden. You needed to make a reservation on an app to get in. You could become a member for an annual fee. They served some of the best drinks in Austin and I had to visit because it was “an experience.”
For my second article spotlighting Austin’s best speakeasies, I visited Here Nor There downtown, to separate fact from fiction and see what the experience entailed.[Read more…]
Guest article by Ken Pishna
When Christian Cryder left Montana behind to open a brewery on East Sixth Street in Austin, he wanted to build a community around four key ingredients: coffee, beer, tacos, and joy.
Lazarus Brewing Company was born on Christmas Eve in 2016. With a talented head brewer, one of Austin’s finest Street-Mex food truck chefs, and a veteran coffee roaster; the beer, food, and coffee were givens.
The question was whether Lazarus could rise up and give new life to the Bike Texas building, and iconic Cool Store, as a brewery with plans to be more than a place to grab a cold one.
Embracing Community at Lazarus Brewing
It’s no small secret Cryder was a pastor in Montana and continues to minister in Austin. The colors of Cryder’s background are woven throughout Lazarus Brewing. There are beers named “40 Days and 40 Nights” and “First Noël,” and a stained glass image in the ceiling connecting the main tap room to the barrel room. Yet Cryder never wanted to blend the church into the brewery. He wanted to foster a communal space where people could gather and find the joy in life.
“There’s something good about the brewing scene, what it does for people, what it does for community,” the Austin entrepreneur shared with me. And that’s something Lazarus embraces.
From day one, it has been an open and inviting space, welcoming families, including their four-legged members, with a cozy tap room space. Much of it was handcrafted by Cryder and his family, and the space opens through vast garage doors onto a beautiful patio and courtyard. The courtyard is furnished with large picnic tables that invite people to sit down with neighbors, friends, and strangers alike.
Since opening in 2016, Lazarus Brewing has revamped the Cool Store, but Cryder didn’t want to dismantle the history of the community landmark. Paying homage to the Cool Store, Cryder only gave the facade a face lift, leaving Bob Marley serenading us on Chicon Street. The inside has been converted into a multi-purpose space that houses a wild fermentation/sour facility, barrel-aging room, and event space.
More Than a Brewery
All the while, Lazarus has managed to maintain the cozy coffee house feel up front, where coffee roasted on site by Cryder’s wife Marilyn is served beginning at 7 a.m. during the week, and 10 a.m. on weekends. There is a full espresso bar and the caramel leather sofa remains in the cozy nook inside the main entrance.
The gourmet Street Mex menu ranges from breakfast to lunch to dinner, so you can’t think of Lazarus as just a brewery.
It’s easy enough to drop in with friends for a cup of coffee and breakfast taco to get the day started. Or come by any time of the day to jump on the free Wifi and get some work done, sipping a cup of hand-crafted Joe, or an adult beverage or two.
For all its offerings, Lazarus also remains steadfast as a great example of craft beer. Head brewer Matt Couch has built a strong set of base beers when you want something tried and true, but has also developed an assortment sure to please even the finickiest craft beer aficionado. (Of which I’m one and, yes, I was pleased.) Couch’s latest offerings include the aforementioned wild fermentations and barrel-aged beers.
All that Lazarus offers by way of creature comforts equals exactly what Cryder intended. He has created a place to sit, relax, converse with friends and strangers, and find the joy in life.
1902 E. 6th St. — Website
@theAustinot wants to know:
Which breweries in Austin make you feel at home?
Ken Pishna travels around the country interviewing interesting craft brewers and sharing their stories through “Living A Stout Life.” Watch his conversation with Christian Cryder on YouTube.
We always have unique content on the Austinot, and we love to give things away. You know, like CDs, event tickets and other cool stuff. We only send out our Best of the Austinot newsletter two times/month. It’s where we give you a recap of our best articles and give stuff away. Interested? Subscribe to Best of the Austinot here!
Having grown up in Austin in the 1980s, I often feel a rush of mixed feelings when I frequent familiar parts of town that look almost unrecognizable. In the ever-changing, always hip city of Austin, there is a comforting nostalgia when you run across that rare gem that has stood strong for over a century. Scholz Garten is one such treasure, defining the downtown Austin scene and carving out a special space in history as the longest-running biergarten in America.
The bar that launched the bustling, booming Rainey Street entertainment district is turning 10 on Feb. 21, 2019. They grow up fast, don’t they?
Here’s the story behind the bar that started it all.
Sometimes you don’t know what you’re looking for until you’ve found it. One day you’re getting a haircut at the barbershop you’ve been going to for 10 years, and the next you have an offer to open your own bar behind said barbershop. If that feels like a fairly specific example, it’s because…surprise!…it’s based on a true story. Meet Brian Hummel, owner and operator of the The Good Life BAR BAR, a cozy and unique speakeasy in the heart of downtown Austin. [Read more…]
Finding your groove in the Austin restaurant scene is a challenge. With hundreds of amazing eateries slinging booze and food, aspiring businesses need a unique hook to stand out from the crowd. Enter Oz. Tap House, northwest Austin’s newest beer garden. By combining a state-of-the-art self-service tap wall with a rock star menu of pub favorites, this Four Points spot is poised to become a neighborhood favorite. [Read more…]
Antonelli’s Cheese Shop is a slice of gourmet cheese heaven right here in Austin. The darling Hyde Park cheese shop with the most knowledgable and friendly cheesemongers around turns nine on Feb. 11, 2019.
To celebrate its birthday, Antonelli’s is giving Austinites the gift of free cheese at more restaurants than ever! Cue happy dance. [Read more…]
France has always been an interest of mine. In high school, I took French instead of Spanish and relished learning about the culture. Most importantly, I loved learning about the food.
Through my Austin food adventures, I’ve found a little piece of France. Le Politique, located in downtown Austin, is a local brasserie that doesn’t disappoint with its selection of classic and delicious French fare.
While covering many of my favorite food options in Austin, I’ve learned that every food trailer has a story. For most, the story began relatively recently. A few years back, perhaps. It was then a dream was formed, idea hatched, menu created, trailer purchased. This relatively recent timeline is to be expected in a city with the rapid growth of Austin.
And then you have the OG’s. The Original Gangsters. The trailers that made their names before it was commonplace to expect fine dining meals to come out of a vehicle. Baton Creole’s story began back then. And now, the Cajun and Creole cuisine creator has Godfather status in Austin’s food trailer scene. Or Godmother status, perhaps. [Read more…]