October 2017 – October 2018
San Marcos is a great place to visit. It retains a lot of the laid-back, Democrat-friendly, music-and-food Austin vibe, due in no small part to the presence of Texas State University, but also has an easy Texas small-town charm, complete with an old town square, which Aqua lies just one block south of. Aqua is everything it needs to be – a modern gastropub with a reliable, mid-range food menu and approximately ten beers on tap at any time, including seasonals and one or two guests. The interior may feel a little generic but Aqua boasts not one but two lovely patios out back, one at ground level and a spacious roof terrace that’s delightful in the sun. They also have a large outdoor stage facing both patios which hosts live music throughout the week and every weekend. There’s a calendar on their website but we just tend to rock up and see what’s on.
Aqua’s core range does a solid job on key styles including an easy-drinking American Porter and light, hoppy Swine Dive IPA, which can be drunk in pints with your food. Their 78Tripel6 Belgian Tripel is also excellent. They play around more with their rotating seasonals. Some of my favourites have included a crisply hopped Imperial Pilsner, juicy Mosaic IPA and malty, sweet, citrusy Skyscraper IPA, but choices have ranged from English Pale to Marzen to Biere de Garde to Apricot Wheat, all of which have been really tasty. Flights come in four 4oz pours and cost a very reasonable $8. Aqua is open seven days a week – hours are day-dependent and you can hang out til Midnight from Thursday to Saturday, which is great for locals!
It’s always nice to stop by and see what’s going on at Aqua, a bit like a local-away-from-home, and it offers the best spot for drinks, music and watching the sun go down in Downtown San Marcos.