October 2017 – October 2018
Friends and Allies is a great spot located in East Austin’s up-and-coming Springdale Road cultural hub. Nestled between the Austin Eastciders Collaboratory and the Austin Bouldering Project gym, and across the road from the achingly hipster Canopy Building creative community, Friends and Allies actually pre-dates all of them, having opened its doors in 2015, clearly well ahead of the curve.
We’ve visited Friends and Allies several times since arriving in ATX. It was, in fact, at the top of my brewery agenda on arriving here, due in no small part to their beyond-adorable logo of a wolf and bear (as Friends and Allies) – I am a complete sucker for anything animal-related and proudly sport a delightful F&I tank top. Fortunately, Friends and Allies’ skill extends beyond cutesy marketing. Their increasing bold and diverse beer list has cranked up a notch of late with the release of their impressively hefty Old Tactician Belgian Quad, juicy Fresh Coast IPA and rich, roasty Bat Wing Stout. While there are certainly no flies on their core range, the Noisy Cricket Session IPA and Springdale Witbier in particular, I’m always happy to see a brewery spread their creative wings and this seems to be Friends and Allies’ time.
The taproom works the industrial aesthetic nicely, with simple glass-chrome and a good-size deck with giant Jenga and Connect 4 that spills over with the Collaboratory to create a friendly, chilled-out drinks space. They’re quite a sporty brewery, hosting group bike rides, offering discounts to Bouldering Project members and showing UT games with drinks specials, and have a range of branded sports wear, but I won’t hold this against them! The crowd certainly hasn’t been sports-exclusionary on any of our visits, in fact quite the contrary – the vibe is just the right blend of hip and local, and super-friendly at that.
Friends and Allies is now open seven days a week, with the Ginger Armadillo food truck on hand from 4pm-close. Hours are day-dependent and you can hang out til midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, and hell – why not? You can combine your visit with a nose through Canopies galleries (I’d recommend Modern Rocks) and a cider or two, should you be so inclined, and have a whole East Austin adventure.