Along with my very own South Austin, Dripping Springs is currently one of the fastest-growing beer-hoods in ATX, and it’s now possible to spend a day touring (or even two) touring the many scenic breweries in just a few miles of each other. With a strong hop-forward focus, Last Stand is part of the Dripping Springs old guard, having just turned a mighty four, and its status is reflected in the excellent distribution the brewery has achieved in and around the Austin area where you can pick up a Citra Smash, Simcoe Pale or Saaz Blonde pretty much anywhere. Despite being a hop (ha), skip and jump down the road from the Jester King circus, the Last Stand taproom is warmly local, although it does boast a substantial 14 rotating taps to choose from. Flights are a happy snip at $10 for four 4oz pours, and on both our visit there has been a food truck on site.
The shaded beer garden is old-school woodchip with cornhole, giant jenga and a small stage, and the interior is simply decorated with benches and bar stools. Arriving for Last Stand’s 4th anniversary party, our hosts seemed surprised we’d travelled in specially from Austin, although with the enticing tap list of BA boozy specials and rarities, I was more surprised that more other people hadn’t. The party was as comfortably bustling, with a friendly, family vibe, and very well-organised to ensure minimal queuing – there were even complimentary popsicles! I love getting stuck into the kind of special-release beers you only get at this kind of event, so was in my absolute element and I wasn’t disappointed at all. Among the beery treats on offer, I particularly enjoyed the Good Gourd Almighty Rye made with heirloom smoked gourds – yes really! Also the BA Historic Strong Ale which tasted surprisingly like an English Ale, just turned up to eleven, ahem, and the 10-4 Good Buddy Barleywine was also great, with a caramelly dried-fruit sweetness. I was also really impressed with the lovely solid but stylish reusable plastic cups – I look forward to taking mine on picnics!
Last Stand has the advantage of being situated in a cute little enclave along with the Argus Cidery and brilliant Revolution Spirits, so you can get a taste of different Hill Country beverages all in one spot. Whether or not there’s a special event on, a trip to Last Stand will give you the chance to check out brews you can’t get in town and enjoy their chilled-out Hill Country vibe. If you visit Dripping Springs, be sure to put Last Stand into your itinerary. That said, Last Stand’s core beers are some of the finest in the city – be sure to get your hands on the Citra Smash and Simcoe Pale even if you can’t get out there, and these are both widely available in cans and great choices to take home to your friends. Happy Hill Country drinking!