Uncle Billy’s is unusual in the Austin Beer scene, as it’s a sports bar and smokehouse that brews its own beer. Located near the chocca corner of Barton Springs Road and South Congress, it’s a prime spot for both tourists and the post-work crowd to put their feet up and get fed and watered (beered). I’ll come straight out and admit I’m not really a sports bar gal (I make an exception for Austin’s Haymaker – love the place), but this didn’t pre-dispose me to dislike Uncle Billy’s at all. In Austin, it’s normal to have craft beer with everything, everywhere, so why not a sports bar taproom?
During our mid-afternoon weekday visit Uncle Billy’s was happily bustling, but we were able to find a seat on their large outdoor deck for our five-pour flight. It was a little noisy for me between the traffic, screens and humans, but then, I am getting old. While they didn’t set my world on fire, overall the beers were pretty reasonable. I found the Green Room IPA a little thin and bitter, and the Lemongrass Wit tasted exactly like Camden Town Gentleman’s Wit, but I enjoyed the smooth, nutty Berdoll Brown Ale and the Oro Negro Coffee IPA did the job. Uncle Billy’s brew at Celis’s site and the two have a reciprocal relationship, so a range of Celis’s beers are also available at the Uncle Billy’s taproom, should you want something a little different, and the barman I spoke to was friendly and happy to offer advice. If you’re eating I would recommend skipping the pub fare and go straight to the barbecue which is very tasty indeed. Opening hours at Uncle Billy’s are a pretty open invitation, with an 8am start seven days a week and weekend late nights til 1am, which you certainly can’t argue with. Even the smokehouse is democratic enough to stay open later than the average Austin barbecue joint.
The Brewer’s Table isn’t the only Austin craft brewery to offer a hipster-free environment. Just sayin’.