October 2017 – October 2018
Despite only opening its doors in 2015, Zilker is now an integral part of the East 6th action. It’s a cute, cosy wooden taproom filled with the heady smell of hops, where you can watch the brewers at work while listening to a bit of Alt-Country. Zilker is a great mix of hipster and old-school Austin, exuding a charming, unpretentious and friendly vibe while still putting out some fancy-pants beers.
Zilker has a strong, popular core range which is widely available around town – their Coffee Milk Stout is possibly ATX’s most ubiquitous dark beer, and with good reason. But while it’s always a pleasure to see Zilker’s beers out and about, you really want to visit their taproom to get the full Zilker experience. Of their 12 taps, four are core, leaving room for eight seasonals to choose from. I’m a big fan of Zilker’s sours, their recently re-released Chaos Magic is a superbly intense blackberry dream and the margarita-esque Top Shelf went down a treat. That said, Zilker know what to do with an IPA too, I particularly like the creamy, juicy haze of the Heavenly Daze and the big, bold, boozy Snake Juice DIPA. I’m very keen to get my mitts on their collaboration with Southern Heights if I’m not too late – it sounds like a match made in hoppy heaven!
On our most recent visit to Zilker, we were pleased to find that they now offer wi fi (having previously been one of the few ATX taprooms not to do so) and found a few folks on laptops – hell, good for them – I would so rather work in a brewery than a coffee shop! Zilker is very much that place – despite being in the heart of East 6th it’s super laid back while still being fun and friendly, welcoming to the inevitable tourist hoards while still making space for locals. Staff are chatty and helpful, and if you can’t decide what to drink then have it all – flight pours are available individually!
Zilker is open every day except Monday, and has a suitably East 6th 12pm close on the weekends. A flight of five will set you back $12, but you can have as few or as many as you desire. They have rotating food trucks, but also allow you to bring in food from neighbouring restaurants (if you haven’t tried Via 313 pizza, this should be your moment!) in a rather sportsmanlike manner. If you’re in Downtown ATX, you need a good excuse not to visit Zilker. I can rarely find one.