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Local Spotlight (January) Live Oak Brewing Company

Local Spotlight (January) Live Oak Brewing Company

Located in an old industrial building on the corner of 5th and Allen in East Austin, sits the city’s oldest local brewery; the Live Oak Brewery. Live Oak was opened in 1997 by Chip McElroy and Brian Peters. The duo built the brewery from the ground up and for the first couple of years were the sole employees of Live Oak.

Specializing in old world style beers that are beyond delicious, Live Oak defines what it means to be a “local brewery”. Their brews are currently only available in 18 cities in Texas, and cannot be found outside of the state. They brew each of their old world-style beers in small quantities opting for high quality brews that keep Texans begging for more.

Instead of using commercial grade cylindroconical fermenters and step mashing methods for all of their beers, Live Oak utilizes oversized dairy tanks and decoction mashing to achieve their authentic old world style beer selection. The process is time consuming, and prevents the brewery from churning out large amounts of their easy to drink European beer.

Live Oak’s most popular brews include their Pilz, Big Bark, and HefeWeizen.
The HefeWeizen is Live Oak’s take on classic Bavarian wheat beer and is by far one of their best tasting brews. By using a Czech Pilsner and German wheat malt, Live Oak creates a luxurious beer that tastes great and has a powerful head that sinks to the bottom of the glass.

The Pilz is Live Oak’s flagship brew, and is a golden lager with just a touch of bitterness. By using decoction mash methods, Live Oak designs a tasty beer that goes down smooth and is both rich in color and in body. They use a cold fermentation to achieve the full body color and taste of this classic Bohemian beer.

Big Bark is well known for its sweet and malty taste and attractive color. Cold fermentation is used to help make Big Bark go down smooth and finish with a clean and crisp taste. A very soft hop flavor completes Live Oak’s Big Bark Amber Lager.

Live Oak Brewery is set to expand over the coming couple of years, as the company just purchased roughly 20 acres across from Austin’s International Airport and is set to build a 22,000 square foot brewing facility. The new lot will allow Live Oak to start canning their beer, which is unbelievably exciting for those who find the brewery’s beers irresistible. Live Oak says they expect to be moved in by September of 2015.