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  • Paige Latham Didora

keep Austin weird? I’ll help.

One month from now I will be a few days into my lovely vacation in Austin. At least, I can only assume it will be lovely. I have never been.

I’ve wanted to go to Austin ever since I was in high school, the age at which I started watching Rachel Ray. The woman is obsessed with the place. Say what you will about her, she knows good food and good music. Episode after episode, she just couldn’t shut up about South by Southwest and that led me to a Wikipedia rabbit hole and a burning desire to visit Austin.

Fast forward about 9 years and I finally booked a flight.

“Didn’t this girl just go to Texas?” I know that’s what you are thinking.  But Texas is a big place.

credit: Robin Edds/BuzzFeed via Twisted Sifter

credit: Robin Edds/BuzzFeed via Twisted Sifter

My Dallas trip for work was a relatively unplanned, serendipitous adventure full of falsely-proven stereotypes, Couchsurfers, more unexpected events that I can share without blushing. I’d go again in a heartbeat.

But my real heart’s desire is to visit Austin. And where better to re-visit than Texas with one of the highest growth rates of craft beer consumption, new breweries opening monthly, and legislative changes not unlike Minnesota.


Credit: – by far the coolest Austin photos out there!

In fact, the Texas laws that were changed in June of 2013 create a beer environment much like Minnesota one year prior. Tap rooms are under construction now, a phase us Minnesota craft beer lovers can easily recall, and a period that is still ongoing for the Twin Cities.

Credit:, an Austin WordPress

Credit:, an Austin WordPress

Austin and the surrounding area contain about 20 breweries, many of which offer tours, tastings, and events. Beer media is on the rise with resources like Craft Beer Austin and the Austin Beer Guide (glancing over this resource, it reminds me of the Growler here in MSP).

One of my favorite beer blogs, BitchBeer, is from Austin and written by female beer afficianados. Some of the excellent beer I tasted at the Texas Brewvolution was from Austin, as well.

I don’t have many solid plans for the trip at this point. I have done enough travelling (and brewery visiting) to know that some of the best experiences come from chance encounters. I plan to visit a handful of breweries, but I’m also looking forward to the giant food truck scene, ancient music venues, and vintage shops.

Oh, and keeping Austin weird, as the locals say? Suffice it to stay that I will be staying in an Airstream trailer in a backyard with free-range chickens and borrowing a bicycle to get around. I’m down with weird.


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