Waco’s craft beer scene is new, but it’s booming. From zero breweries to six since 2015, we now have plenty of choices for the craft beer enthusiast. Whether you’re a hophead or a lager-lover, you’re sure to find something to wet your whistle at these Waco breweries.
Bare Arms Brewing
Veteran-owned Bare Arms Brewing is the oldest brewery in Waco, serving the community since 2015. They have the largest selection of craft beer in town, with 20 taps all brewed on premise. Varieties range from dark coffee stout to schwarzbier to hoppy IPAs to light Kölsches and lagers. Pair your pint with nachos and burgers from the Tailgate Menu. Everything is grass-free, free-range, non-GMO, and super fresh.
The cozy taproom is lined with reclaimed wood, and handcrafted stoneware tankards hang over the bar for their Mug Club members. Join the Mug Club to get your own 20-ounce mug, $1 off each beer, and a freebie on your birthday!
Don’t miss: game nights and live entertainment
It’s all fun and games at Bare Arms. They host frequent special events including themed trivia, poker and cornhole tournaments, comedy shows, Dungeons and Dragons nights, and more.
Brotherwell Brewing may have laid-back vibes, but they’re serious about beer. What started as a couple of friends working on their homebrew turned into a full-scale craft beer operation. And it has paid off. Their Shelter in Haze and Churchwarden beers both took home medals at the 2022 Texas Craft Brewers Cup.
Their taproom in East Waco is simple and comfortable, with strings of cafe lights creating a welcoming glow. Bring a picnic blanket or lawn chair on nice days and take your brew out to the grassy beer garden!
Don’t miss: community events & the monthly Eastside Market
Brotherwell Brewing offers plenty to do beyond the beers. They host frequent events like Yoga in the Beer Garden, Pilates & Pints, trivia night, and local live music.
On the third Saturday of each month, their Eastside Market welcomes artists and artisans to peddle their wares. Grab a pint and wander the stalls of vintage clothes, jewelry, and handmade home goods. What better way to spend a Saturday afternoon?
Southern Roots Brewing Company
Family-owned and operated Southern Roots Brewing Company aims to make the best versions of accessible beers that people know and love. The result is a focused list of six “standards” on their tap wall, like their H.O.T. Blonde Ale, Bosque Honey Lager, and Surfside Wheat Ale. These light, drinkable beers are just the thing on a hot summer’s day!
In the taproom, two big garage doors open up to let in the fresh air. Come by to watch sports on the flat screens, or enjoy their popular Tuesday night trivia. Outside, a shady patio with picnic tables brings a backyard party vibe.
Don’t miss: homemade pizzas to pair with your pint
Is there any better combination than pizza and beer? Southern Roots whips up lovely pies to go with your pilsner, with a deliciously chewy crust. Choose a classic, or try their specialty pies like the sweet-and-spicy Southern Belle. It’s topped with Italian sausage, arugula, crushed red pepper, and local honey. The menu includes a recommended beer pairing for each pizza!
Waco Ale Company
Waco Ale Company is the first brewery in downtown Waco. But you can catch them all over the city—this brewery’s friendly staff share their beer at community events across Waco. They love to get involved!
The folks at Waco Ale have brewed up an impressive array of year-round and seasonal beers since opening in 2019. Styles range from a light, drinkable Kölsch to a rich, dark Russian Imperial Stout, but they may be best known for their hoppy beers. Their Hop Burst Orange Hazy Pale Ale is their best seller.
They also have a menu of elevated pub fare that gets rave reviews. Bone-in wings are available in 12 delicious flavors from mild to spicy. And their hearty Angus beef burgers are smothered in tasty toppings like mushrooms and gouda cheese.
Don’t miss: sidewalk seating in Downtown Waco
The vibes at Waco Ale Company are always relaxed. You’ll find brick-lined walls and a great mural packed with local imagery. Pull up a stool at the outdoor drink rail on the Austin Avenue sidewalk to watch historic downtown Waco in action.
Who says a distillery can’t brew great beer? Balcones Distilling made its mark with award-winning Texas whisky. But they have proven that they’re no one-trick pony, with their menu of tasty beers.
Balcones’ European-inspired styles include Berliner Weisse, Oktoberfest, Kölsch, Irish Stout, and of course, good old-fashioned IPA. In fact, their Balcones Cold IPA won the silver in the American IPA category at the Texas Craft Brewers Cup in 2022.
The distillery and taproom are located inside Waco’s century-old Texas Fireproof Storage Co. building. In this historic setting, it feels like Balcones has been here forever—even though they only opened this site in 2016. Tour the distillery, or just sidle up to the bar for a pint.
Don’t miss: cocktails and flights
With whisky, beer, and cocktails on the menu, Balcones is the perfect place to bring a group. Whisky purists can sample the classics and special releases. Cocktail lovers can try something refreshing off the seasonal menu. And the beer aficionados can enjoy a flight of four different drafts.
Brewery, restaurant, and spa Pivovar brings Europe to Waco. Czech for “brewery,” Pivovar is built around beer. The restaurant is casual-yet-chic, with views of the working brewery behind expansive windows. Try beers ranging from the light Session Beer to the Dark Lager with coffee and chocolate notes. Plus, they offer Czech wines and a full bar for cocktails.
The food menu combines Czech and Texas flavors, like a Texan Pocket Schnitzel stuffed with ham, cheddar, and spicy jalapeños.
While the inside feels European, the outside is all Waco—you can see the Magnolia silos from the beer garden!
Don’t miss: a European-style beer spa
Yes, beer spa. While they’re common in Europe, Pivovar is home to one of only five beer spas in the United States. Soak in a gleaming copper tub full of hops, barley, and herbs steeped in hot water, said to soothe wrinkles and hydrate skin. Candlelight and soft music make the experience even more serene. Drink a beer while you relax for hoppiness inside and out.