Why is this a (family) thing?
Even in a post-pandemic world, it may sometimes be tough to settle on recreation or entertainment options that satisfy everyone. Plus, enjoying the ambiance of a restaurant only lasts as long as the meal. Parks close after dark. Amusement centers are expensive. Movies are two to three hours in the dark. Worse, it is too hot outside and many of our options may start to feel old hat.
But there’s hope.
These friendly establishments are popping up all over Georgetown and Williamson County. Not only do they create and serve locally sourced brews of all kinds to entice beer lovers, they offer a plethora of activities and social opportunities for the soft drink and cocoa crowd as well. Regardless of which group patrons fall into, everyone will enjoy the chance to try new things.
GO FOR THE BEER
While the variety of activities and engagement have enhanced patrons’ happy hours and nights-out experiences, the quality of the ales and lagers being produced are, of course, a big draw. Young adults who frequent breweries with family and friends agree that yes, anyone can grab a six pack at the store and hang out with friends for a fraction of the cost, but there is something special about local ingredients, tasting rooms, and beer made fresh on the premises.
All microbreweries build their menus with locally sourced craft beer so there is always something new to taste. On shelves and in the taps, Classic IPAs stand next to innovative meads and ales and all a beer lover can do is savor a taste of everything.
Georgetown’s Mason and Hannah Carmichael (facing page) frequently visit breweries to try new beers and meet people with similar interests. Mason says, “The first time I came out, there was a soccer game on the big screen. I ended up watching the whole thing in the brewery and talking with a bunch of strangers. Two of my favorite pastimes—beer and soccer—came together. That was it for me.”
Breweries like the Barking Armadillo in Georgetown encourage customers to connect and socialize, especially with people they didn’t come with. Mason says some of his fondest memories involve meeting new people at breweries. For this couple, a typical date night means exploring new taverns around town.
IT’S A FAMILY THING
If watching the game isn’t your cup of … beer, consider that this new brewery vibe is nothing like the bars your parents went to. They are family and dog-friendly and focus on fun for everyone. Local tap rooms in particular are large, spacious, and generally clamorous, so fussy infants, precocious toddlers, or off-leash dogs never disrupt the flow.
Moms and dads can bring board and card games for the whole family, and some breweries provide a variety of games and puzzles onsite, along with hot chocolate, soft drinks, and snacks. You may find arcade games and it is not uncommon to see a food truck, participate in trivia contests, play bingo, throw darts, paint a canvas, or show up to an open mic night.
Places with large outdoor space like Barrow Brewing Company in Salado (see pg 49) frequently schedule outdoor movie nights, bounce houses, tie dye parties, live music, and even an annual festival.
BREWERIES ARE like a ’Main Event’ [amusement center] for adults. You can stay as long as you like, and there’s always something more to do.Hannah Carmichael
So, before you think it’s just another bar, look no further than your local microbrewery for an afternoon or evening of wholesome fun. And take even greater solace that not only are you having quality family time, local businesses are being supported and celebrated at the same time. Cheers!