Perched high above Austin’s Lake Travis sits the Oasis Texas Brewing Co., one of the state’s newest breweries. It’s part of the sprawling, multi-story development where the Oasis restaurant has entertained locals and tourists alike for more than a decade.
The complex has served as the home of Lakeview Winery for several years now, so it somehow makes sense to add a brewery to the mix. But the brewery’s space, on the top level, isn’t just for tanks. You can also taste the beer and get dinner while watching the sun set or people as they enjoy the water below. Live music and sports events on the various TV screens are also part of the experience.
But it’s the brew that makes or breaks an enterprise like Oasis, and it’s nice to report that each of the brewery’s initial offerings are refreshing in their individual ways. The lineup includes three offerings in 12-ounce cans, each with an alcohol percentage below 5 percent, which means you can likely have more than one without feeling tipsy or bloated:
Luchesa Lager — This unfiltered pils, with a green eye on the label, is “brewed in the traditional Kellerbier style, where subtle malt notes marry with assertive Hallertau and Saaz hops,” the can says. What it doesn’t say is how clean and crisp it is. This is a perfect brew for after you’ve mowed the lawn or worked in the garden on a sweltering September afternoon. You’re greeted by a slightly sour aroma as you pour the pale yellow liquid into the glass. A nice amount of bubbles greets your eye, and the taste is pleasantly bitter. 4.8 percent alcohol; original gravity 11.5; and International Bittering Units 35.
London Homesick Ale — The can tells you this ale is made with “copious amounts of English Challenger hops and a classic English yeast strain,” but a sip or two of the contents might leave you scratching your head at that description. The hops are well in check, with some malty and yeasty notes on the nose, but nothing “copious” awaits you — except perhaps copious pleasure from a brew that gains a little complexity from some fruity notes under a welcome blend of malt and bread flavors. 4.9 percent alcohol; og 12.5; ibu 27.
Slow Ride Pale Ale — The side of the can calls this an “American muscle beer” that’s been “super-charged with Chinook, Cascade and Columbus hops.” This American pale ale is the one beer in the Oasis lineup that lives up to its description. There’s a pleasant citrus quality to the aroma as you pour it into the glass. There’s a shiny copper color with a touch of haze and a steady bubble. The expected bitterness from the promised hops is made all the more welcome by a certain tingle that wakes up your tongue and taste buds. While I liked all of the Oasis offerings, this was my favorite by far. 4.8 percent alcohol; og 12; ibu 35.
The brewers are Spencer Tielkemeier and Kirby Kirkconnell, both of whom have had experience at (512) Brewing Company among other places.
To judge for yourself, you can find Oasis beers in San Antonio at Gabriel’s Superstore as well as Freetail Brewing, Tuk Tuk Taproom and Big Hops Gastropub among other restaurants and stores. Or you can visit the taproom at 6550 Comanche Trail, Austin, from 5 to 10 p.m. Thursday, 2 p.m. to midnight Friday, noon to midnight Saturday, and noon to 10 p.m. Sunday. For more information, click here.