Austin Ale Trail Passport Review (2023-2024): The Best Brewery Perks to Collect This Year

Originally featured on Craft Beer Austin

As a reader of Craft Beer Austin, you’re likely already familiar with the Austin Ale Trail passport (we wrote about it last week).  Sales began Saturday at the Blue Owl launch party; if you missed it, you can collect your passport this upcoming Saturday, Sep 23rd at Nomadic, or on Sunday, Sept 24th at Vacancy.  And if this weekend doesn’t work for you either, starting on Monday the 25th, passports will be available permanently at the following locations: 5th Element Brewing, ATX Beer Bus, Blue Owl Brewing, Black Star Co-Op, The Brewtique, The Good Lot, Lone Man Mountain Brewing, Nomadic Beerworks, Nomadic Outpost, WhichCraft, and Vacancy Brewing.  The passport can be purchased for $10.

Cool, so now that you know where to collect your passport, let’s get to the good stuff.  The passport works a bit differently this year: if you’ve participated in the previous two years (or if you’re a true hipster who had a 2019 passport as well), you know that the goal was to collect as many stamps as possible, which you could then “redeem” for a prize at the finishers party.  While there’s still likely going to be a finishers party or two planned for June 2024, and there will likely be merch or prizes available (keep an eye on their instagram), there are no particular rewards listed for collecting certain numbers of stamps this year.  Instead, every brewery in the passport (all 60 of them) has a perk they’re offering along with the stamp; so, rather than getting one prize at the end of the season and a few perks along the way, you’re getting far more value at the breweries themselves as you collect your stamps.

How much value though?  In this article, I’m going to go through every brewery that is listed in the passport, tell you the perks that they offer, and give it an estimated value.  If you haven’t picked up your passport yet, the Ale Trail website provides a list of perks – but this same list is also right here in this article, along with our estimated value for each brewery.  Just keep reading and you’ll find out what you’re getting.

Brewery Highlights

Before going all data on you though, let’s start by celebrating the best brewery perks on the Austin Ale Trail passport this year.

Free Beer

There are 5 breweries providing you with a “buy one beer, get one free”.  Naturally, this is the most valuable perk, and if you only go to 5 places, these are the ones to visit:

  • Austin Beer Garden Brewing (ABGB)
  • Frontyard Brewing
  • Suds Monkey Brewing Co.
  • The Stay Put
  • Oasis Texas Brewing Company
    • This perk is actually “Buy one, get one for 99¢”, but we’ll count it

Considering the passport costs $10, just visit any two of these breweries and you’ve already gotten your money’s worth.  I recommend going to more than two breweries though (…obviously), because you’ll also get:

Free Food

While a number of locations will give you a discount on your tab (see table below), only one brewery will give you food for free – and if you’re an Ale Trail veteran you already know who it is.  Nomadic Beerworks is back with their free baked pretzel with any purchase, as they’ve offered for the last few years.

Free Stuff

The next most valuable perk (in my opinion) is free merch.  There are 7 breweries that will provide you with a free item with your beer purchase, just for showing your passport (excluding stickers):

  • Free Glass:
    • Draught House Pub & Brewery
    • Infamous Brewing Company
    • Live Oak Brewing
  • Free… Frisbee!
    • 5th Element Brewing
  • Free Keychain:
    • Black Star Co-Op
  • Free Koozie:
    • Fitzhugh Brewing

While I can’t speak to the frisbee, keychain, or Draught House glass (these are all new perks), I did pick up glasses at Live Oak and Infamous.  While I don’t know for sure that the same glasses will be offered this year (Infamous specifically says “pint” glass this year, so YMMV), last year Live Oak provided a classic pilsner glass, while Infamous offered a weizen glass.  Much more interesting than your standard shaker pint, and a great addition to any glassware collection.

Last year’s loot


Finally, before looking at the full list, we’ll highlight the best discounts offered:

50% Off First Beer

  • WhichCraft
    • 50% Off Your First DRAFT Beer
      • If this is permitted for any draft beer, this can be quite valuable as WhichCraft often has strong/barrel-aged beers that can be upwards of $15
  • Moontower Cider Company
    • 50% Off First Cider
  • Family Business Beer Company
    • 50% Off Select Beers
  • Southern Heights Brewing Co.
    • First Pint at Half-Pint Price
  • Fast Friends Beer Company
    • Free Small Pour with Tall Pour Purchase
      • You could consider this buy one get one free, depending on how much you value a small pour vs. a full pour
  • Central District Brewing
    • $4 Kayaker’s Kolsch
      • Technically only 42.85% off but we’ll give it to them

Other strong discounts

  • Lazarus Brewing Co (6th Street)
    • 25% Off Food with Beer Purchase
  • Lazarus Brewing Co (Airport Blvd)
    • 25% Off Merch Items with Beer Purchase
  • Celis Brewery
    • 20% Off Beer
  • Blue Owl Brewing
    • 20% Off Tasting Glass Experience or Merch Item
  • Black Star Co-Op
    • Free Keychain and 20% Off Menu Item with Beer Purchase
  • Beerburg Brewing
    • 15% Off on All Beer Purchases
Tip: Don’t get the passport wet

Full List

Alright, you’ve waited long enough, here’s the full list with estimated values for each brewery, and overall.  I used the following assumptions to generate values:

  • A beer costs $7.50
  • A tab will consist of 2 people having 2 beers, or $30
  • A merch item costs $20
  • Beer to go is counted as a merch item, also set at $20
  • A sticker is valued at $1*

For any percentage discount, naturally, your mileage will vary based on spend.  It’s also expected that you will not be buying merch at every location offering a merch discount – to make this more clear, the table is split into three columns so you can quickly see which category each perk is in.

Here’s the data!

BreweryPerkEstimated Beer / Food ValueEstimated Free Item ValueEstimated Merch DiscountBrewery TotalNote
Austin Beer Garden Brewing (ABGB)Buy 1 Pint Get 1 Pint Free$7.50$7.50
Frontyard BrewingBOGO Beer with Stamp$7.50$7.50
Suds Monkey Brewing Co.Free Beer with Purchase of Flight or Pint$7.50$7.50
The Stay PutBuy a Beer Get One Free$7.50$7.50
Oasis Texas Brewing CompanyBuy One Beer, Get Another One for .99¢$6.51$6.51
Celis Brewery20% Off Beer$6.00$6.00Assuming $30 Beer Tab
Draught House Pub & BreweryFree Glass with Stamp$6.00$6.00Assumed Value
Infamous Brewing CompanyFree Souvenir Pint Glass with Stamp$6.00$6.00Actual Price = $6
Live Oak BrewingFree Glass with Stamp$6.00$6.00Assumed Value
Blue Owl Brewing20% Off Tasting Glass Experience or Merch Item$5.60$5.60Actual Price of 16oz Tasting = $28
Nomadic BeerworksFree Traditional Baked Pretzel with Stamp$5.00$5.00Actual Price = $5
Lazarus Brewing Co (6th Street)25% Off Food with Beer Purchase$5.00$5.00Assuming $20 Food Purchase
Black Star Co-OpFree Keychain and 20% Off Menu Item with Beer Purchase$3.00$2.00$5.00Assuming $2 Keychain and $15 Sandwich
5th Element BrewingFree Frisbee with Stamp$5.00$5.00Actual Price = $5
Lazarus Brewing Co (Airport Blvd)25% Off Merch Item with Beer Purchase$5.00$5.00Assuming $20 Merch Item
Beerburg Brewing15% Off on All Beer Purchases$4.50$4.50Assuming $30 Beer Tab
Hold Out Brewing10% Off Tab$4.50$4.50Assuming $45 Tab (Includes Food)
Last Stand Brewing10% Off Beer, Food, Merch and Beer-To-Go$4.50$4.50Assuming $45 Tab (Includes Food)
Oddwood Brewing10% Off Purchase (Beer, Food, Merch, and Beer-To-Go)$4.50$4.50Assuming $45 Tab (Includes Food)
The Brewtorium$1 Off Beers During Stamp Visit$4.00$4.00Assuming 4 Beers Purchased
Lone Man Mountain Brewing Co.Free Sticker & 10% Off Beer Tab$3.00$1.00$4.00Assuming $30 Beer Tab
Zilker Brewing Co.Free Sticker and 10% Off Purchase$3.00$1.00$4.00Assuming $30 Beer Tab
Fitzhugh BrewingFree Sticker/Koozie and 15% Off Merch$1.00$3.00$4.00Assuming $20 Merch Item
Family Business Beer Company50% Off Select Beers$3.75$3.75
Fast Friends Beer CompanyFree Small Pour with Tall Pour Purchase$3.75$3.75
Moontower Cider Company50% Off First Cider$3.75$3.75
Southern Heights Brewing Co.First Pint at Half-Pint Price$3.75$3.75
WhichCraft50% Off Your First DRAFT Beer$3.75$3.75
Central District Brewing$4 Kayaker’s Kolsch$3.00$3.00Actual Price = $7
Bluebonnet Beer Company10% Off Entire Tab$3.00$3.00Assuming $30 Beer Tab
The Brewtique10% Off Singles Mix & Match of 4 or More$3.00$3.00Assuming $30 Purchase, Consumed On-Site
Vacancy Brewing10% Off for Passport Holders Incl. Beer & Merch$3.00$3.00Assuming $30 Beer Tab
Barrow Brewing Co.$1 Off First Pint and 10% Off Beer-To-Go$1.00$2.00$3.00Assuming $20 Beer-To-Go
Hopsquad Brewing Co.$1 Off Beer, 10% Off Merch$1.00$2.00$3.00Assuming $20 Merch Item
Independence Brewing Co.$1 Off Beer, 10% Off Merch$1.00$2.00$3.00Assuming $20 Merch Item
Slackers Brewing Co.$1 Off Beer, 10% Off Merch$1.00$2.00$3.00Assuming $20 Merch Item
Vista BrewingFree sticker and 10% Off Merch/Beer-To-Go$1.00$2.00$3.00Assuming $20 Merch Item / Beer-To-Go
Twisted X Brewing CompanyFree Sticker and 10% Off Twisted X Merch$1.00$2.00$3.00Assuming $20 Merch Item
Meanwhile Brewing Co.15% Off All Packaged Beer$3.00$3.00Assuming $20 Beer-To-Go
Nomadic Outpost$5 Pour of Any Nomadic Beerworks Beer$2.50$2.50
Batch Craft Beer & Kolaches50% Off Kolache with First Beer$2.25$2.25Actual Price = $4.50
Acopon Brewing Co.$1 Off First Pint and Free Sticker$1.00$1.00$2.00
Ghost Note BrewingFree Sticker and $1 Off First Beer with Stamp$1.00$1.00$2.00
Austin Beerworks10% Off Merch and Beer-To-Go$2.00$2.00Assuming $20 Merch Item / Beer-To-Go
Lago Vista Brewing Company10% Off Merch and Beer-To-Go$2.00$2.00Assuming $20 Merch Item / Beer-To-Go
Whitestone Brewery10% Off Beer-To-Go and Merch$2.00$2.00Assuming $20 Merch Item / Beer-To-Go
Red Horn Coffee & Brewing Co.10% Off Merch with Stamp$2.00$2.00Assuming $20 Merch Item
Tanglefoot Brewing$1 Off First Beer$1.00$1.00
Texas Beer Co.$1 Off First Pint$1.00$1.00
Central Machine WorksFree Sticker with Stamp$1.00$1.00
Jester King BreweryFree Sticker with Stamp$1.00$1.00
Pinthouse BrewingStamp 3 Locations for $2 Off Beer at 4th Stop50¢50¢Must Purchase 4 Beers to Get Discount; Fuel Cost Not Included
Circle Brewing CompanyFree Sticker with StampClosed
Oskar Blues Brewery TaproomFree Koozie or Glass & 15% Off Beer/MerchClosed
TOTAL$132.61$34$31Grand Total: $197.61