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Kamala Brewing / Whip In

Not Rated.
Kamala Brewing / Whip InKamala Brewing / Whip In
Based on:
24 Beers
72 Ratings
Place Score: 94
Ratings: 85
Reviews: 48
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: n/a
Taps: 72
Bottles: 750
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery, Store ]

1950 S. Interstate 35
Austin, Texas, 78704
United States
phone: (512) 442-5337

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Place added by: BeerAdvocate

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Ratings: 85 | Reviews: 48 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BgThang
3.35/5  rDev -21.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 1.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

I have been to this place a few times. The first time was when they were still just a corner store that had a descent beer selection. The atmosphere was that of a bad cab with incense going and a bunch of gawdy things seeming to fill in every crook in the store. THings have changed quite a lot since then. THey have started serving food and beer on draught.

Good things about this place: They usually have the most current releases in Texas, they have special taps that have been cellared for a couple years, and they sometime release bottles of aged items

Bad things: Service with an attitude (What I have is the best in town and I will rape you cause I can attitude), You pay a premium for their aged beers and and well hell all their beers are a premium. Example $11 for 8oz of dr6 a year after release date on draught. I still have a case if dr6 so bite me, Atmosphere is still that of a bad dive bar, THe live music is so loud there you can hold a conversation unless you go outside

Overall if you can find what you are looking for elsewhere then go. If you are ina pinch and need something and willing to pay a premium for it then come here and bring your KY with you.

Photo of bentwookie
4.85/5  rDev +14.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

I love Whip In. The food is great and the beer selection is awesome. It seems like he always gets the hard to find beer first. Dipak is very helpful and nice. I really appreciate his bottled cellared selection that he releases around Thanksgiving every year as well as his awesome draught cellar list. It can get a bit crowded inside but lots of room outside if the weather is nice. In the future they will be brewing their own beers, which is exciting. I also really like that the will fill growlers up with any of their 45+ taps.

Photo of bisonkron
4.03/5  rDev -5.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5

This place did not look appealing to me from their website, but I wanted to check it out anyway. It was great. Not the greatest selection in town, but plenty of off beat varieties.

The staff was friendly and the patrons were great too.

They had live music, and to my great surprise, growing up and living in austin, they music was pretty good, and the volume was
just right.

The owner is very knowledgeable and friendly, but I always get a comment if I go in to look at whats on the shelves and leave without buying anything.

Its small, but it is definitely the place I am going to take guests that want to go to a bar in Austin.

Photo of dnarx
4.85/5  rDev +14.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Ok, I am a complete novice, no doubt about it. I have only embraced my LOVE of complex, fantastically aromatic, and heavily hopped beer this past year.

I LOVED this place, it has a long bar with 60 beers on tap. Lots of local talent, and some aged brews including an awesome Divine Reserve 6, Sisyphus 2005.

They had growlers for taking tap brews home and I even had some fantastic Indian food from Mom, and she sat and chatted with me.

Since I was only in town for a couple of days I made my way to Whip In both, the owner recommended some brews on day two that were perfectly paired with what I indicated I like the day before. I am considering moving just to continue visiting this joint.

I think they are well worth a visit if you are in Austin!

Photo of Longhorn22
4.72/5  rDev +11.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4

I had heard the chatter about this place, and I wanted to give it a look. It has a sort of small parking lot, which is kind of inconvenient. I don't know if there is more parking in the back, but I had to wait for a bit to get a spot.

The atmosphere is very cool, and very laid back. There is a bar you can sit at and drink, I think they had about 12 bears on tap. To the immediate right there is a small restaurant, then there is 2 rows of wines. Behind that there is one and half walls of beers, and one aisle of beers as well. Someone here said that you can pull beers out of six packs and make your own. I wish I would have known that when I went, because I was eying some Inversion IPA, but it only came in a 6-pack.

Their beer selection is pretty large. It is nice because it is organized, and everything is clearly labeled. Their beers aren't past their expiration date, like some other places that offer that large of a selection. They have a large section of Belgian beers, and they were priced somewhat reasonably. I think I got a bottle of St. Bernardus and a bottle of Delerium for $10.

It is a fun environment, and the people seem nice and willing to help, and there is a pretty large selection. There still is more space for another aisle, it would be nice if they filled it with more beer!

Photo of Mora2000
4.44/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

This is a nice, newly renovated beer bar and beer store located right along Interstate 35 south of Town Lake. They have a pretty good selection of beers, maybe not the best in Austin, but definitely one of the best including a vintage shelf. They also have 15-20 taps with beers from Independence, 512, Live Oak and some out of state stuff as well. When I was there in mid-February they had 512 Whiskey Barrel Pecan Porter on tap for $5 for an 8 ounce pour. Not a bad price and not bad since kegs have pretty much disappeared from everywhere else in town. There is an inside bar and a patio to enjoy the beer on and there is also food, although I didn't eat. Nice place.

Photo of vdread
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4

i stopped by whip-in after driving by it many times and hearing about the selection from friends. the selection was above average. had a lot of good stuff there that i haven't seen many other places. LOT of belgian offerings, lots of oskar blues, stone, dogfish head, and a lot of beers i've never seen in the area before (though admittedly i have only been in the area 6 months).

the chick up front with the dreadlocks was really helpful and when i asked about oskar blues and ten fidy she directed me to the 'beer guy' who was very helpful and answered all my questions about their rotating stock, what was coming up, what styles they like to carry. they were very friendly and the beer guy informed me i can break up any pack in the cooler and make my own sixer. he even went to the back for me to pull out a six of magic hat that wasn't on the shelves.

i ended up getting a four pack for about $9 which is about average considering the beers that i got. they even had singles of bud and bud light which i found pretty funny, however, they were on the bottom shelf and looked like they hadn't been touched in months.

there were a few aged beers. i didn't really look too hard at them but i saw some stone imperial russian stout and some 2005 great divide yeti. they even had a print-out taped to the cellar aged section listing when some of the newer editions would be released.

the music was pretty rad as well.

Photo of Riccymon
3.53/5  rDev -16.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5

While nearby yesterday, I stopped at Whip In for the first time to see what I'd been missing by doing my beer shopping mainly at Grape Vine Market and Spec's. Inside, the store/restaurant is dark and a bit cave-like. Through the convenience store portion of the building, a few sets of beer coolers and shelves hold some good offerings, but not much I can't find elsewhere in town. The number of Belgians available was probably the highlight. My hopes of finding aged beers weren't realized, as all I really saw were a couple bottles of 2008 Avery Samael's Ale. Ended up buying a 750 of Saison Dupont and a six pack of SN Stout.

Service seemed more like a convenience store than a beer store, but I didn't buy anything on-tap or order food, either. Prices seemed above average for both the on-tap beers and the bottles, maybe a dollar more per item than at other places.

I'm glad I finally got to Whip In, and I'd like to stop again for a pint and a meal.

Photo of Reagan1984
3.94/5  rDev -7.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Well this is one of the wackiest places I've ever been too. Is it a convenience store? A beer store? A restaurant? A bar? Kind of all of them. Real bohemian look, feel & vibe. Staff is very friendly. About 8 or so beers on tap. They were open with their samples and pleasant in their tone.

The beer selection (store) was pretty good, not, great but good. I swear Texas remains a bit of a wasteland for great beer. Didn't have any food, so I can't comment. The seating area was very casual and quite eclectic.
I have to say, I am not sure I would head here for a dinner, but I would go for a pint and then perhaps shop for a bottle to take home. Having said that, I was intrigued by their Indian menu... Music was quite funky.

Bottom line, glad I stopped to see it. Not sure I would go out of my way there... If I lived here I would probably drop by from time to time. But the selection is not close to the selection of my home town store.

Photo of derwestone
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%

I stopped by this place during a road trip from San Diego to east Texas and back. The overall experience was very enjoyable. The owner was working while I was there, and he seemed like he really enjoyed his place and job. They had about 8 beers on draft, and I ordered a Live Oak Hefe, which I enjoyed while walking around the store. There was a good mix of all different kinds of beer, and the owner was able to pick out some local Texas beers that I have been able to enjoy since the trip. After deciding on a couple of DFHs, three beers from the Great Divide, a 2004 Avery Beast, and some local beers, the owner was nice enough to refill my beer for free. I will definitely stop by this place again if given the opportunity.

Photo of wagenvolks
4.58/5  rDev +7.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Stopped by the Whip In on a Wednesday afternoon. Cute, indie-feel to the whole store, with food & beer behind the register and a seating area w/ a stage off to the side. Good wine and snack selection, too.

Very good quality store, nothing out of place and all the bottles seemed to be fresh (no dust collecting anywhere). The selection is amazing, perhaps even better than the Grape Vine Market, except for perhaps the German selection. Tons of american micro brews (Sierra Nevada, Great Divide, Dogfish Head, Real Ale, Independence, etc etc...), a larger Belgian selection than GV (lots of St. Bernardus), and (my favorite part) a cellared brews section, where they periodically release aged beer. Granted, this beer is at a higher price, but I happily snagged 3 bottles of 2004 Lost Coast Old Stock Ale.

Aside from the bottled glory, they have 16 brews on tap, including four Live Oak's and some aged beer, too (2006 Real Ale Coffee Porter). Happy hour from 4-7 gets you a $1 off per pint. Most beers were in the $4-6 range. Cashier/bartender was very friendly, and was happy to load up my beers into a crate and hold them behind the counter while I partook in a 8oz pour of Live Oak Primus Weizenbock.

Overall, a fantastic beer experience that I'll revisit many times during the coming years in Austin.

Photo of jcruiser
4.85/5  rDev +14.1%

I live by Grapevine Market (the original) and shop there twice a week. I make it a point to go by Whip In in early December when they open their cellar and bring out the aged stuff.

Picked up a couple of bottles of 2004 Avery Beast bombers for x-mas presents. They must have most of the Anchor X-mas beer line up from 7-8 years past.

If you go to get the Beast, don't expect them to sell it to you on Sunday as it is 18% ABV.

Don't know how much more of it they have but it goes up in price every year.

They recently opened a restaurant in the store that smells really good.

Photo of jdoncbus
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Was in town for ACL, not to mention my sister in law and her husband have lived in Austin for five years; I demanded they take me to the Whip-In for some beers. It's right off the highway and easily accesible.

One of the workers was a very friendly guy who was quick to ask if we needed help. I let him know that I found this place on BeerAdvocate.com where he mentioned his affinity for the Alstrom Brothers and how it helps his business. He suggested a Boulevard 12-pack sampler and I added a sixer of Dale's (unavailable in Ohio).

They have a nice selection of beer and their coolers are packed full of goodies. In Ohio, cooler space is a bit smaller most likely due to climate and it was nice to see all the cold suds in the oppresive heat.

Some of the beers are a tad pricey but nothing outrageous. The same worker brought up the 2004 election while I was checking out and blamed Ohio for the results; I didn't have the heart to tell him whom I voted for. A great beer store and a beer geeks paradise; justanother reason why Austin is such a great town.

Photo of stumac
4.65/5  rDev +9.4%

I love this place. they have a cellar that they keep beers in for up to four years, then they re-release them to be bought. very cool. the staff is very helpful, they carry a great selection of brews, its a pretty chill environment inside. they have a little lounge type area in there with seating. i dont know what thats about but i guess you can just chill there and listen to some tunes? ask to see their cellared beer list at the counter. they release them every December 1st. catch me there buying some good stuff this December!

Photo of blingger
4.65/5  rDev +9.4%

Just moved to Austin from Columbus,OH. Finally found a great place to stock up on some good beer. Whip In is great for selection, atmosphere, and conversation. My old stand by in Columbus had a great selection of beer, but the owner knew nothing about it. I talked with the owner of Whip In for quite a while and it was great because he was so knowledgeable. To my delight, when I went to pay he knocked 10% off because he loves it when someone comes in that's into quality beer. This of course led me to return the favor and I bought another 6-pack or two. I admit I haven't been out too much yet, but most places around here don't have much variety compared to Columbus. Shiner and Fat Tire only go so far. I know it's hot down here, but I need some hops now and then. It was a sight for sore eyes to find this place.
I recommend everyone to check this place out. It sounds like they are going to try and set up a brewery on the premises.

Photo of Ryanbob
4.85/5  rDev +14.1%

I've been to the whip-in quite a few times during my time as an Austinite. If your looking for selection Whip-in is gonna be tied with grapevine and wholefoods (spec's is looking pretty good now too), but if you are looking for a unique experience, dedicated staff and something more unique to austin then whip in is the place to go. It would be impossible to go and not find something to satisfy your curiosity. I've read people on here saying that the sevice was bad, but I've never had anything but helpful service. You may need to ask, but this is a place for people who know beer so what do you expect? One of the few placed in Austin where you can break a six pack which is nice. My only complaint is the high prices on singles, however for the occasional splurge this place is the tops.

Photo of jbphoto88
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%

Stopped in just to take a look and found a gold mine of beer. This place has the best selection I've seen in Texas yet. Not only did I find a bunch of hard to find beers I also had a knowledgeable clerk recommend some to try. They have a lot of beer as singles too so you don't have to buy a sixer of something that you might not like. The best part is they will age some of those hard to find beers for a later release. Thats a big deal for people like me who don't have the will power to keep beer untouched in the pantry. Well worth stopping by if you are in or around the Austin area.

Photo of BeerZack
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%

Ties with Grapevine for best selection in town. At least 10 cooler doors of cold beer and lots of dry shelf space as well, this place tries to carry most of everything, special releases included. I usually go to the WhipIn when I'm looking for something specific that another (cheaper) place is out of. I believe you can still break any six-packs also, I know I was told this years back, but it doesn't look like many people are doing it these days.

Service is kinda crap, but sometimes you just need people to leave you alone while you get hypnotized by the selection for 1/2 hr+ anyway. Guy working the register has a good chance of being a d*ck. They do what they need to though, buy and stock lotsa good beer.

Last and not least, the value of this one is kinda crap... Don't get me wrong, in some scenarios (as mentioned above) this place is invaluable, but the higher than average mark-up definately keeps me from visiting too often.

Photo of BAbaracus
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%

As mentioned already, Whip In, Grapevine and Central Market all have more or less the same selection. When a beer is going in or out of season you may find some left in one location but not the others, but for the most part these stores attempt to stock every type of beer you can get in Austin. For that reason they deserve a 15 but since we’re also comparing with out of state retailers one has to admit that there are better stocked beer states than Texas. The last time I drove by there had been a massive remodeling done to the exterior - the place almost looks classy now in a sideshow circus/titty bar kind of way. They also have a liquor store next door that benefitted from the remodelling as well. Not sure if the interior has been redecorated as the place wasn’t open at the time. Assuming it hasn’t, the interior is purely functional, no real ambience or vibe to speak of aside from an aging convenience store facade stocked with massive quantities of alcohol where the motor oil and toilet paper would normally be. The staff is generally friendly and of course knowledgable about their beer. This helps if you’re looking for a recommendation as you can’t always find an employee to hit up at Central Market.

3.5/5  rDev -17.6%

The Whip in has a very good selection. The majority of all their beers are cold, they have at least 20 doors in their cold box. The beers are sorted by style. There are also plenty of displays and about 20 feet of warm beeb shelves. Nice selection of Belgian beers (better than Whole Foods). I saw some 1.5 liter Chimay and a 3 liter of Corsendonk that were among the more unusual (for Texas) finds. They even had some Allagash Four .750's ($12.99) which I have not seen in San Antonio yet.

I was being nice when I rated the service. No one so much as acknowledged us when we came in or spoke to us the whole 1/2 hour we were in the store. I didn't really need any help but I guess it is the principle of the thing.

The prices were good for a "convenience store" but a little higher than what can be found elsewhere. Whip In is a clean store with a good beer selection. If you don't mind blaring reggae music and being ignored it is worth checking out.

Photo of mgdeth
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%

Quality - About half of everything they have is refrigerated, and half is on floor or shelf display. The have a few rows of shelves that they use for snacks and such. If one of these rows was used for more beer, this place would be pretty much unbeatable

Service - Great service. The folks working their were courteous and knowledgeable

Selection - Outstanding selection. We found all sorts of beers that we cannot get anywhere in San Antonio, including Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA.

Comments - This is the best beer store I have seen in Texas. Highly recommended.

Photo of HardTarget
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Not much to add to the other fine reviews. This is just a convenience store that has a LOT of beer. It is kinda rag tag, beer scattered about everywhere. It really pays to look through the cases they have lying about. I found a few cases of 2002 Anchor Merry Christmas that should have aged pretty well. Selection is nothing to sneeze at. Unibroue, a number of German and Belgian beers, and a wide selection American micros. The staff stayed behind the counter and I didn't quiz them on stuff, but they were friendly enough and didn't mind waiting for me to switch out a quick selection.
Being right on I-35, it's worth "whipping in" if you are just blowing through town.

Photo of kbub6f
3.8/5  rDev -10.6%

Whip In has a great selection of beers. Lots of micros, lots of imports. If you're just passing through Austin on the interstate and don't want to make a side-trip for beer, then Whip In is the place to go.

I have three warnings, though. First, the store is quite cluttered, and the organization of the beer is a little confused. Last time I was in there, I didn't quite figure out how the beer fridges were organized. There were also stacks of beer on the floor, where I found some micros that weren't in any of the coolers. Lesson: check ALL the fridges and floor stacks.

Second, I think the staff may be hit-or-miss. After TXHops found some SATB there, I went in to check if they had any more. The two guys at the cash weren't very friendly when I asked about it. (I've heard rumors that SATB is illegal in Texas... maybe they thought I was ATF!). Lesson: leave navy windbreaker with big yellow letters in the car.

Third (and most serious), they stock past-date beer. I bought some Pyramid Coastline that turned out to be a year past its "best by" date. And I picked up some Tommyknocker St. Nick's Porter, which the brewery claimed had been discontinued two years prior. Of course, sometimes this can work to your advantage... they had 2002 Sisyphus left over long after everybody else was out. Lesson: check before you buy.

In spite of these warnings, however, Whip In is a good little store, in a convenient location for out-of-towners, with a very good selection. Recommended.

Photo of Pegasus
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%

I visited Whip In for the first time today and I must say, I was deeply impressed. The beer selection is the best in Austin, and yes, I visit Central Market and Grapevine Market on a regular basis. I found the selection to be excellent, I saw at least twenty-five beers that I have never encountered in Austin before. German, Belgian, and microbrews are stocked in particular depth.

One of the stockers, who noticed that I was picking a number of singles, briefed me on the beers that were in stock but not yet shelved and fetched my requests from the back room. Another point in favor of the store is their willingness to sell singles of any beer - the clerk in fact stated that no one should have to buy a six-pack just to try a new beer. While many of the beers are not refrigerated, I saw none that were dusty. Also, the light levels in the store were quite low, similar to those seen in a bar.

Although it is of less interest to me, Whip In also offers an excellent wine selection. The store itself is lacking in glamour, being as mentioned in another review, a former gas station. However, the excellent selection and the attitude of the staff more than compensates. The prices seemed quite reasonable, in fact no more and in many cases less than Central Market or Grapevine Market. If you are visiting Austin, Whip In is not to be missed.

Photo of htomsirveaux
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Finally had a chance to stop here this past Saturday. This is a little (1000 sf) store that used to be a gas station. Has a selection rivaling Central Market's, but with a lot of overlap (90%+). I'm not sure what I was expecting but I left feeling slightly disappointed, mainly due to the pricing. On the positive side, they have a large selection of interesting imports and micros, including all the usual German suspects, many Belgians, most of the Texas micros, a decent amount of PNW mircos, Arrogant Bastard, and several cases of Bigfoot 2002 and SA Triple Bock 1995. Unfortunately only about half of the beers are refrigerated, and some of the beers on the shelf look like they'd been there a while. The beer prices are often non existent, especially for singles. This wouldn't be such a big deal except that there is only one clerk for the whole store, so it takes a while to get a price check if there is anyone else bidding for his attention.

My main cause of disappointment: 12 oz singles here average $2.70, singles at Central Market average $1.40.

If you're getting there from I35, take the exit just north of Oltorf, it will be on the access road on the west side of the highway about 2 blocks north of Oltorf.

Kamala Brewing / Whip In in Austin, TX
94 out of 100 based on 85 ratings.