Kamala Brewing / Whip In

Not Rated.
Kamala Brewing / Whip InKamala Brewing / Whip In
BEER AVG
-
Based on:
25 Beers
3 Reviews
Place Score: 95
Reviews: 48
Visits: 88
rAvg: 4.3
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 

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Place added by: BeerAdvocate

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Reviews: 48 | Visits: 88
Photo of Theortiz01
3/5  rDev -30.2%

The good:
House beers are good, endless selections of wine to-go, lots of taps, great hard to find kegs at times, good bottles- to-go list, the food has been amazing consistently.

The bad:
The service has been sub-par every time I've been here. Just seems like most of the servers have a care-free, "I'll get to you when I feel like it" type of approach. Not rude, but not attentive. Lots of hipsters. Bottles to-go are generally more pricey here than other stores. Growler fills have been pricey in the past as well, although haven't filled a growler in a while so that may have changed. (593 characters)

Photo of BgThang
3.35/5  rDev -22.1%
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. (1,179 characters)

Photo of MUSHROOMCLOUD
3.5/5  rDev -18.6%

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. (958 characters)

Photo of Riccymon
3.53/5  rDev -17.9%
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. (958 characters)

Photo of jl28r1
3.69/5  rDev -14.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2 | selection: 4.5

Drove to Austin from San Antonio last sunday to pick up a growler of Live Oak HefeWeizen. I stopped at Whip-in because of the great reviews and it's location. My wife and I walked in around noon and we were suprised that we were the only customers in the place. It has a pretty cool layout with a long bar, nice dining area (though we did not eat) and lots of coolers filled with a very good craft beer selection. The problem that I had was the bartender/cashier did not at all make us feel welcome. My wife felt we were being watched as if we were shoplifters and I just got the feeling that the worker just wanted us to leave. Too bad, with better service, this place could be incredible. Don't see myself making a 2nd trip there, I would rather spend my money at a place that values customers more that Whip-in. (814 characters)

Photo of kbub6f
3.8/5  rDev -11.6%

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. (1,495 characters)

Photo of Reagan1984
3.94/5  rDev -8.4%
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. (940 characters)

Photo of htomsirveaux
4/5  rDev -7%

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. (1,238 characters)

Photo of HardTarget
4/5  rDev -7%

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. (672 characters)

Photo of bisonkron
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
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. (638 characters)

Photo of JDV
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

While I haven't tried the house made beers here, the food is quite good and tastes very fresh. The tap selection is very good with new stuff constantly coming through here, and the bottle selection is very good as well. They allow you to break up 6-packs here so you can make your own packs out of anything they've got in the store, which is great for people like me that love to sample everything. Funky little place in an old convenience store setting that is most definitely worth a visit. (492 characters)

Photo of BMMillsy
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Neat place I stopped in here in Austin. Looks like crap from the outside, but a cool eclectic feel on the inside. Indian type food (though, not what you normally think) and huge tap list (lots of Texas beers). Bottle selection is decent but nothing to call home about. Grabbed my first Jester King brew here and sat with some food and had a good time. Music seems like every night, too (I only came for lunch time). Highly recommended if you are in the area. (458 characters)

Photo of BeerZack
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%

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. (944 characters)

Photo of BAbaracus
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%

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. (1,225 characters)

Photo of derwestone
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%

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. (727 characters)

Photo of jbphoto88
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%

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. (588 characters)

Photo of SWMeyer4141
4.19/5  rDev -2.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Located on the side of an interstate. Finally found it and wasn't sure what to expect from the outside. Walked in and was greeted and asked If I needed help. I proceeded to shop and the bottle selection was a little less then I hoped. However they had tons of locals on tap to get growler fills. Ranger Creek, Live Oak, Austin Beerworks, Thirsty Planet, 512, Jester King, exc. Also had some good belgians such as Triple Karmeliet and St Bernardus. Was able to sample a few beers and me and a buddy of mine each left with a growler. The employees seem to genuinely enjoy talking beer. A little pricey but the draft selection and the friendly and inviting service makes this a place I will be going back to again. (711 characters)

Photo of coldmeat23
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 5

Hmmm....
Did we just walk into a bar? Or a liquor store? Or an Indian restaurant? Or a neighborhood bodega?
We just walked into all of these things at once!

Yes, it's a bottle shop/liquor store. Fairly decent selection here. You can definitely find a few rarities around. Unfortunately, you're NOT going to just stumble on them. They know that they are there and have them priced accordingly. Not that there is anything wrong with that, because I even picked up a couple things, it's just always a thrill to find that one vintage bottle at the back of the shelf, for the same price as the 'fresh' ones. It makes comparing/contrasting just a little more fun, I think, but I'm certainly willing to pay for the priveledge as well.

They also have around 60 taps, I'd guess. It's kind of hard to tell, because it looks like they just add another three or four tap lines whenever they find the money and space to add them. It's not just a tap wall, they are kind of spread around in little clustered groups.
Let it be stated, right here and now, that the taps that they have are pretty damn awesome. Lots of Texas love. A good deal of a belgian showing. Plus, various craft brews thrown in for good measure.
They even pull out some vintage kegs from time to time. While I was there, among other things, I had Live Oak Tree Hugger Vintage 2006(!!!). Damn, it was awesome!

They also have a couple of rows of items that you'd probably find at your neighborhood convenience store/bodega. Soaps, detergents, soda pops, ice creams, paper plates, trashbags, spices, incense, bread, etc.

On top of all of this, they are also an outstanding Indian Restaurant. From what we could gather, they are using as much local food stuffs as possible, which is awesome. Meats, eggs, cheeses, yogurts, produce and more are all locally sourced.

There were a couple of employees who seemed to have that 'why are you bugging me?' kind of attitude. Normally, this would be close to a 'dealbreaker' for me. I'm happy to say that the other multiple employees and Dipak himself, who runs the place, were all very nice and more than made up for it. Maybe they were just having a bad day or something.

Be prepared to spend a couple of bucks, but I strongly recommend this stop to beer geeks and food lovers alike. Plan on hanging out for a couple of hours while enjoying a few pints and delicious Indian food and generally having a good time. (2,412 characters)

Photo of champ103
4.24/5  rDev -1.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

An excellent beer store/beer bar. As I walk in, it looks like a typical liquor store, with rows of wine, beer, and cooler space wrapping around the proximity. Though there is a bar and wood stools taking up the front left part of the store.

The selection is large. From what I saw, the bottle selection is typical of the better beer stores. Think Specs. Which is good, but the real treat is the large selection of taps. Many you can get as a growler. Lots of Texas micros like 512, Jester King, Live Oak. They expanded their tap selection recently and there are lots of good Imports and other US micros. There is a separate tap section for beers like 05 Sisyphus and some Divine Reserves. All the beers are fresh, or for the aged options, they are impeccably cared for.

The service is really good as well. The cashier/bartender is very knowledgeable on all the beers, and helpful with special releases. Overall an excellent store, and a great place to try what is new if you have time to sit at the bar for a minute. (1,020 characters)

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.26/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75

Whip-In takes the weirdness and funk of Austin to new heights. "Hindu Hillbilly", I read somewhere, and it fits indeed. Honky-tonk meets yoga and has a few beers. Rustic, hippie, free-spirited.

A sprawling, rambling space, with a beer bar, a wine bar, tables for dining, a stage for live music and a bottle shop in the back of the building. Busy but not crazy, I ordered my beer at the beer bar and sat at the wine bar, turning around to enjoy the live band.

They had 10 of their own Namaste brews on tap when I visited (although three were out), all unique and odd: Imperial stout with soaked dated and bourbon, a whiskey-aged Belgian quad named Ganeshale, a post-colonial IPA... I had the Ganeshale and found it underwhelming, a little flat.

70 taps in addition to the Namaste handles to boot, such as Old Rasputin Nitro, Boulevard Harvest Dance, Barrel-Aged Origin and 30+ Texas brews. Also craft beer cocktails/concoctions.

Bartenders are super nice and took time to offer samples despite having a full bar, I appreciate that. Next time I will try the food! Love an Indian-vegetarian menu at a beer bar.

The bottle shop is serviceable but not a must. Prices for the beers at the bar were a little high, although I had rare and barrel-aged stuff. (1,259 characters)

Photo of vdread
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
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. (1,420 characters)

Photo of Pegasus
4.3/5  rDev 0%

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. (1,352 characters)

Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I sometimes drive up from San Antonio for the sole purpose of going to the Whip In. This place is a really awesome venue/bar/bottle shop! Always guaranteed to have something on tap and in the cooler that no other shops/bars have. Sometimes it can get a little cramped and wish the music stage and seating area were a bit larger. Service could be a little quicker and even a little more friendly sometimes, but there is a lot going on at this place. Food is pretty tasty, but a little pricey for the portion size. Also, them having a nice selection can come at a bit of a price as the harder finds tend to be a dollar or more two than other places. But, what's a buck or two when your going to a cool place that is always gonna have something you want to bring home with you! The final super cool thing, is that they have a few taps with some aged beers as well, like I said, there is always something to try! (908 characters)

Photo of stephens101
4.36/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Lots going on here. The space is a bit small and a little dark, but that's my kind of joint. If you're looking for something else there's a BJ's in Sunset Valley.

There are a few booths immediately to the right when you step in, and to your left is a bar that seats ten or fifteen. A few locals were having a few and shooting the shit. Behind the bar is a cooking area, apparently for the Indian food, and a nice selection of taps, for the good stuff.

As you explore further you will find some imported foodstuffs. Further exploration reveals the brews, with the majority of it in coolers. While the selection is good, it is not on par with Specs. That's not a big problem in my opinion, as this place has a cool vibe, and I seriously dig the variety and uniqueness.

P.s. If you're traveling from the north side of Austin at any time near rush hour, I would recommend skipping I-35 and taking Congress down and cutting through a back street over the Whip In. (963 characters)

Photo of CopeTech
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

My local goto for great Indian food and great beer.
70 taps, some quite obscure, for example lost coast grand cru.
Friendly helpful folk. My only beef is that the kitchen is slow, but maybe thats because its that good.

The experience is that this is an old roadside convenience store. You come in and the end has been turned into a huge bar with 70 taps, local texan crafts and belgiums.
Aisle 1 is Belgiums and Crafts great selection.
Aisle 2 is Wine, a great selection again.
Aisle 3 is convenience stuffs toilet paper and creamed corn
Aisle 4 & 5 have been converted to a music stage and seating.

woo hoo (610 characters)

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Kamala Brewing / Whip In in Austin, TX
95 out of 100 based on 48 ratings.