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Kamala Brewing / Whip In

Not Rated.
Kamala Brewing / Whip InKamala Brewing / Whip In
BEER AVG
-
Based on:
26 Beers
4 Reviews
Place Score: 95
Reviews: 48
Visits: 89
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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Reviews: 48 | Visits: 89
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 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 LittleDon
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Summary: The prototypical South Austin establishment. Eclectic beerbar/convenience store with good to great selection and passable food.

I've been fortunate enough to be a South Austin resident for the past 15 years and have witnessed the transformation of Whip In. Early on, it was a not so typical convenience store with a good selection of beers in their coolers and a decent cigar selection to boot. These days, the cigars are gone but the beer selection has improved and the addition of 50+ taps has added a new dimension to the place.

For those from out of town, the vibe at Whip In is a third coast version of O'Brien's or Bukowski's. I recently stopped in to pick up a mixed six. When I walked in (about 4 pm) there were a (maybe not so) surprising number of after work patrons at the bar. Given what is available, it's not surprising.

The tap selection is phenomenal for the Central US, hell, anywhere outside of the great beer Meccas. Growlers are available for anything they have on tap. The bottle selection is good. The single selection looked depleted when I was there, but enough to choose to make me happy.

What makes Whip In truly South Austin is its eclecticism. It is an amalgam of beer and wine store, beer bar and, music venue, with enough convenience store thrown in to make it quirky and inviting. Where else in Austin can you listen to Suzanna Choffel while eating your Mary Louise butter brownies drinking Jester King Black Metal. About the only thing disappointing was the menu: good, but not great.

Would I go back? It's sad that we often overlook what is easily available to us in favor of that outside of our immediate grasp. I have had the fortune to travel all over the US and only now recognize that I should be spending more time drinking at places closer to home. (1,806 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 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 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 wagenvolks
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
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. (1,310 characters)

Photo of stumac
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%

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! (533 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 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 jamescain
4.44/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

I would consider the Whip-In as my parent's neighborhood bar. I like stopping by whenever I visit. The nice thing about the Whip-In is that it is a combination, bottle shop, restaurant, and bar. I have not yet had the food yet, which is Indian food; however I have heard that it is very good. Their draft beer is slightly pricy, especially their cellar section. I'm not complaining about it, if they take the time to cellar a keg properly, then the consumer should pay for that time and effort. The nice part of the Whip-In is the fact that you can open any bottle and enjoy it on the premiss for only an extra dollar. Their bottle selection is very good and will rival any establishment in the city. They also will fill any beer in a growler, other then the cellar selection I believe. The servers are helpful. the atmosphere is a little cramped because most of the place is a bottle shop, but there is outdoor seating and occasionally there is a band playing. Its a great place and I would highly recommend a stop if you're visiting. (1,035 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 mgdeth
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%

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. (573 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 Mora2000
4.44/5  rDev +3.3%
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. (670 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 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 tjkinate
4.63/5  rDev +7.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I have to say that I am a San Diego native and I had to get used to the Austin beer selection.

The best part of Whip In is their draft beers. It is comprised of a revolving list that I would have to guess has 70ish beers on tap at anytime. Bottle selection is above average for Austin, but I still shutter, since compared to my favorite spots on the west coast it doesn't quite measure up. I don't hold it against this place though, obviously its not their fault.

What is also great about this place is that they are more than a beer store. They have a solid wine selection, in addition they are an Indian restaurant (which I have yet to try.)

The primary downfall I see at Whip In is the service, I just don't get it? I have been here a dozen times, half of which I have sat down to grab a pint. Every time I need to snag the bartender. I feel like I don't exist. Once I get served, I feel the service improves, but overall it feels like less than a friendly place.

*Update* 06/18/2012

After a few great renovations and an almost entirely new staff the Whip In has skyrocketed, becoming my favorite place in Austin. Great deals on local beers every night, great live music with an incredible staff. (1,204 characters)

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 jdoncbus
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

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. (1,063 characters)

Photo of Fenris244
4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

I went to whip in today solely because I had never been and I keep hearing about it!

The atmosphere was nice, the light was a little dim for my liking but after I saw some aged beer on one of the shelves I assumed it was for their sake.

The quality was great I could find alot of things there that most of the stores in my area won't carry and though specs has a greater selection for the most part whip in has more of the limited releases, oh an they also have taps, 60 taps and do growler fills which puts them above specs in my book.

The service was pretty good except the guy I who was helping me kept saying everything was "money" he was a cool guy but the repeated use of that term kept making me want to tell him to shut up.

I didn't eat any food but the value was great, I picked up done awesome vintage brews at a good price and I'm more than happy about it! I'll definitely be coming back (904 characters)

Photo of EMB1960
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Visited this place when I was on a business trip just this September. I thought the place was very laid back and had some solid beers on tap, as well as a decent variety.
The bartenders/pourers were informative of all the beers, especially the ones brewed there. Met some
decent people to talk to and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Had one of their beers a Shiva Stout done with Dates or figs that were soaked in Bourbon, and the beer was excellent.
I also over heard people talking about the food served here, and all were complimentary comments.
I would recommend this place to anyone wanting a decent craft beer. (612 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 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)

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