Content Produced in Partnership with Tour San Marcos

Summer in Texas is a right of passage. Locals go for a dip in their favorite watering hole or river to beat the heat, but nighttime is when the real fun heats up. The Lone Star State is known for its toe-tapping good country music and cold brews to toss back. Almost every bar in San Marcos offers some form of live music with venues putting on a show every night of the week. Simply wander the Square, and you’ll find outdoor festivals, concerts in the park and musicians soulfully strumming on decks and patios across the city. For a few ideas of where to have this quintessential Texas experience, we have a few suggestions:

Middleton Brewing

A small yet mighty brewpub in the Texas Hill Country, aptly named Middleton is in the middle of San Marcos and Wimberley. Their award-winning beers pair nicely with the live music from their tasting room or front patio. Be sure to try a Third Coast IPA, Bobcat Red or Black Lab Porter and snap a spot on the rooftop deck to take in the rolling green landscape.


One of the best restaurants in town, AquaBrew is a downtown brewhouse full of flair and artisanal cuisine. They have an open floor plan so you can watch the brewing process take form from the hops to the barrel while tapping your toes to live music every weekend. The best spot to park it is the new rooftop deck that overlooks the beer garden. You’ll want to sip on a Swine Dive IPA, 78Tripel6 or opt for a tasting a flight to try them all.

Altmeyer & Lewis Brewing Company

San Marcos’ first production brewery, Altmeyer & Lewis is open for tastings and tours on Fridays and Saturdays. Their outdoor evening musical schedule is as varied as the yoga at “Pints & Poses” in the afternoon. While you’re practicing warrior 1, 2 or 3, be sure to rehydrate with an A&L Bock, Red or Double IPA.

The Growling SMTX

An All-Texas craft beer bar, The Growling SMTX has 27 brews on tap and even more bottled in the cooler. Kick back and enjoy some jams or grab a jug of your favorite to go. Their plastic growlers are perfect for taking to the Summer In The Park concert series where new bands play each Thursday down by the river. You can check out the musical schedule here.

Buzz Mill

Pick your poison at this quirky 24-hour bar and coffee shop designed to look like a chic cabin in the woods. Buzz Mill has live music on their patio Thursday-Saturday evenings. The draft beer selection rotates weekly and seasonally, but it’s always featuring a local craft favorite to keep you coming back for more Texas pride.


Zelicks has so many Texas craft beers it’ll likely get your head spinning, but if that doesn't do it for you, “Martian Culture” might. A monthly event featuring live music, art, fire dancers, and body painters, it is most definitely an out-of-this world experience. The best time to visit this open-air Icehouse is on Friday’s when they tap a mystery keg from a regional brewery that’s only available until it’s gone.