Descendant of Oktoberfest Founders Opens Koko’s Bavarian Biergarten in Austin
The East Austin brewery and biergarten serves German beer and smoked meat with a Texas twist
By Meher Qazilbash
Photos by Mackenzie Smith Kelley
It’s not too often that we’re given the opportunity to rub shoulders with royalty here in Austin, but it’s not impossible. Koko’s Bavarian, the new east side German brewery and biergarten, offers a multicultural experience that descends from the royal family that started Oktoberfest in 1810.
The name comes from one of the establishment’s partners, Koko (Konstantin Prinz von Bayern), whose 5th great grandfather King Ludwig I married Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen and invited the citizens of Munich to attend the festivities. Thus began the long-standing Oktoberfest tradition that we all know and love.
Now, Koko intends to carry on his family legacy here in Austin. Why? Prinz von Bayern tells TRIBEZA, “A traditional beer hall is all about food and, naturally, the beer. Among the locals in Bavaria, it is seen as an extension to your own home, so the beer hall has a familiar, cozy and easygoing vibe as well. I think Austin resonates that welcoming vibe, too. Just like a beer hall in Bavaria, all are welcome in Austin … The aim of Koko’s Bavarian is to stay true to the roots and culture of Bavaria while retaining the Austin spirit.”
Koko’s Bavarian makes even more sense as a local addition when considering Texas’ rich history. Germans were the largest ethnic group to arrive in Central Texas starting in the 1830s, and with them they brought their love of breweries. In acknowledging these two distinct cultures, Koko’s presents an authentic German experience while honoring Austin’s own customs and community.
For instance, the space exhibits abundant outdoor biergarten-style table seating with the Austin twist of an outdoor stage for live music programming. And, of course, it’s dog-friendly. Their menu also features 30 varieties of classic German and local beers along with smoked meats influenced by Texas’ heritage like the rabbit-rattlesnake sausage (one of Prince Koko’s favorites). Other standout offerings from acclaimed chef and partner Tim Love include giant pretzels, Belgian fries, Schnitzels and Bee Sting Cake.
Koko’s Bavarian is now open Wednesday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to midnight, Friday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight, and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.