Austin’s thriving craft beer scene is no secret. But over the past year, a number of brewpubs and microbreweries have expanded into the Cedar Park and Leander area, and at least one more is coming in 2017.

Austin native Grady Reynolds said when he signed the lease at 3200 Woodwall Drive, Ste. C-1, Cedar Park, in 2013, local beer haunts, such as Whitestone Brewery and Red Horn Coffee House & Brewing Co., had not yet been conceptualized.

Reynolds and his former business partner, Robert Chaney, opened IronSight Brewers at the Woodwall location in September 2015.

Reynolds said the site formerly housed Twisted X Brewing Co.

Chaney parted ways with IronSight, but Reynolds remained in the Woodwall space and opened Thousand Oaks Brewing in late August with Head Brewer Dave Heath. The brewery crafts traditional-style beers, including its flagship brew, a rye blonde. Thousand Oaks’ taproom is open to the public Fridays from 5-9:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 2-8 p.m.

Reynolds said over the past three years, he has seen both the population and the beer scene in Cedar Park grow.

“It’s blowing up,” he said. “It’s unreal.”

Cedar Park, Leander residents develop a taste for craft beer Thousand Oaks Brewing Head Brewer Dave Heath (left) and owner Grady Reynolds have a laugh at the Cedar Park brewery, which formerly housed Twisted X Brewing Co.[/caption]

Ryan Anglen, owner and founder of Whitestone Brewery in The Railyard, celebrated his business’s one-year anniversary Jan. 1.

“The vibe of the city was really good for a brewery, I felt,” he said. “The community has been extremely responsive.”

Whitestone brews a variety of beer, and at first it only distributed within a 15-mile radius of its taproom, which is open daily, Anglen said.

“It feels like a lot of our crowd is the hyperlocal,” he said. “We know them; they know us.”

But the brewery is starting to see customers drive from Austin to visit the taproom, which Anglen said is likely because he recently started distributing to some of the bars on Sixth Street in Austin. He said he hopes to use the increased visibility in 2017 to ramp up distribution and build an in-house kitchen.

In Leander, the city welcomed its latest brewpub by awarding a $75,000 Old Town business grant on Nov. 3 to Ponyfoot Public House owners Michael and Jamie Nelson.

“To get that kind of support from a city, it’s really not something you’d expect to find,” Michael said. “It’s going to be an immense help.”

The Nelsons purchased the property at 216 N. Gabriel St., Leander, in 2014. Michael said they hope to open Ponyfoot as a family-friendly brewpub and beer garden with a full kitchen by the summer or fall.

Michael said they chose Leander because they found the city to be accommodating to small businesses and supportive of the brewpub idea.

Michael said the population in Leander is growing rapidly, but Leander Beer Market on Willis Street was the only brewpub in town.

“There’s not a whole lot else if you’re a big craft beer fan,” he said.

The Nelsons are working to finalize a design for Ponyfoot that incorporates the old house that currently sits on the future site of the brewpub.