More local craft beer and food is coming to North Austin, this time by way of The Brewtorium Brewery & Kitchen, which is slated to open next year. The concept for a casual, neighborhood beer garden that features in-house-brewed craft beer and good food comes from husband and wife team Chris Rauschuber and Whitney Roberts, who are North Austinites themselves.
“Selfishly, we've been thirsty for a spot like this for a long time,” Roberts says. “It's fantastic what's been happening along Burnet Road, where more local establishments are opening up, but we're still pretty inundated with chains further North. We want to provide the residents of North Austin with a place to go that feels like the Austin they know and love.”
"We want to provide the residents of North Austin with a place to go that feels like the Austin they know and love," says Brewtorium co-founder Whitney Roberts.
While no official location has been named, Roberts says we should expect the spot somewhere in the North Burnet/Jollyville/Duval area.
The concept will be “pub-meets-beer hall.” Working with a designer out of Portland, Oregon, Rauschuber and Roberts hope to design a spot “like nothing that currently exists in Austin,” with a special focus on minimizing long lines for beer and food. Yes, there will be plenty of outdoor space, including a beer garden that will be totally dog friendly.
The couple met seven years ago in a pub and bonded over their mutual love for craft beer. Over the past decade, Rauschuber has been working as a software engineer by day while honing his beer recipes and brewing process in their garage brewery. Meanwhile, Roberts is hoping to put her experience as a business development and marketing professional towards cultivating a serious sense of community at The Brewtorium, with regular events like yoga in the beer garden and learn-to-brew classes.
“We want to create a neighborhood gathering space, not just a place where people come to eat and drink,” she says, “so we're planning events that appeal to all types of people.” They’re also looking to host big Oktoberfest and Maifest events, where they plan to tap seasonal beers and have live music, special food offerings and interactive activities.
Rauschuber, who has won more than 125 awards from homebrew competitions, is most passionate about classic German beers, so expect to see some German influence throughout the beer selections. As of now, the beer lineup includes five “classic” beers, ranging from light to dark, with names like “Das Daydrinker” (crisp, clean, German lager) and “Sol Surfer” (the flavor and aroma of a West Coast-style pale ale, yet beautifully balanced). There will also be three to seven rotating styles, ranging from experimental and seasonal beers to old world classics.
The large amount of local breweries in Austin is one of the reasons The Brewtorium is focusing just as much on cultivating community as on marketing the beers. Distribution is a goal for the future, but right now, The Brewtorium is more intent on serving good beers in house. “There are so many fantastic local beers already on the market, and that's one reason we chose to open a brewpub where people can come and drink our beer with us in our house,” says Roberts.
As far as food goes, the plan is to create a simple yet creative menu that includes a mix of healthy and indulgent items. Since craft beer isn’t necessarily low in calories, hearty but healthy salads will be featured prominently on the menu. The hope is that each entree will pair specifically with one beer, not only to enhance guests' experiences, but possibly entice someone to order a beer they wouldn’t otherwise consider.
Ultimately, the couple wants to encourage people to discover new styles and flavors “in a totally welcoming and unpretentious environment.”