After nine months of pop-ups at local breweries, brothers Noah and Josh Lit have finally opened Batch Craft Beer & Kolaches in a renovated stone house on Manor Road. Our first look found a unique concept that combines a gourmet kolache bakery, coffee shop, taproom, and retail craft beer shop, all set in a cozy and comfortable space with a laid-back vibe.
“We started doing pop-ups at our favorite local breweries at the end of 2016 to make connections with our favorite brewers, show off our kolaches, and keep us sane during the long months of construction,” says Noah in a press release. “We sold out regularly, made friends, and started spreading the word about Batch.”
The signature kolaches are the creations of Jasmine Jones, a veteran pastry chef and owner of I Knead That bakery. The rich dough is made with Vital Farms eggs and fresh dairy. Jones wants to keep a balance between traditional flavors like poppy seed, seasonal fruit, and sweet cheese, but also Texas-style savory versions using fresh vegetables and Micklethwait Craft Meats brisket and sausage.
“We’ve had Czech people come in and say ‘brisket in a kolache?’” says Josh. “They either love it or hate it. We are trying to respect tradition, and are aware that these savory options are traditionally known as klobasnek, but in Texas we are known for adapting things — these are now Texas things.” Call it what you will, they are incredibly delicious, made with the highest quality ingredients available, organic when possible.
Batch boasts 12 rotating taps of local, national, and international beers, as well as a grab-and-go cooler stocked with over 400 different bottles and cans from which customers can create their own six-packs. There’s also the option to select a beer from the coolers to enjoy in-house for a small corkage fee, with a “no corkage happy hour” Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 pm. In addition, Batch offers an espresso and coffee program in partnership with Greater Goods Roasting, with a blend that supports Austin Pets Alive! The Lit brothers are dog lovers, so the 2,000-square-foot beer garden is dog-friendly, with picnic tables under shady elms.
Josh tells us that the plan is to continue reinforcing the relationships they’ve built with local brewers by hosting kolache and beer pairing events and tap takeovers. But the staff will be happy to guide you on selecting the perfect beer to enjoy with the kolache of your choice. Josh gave us a preview of some of his favorite pairings, and he encourages everyone to find their own and share with them.
Micklethwait brisket, pickle, and Swiss with Speedway Imperial Coffee Stout
A surprising pairing that worked amazingly well, with matching smoky flavors and an interesting juxtaposition of the roast overtones of the beer with the crisp, tangy pickle and creamy, nutty cheese. “This is one of my all-time favorite beers,” says Josh. “But another great pairing would be Live Oak’s Weisser Rauch, a smoked beer that’s a marriage of traditional German HefeWeizen and a Rauchbier.”
Micklethwait pork sausage, jalapeño, and cheese with Pinthouse Training Binds IPA
The floral, fresh notes of the beer are a good foil for the rich fatty flavors of the sausage and cheese, and the beer’s light body is perfect to tame the spice of the pickled jalapeño. Another great pairing will be the San Y’bon Premium Lager from Kerrville’s Pint & Plow Brewing Co., a light, clean, and refreshing beer exclusively found at Batch.
Chocolate, caramel, pecan kolache with Destihl Brewery Blueberry Gose
This incredible beer from the brewery’s wild sour series has light fruit notes and the common salinity found in Leipzig-style gose beers, both of which marry perfectly with this sweet kolache that combines Texas pecans, bittersweet chocolate, and house-made caramel. It cuts down the sweetness without altering the flavor of the brew. For a more classic pairing, try that Speedway Stout.
Batch Craft Beer & Kolaches is located at 3220 Manor Rd. and will be open Monday through Friday from 7 am to 11 pm, Saturday from 9 am to midnight, and Sunday from 9 am to 10 pm.