This is a guest post by J. Darris Mitchell.
I showed up to the Brewtorium ready to rock. I’m an avid environmental volunteer and a good friend of mine (and go-to Hop Head, Tam T.) invited me out to a naturalist trivia night. With bragging rights about being a natural minded know-it-all, how could I say no?
I walked into the Brewtorium to discover a spacious room, filled with communal style picnic tables. Think Pinthouse Pizza or ABGB’s. The room’s decorated with what seems to be the hot trend in Austin restaurants right now: large obsolete-looking glass vessels of mysterious origin filled with clunky lightbulbs with glowing filaments that look like there were designed by either Edison or Tesla. The ones in the Brewtorium appeared to be double-sided carboys, if such a thing exists. (Editor notes: “the vessels are actually milk receiving jars from Chris’s grandparents’ dairy farm. His grandmother gave them to us because they could no longer use them on the farm and we couldn’t afford fancy lights, so a friend of ours helped us weld some steel carriers so we could repurpose them in our space.”)
Tam checked in while I found a table, no easy task, because this place was packed.
Well, not quite, even with the huge crowd, there was room outside in the beer garden and in a few smaller more private rooms tucked in behind the bar. Impressive really. This was looking like a great place to bring groups of people. Good on the Texas Nature Conservancy for choosing the Brewtorium to host.
I ordered our team some beers and they go to work answering minutiae of the natural world while I sampled the wares.
The beers were awesome. With fun names, and progressive yet traditional styles, I think there’s something for everyone here. An abridged menu:
Pillowfort: The Brewtorium’s juicy Pale Ale. This beer looks like its half orange juice and though the taste is far more balanced. Great citrus notes make the Pillowfort bright, lemony, and refreshing as all get out.
Winter Warmer: Get this one while you still can! It’s got an awesome, full maltiness with not too heavy of a mouthfeel. I loved the notes of spice and the zing of alcohol. Great for a cold winter’s night.
Sol Surfer: A pale ale that’s always on tap for good reason. I found this beer balanced, with a nice fruitiness to the hop profile. Their website says it has peach and papaya notes. I don’t know if I buy all that but it really is a good solid, slightly fruity pale ale.
Electric Lederhosen: If you’re going to drink just one beer, make it one of these. The Brewtorium’s take on a Vienna lager is perfection in a glass. It’s crystal clear with a great amber color. A great balance of hops and caramel maltiness make it hard to put down. One of the naturalists at my table kept saying, “I can’t believe this is a lager!” between sips. Truly though, the Electric Lederhosen is a testament to exactly what a good lager should beer. Crisp, light and refreshing, there’s a reason why lagers are the preferred beer of your average beer drinker. The Electric Lederhosen is everything I want a Shiner Bock to be. Do yourself and get one, (or at least steal a sip!) next time you go to the Brewtorium.
And that’s how the suds settled! The Brewtorium has a great selection of beers that will be palatable to most beer drinkers. I don’t know if hardcore hopheads will find their perfect tongue-melting glass here, but that’s just great for someone like me!
Go There Because: You have a big group of people—maybe some even claiming they don’t like craft beer—and you want a friendly place with good food and great beer that’ll try everyone.
Don’t Miss: The Electric Lederhosen. It really is the perfect Amber Lager.
Read more about Brewtorium in our latest profile write up: The Brewtorium & Kitchen.
A Visit To The Brewtorium
J. Darris Mitchell is a sci-fi writer from Austin, Texas. He’s drunk beers in 10 countries and on 4 continents and has been drinking fine beers in Austin longer than most of local craft breweries have existed. When not writing, he often spends his weekends brewing beer in his backyard with his darling wife, his two year old son, a fat cat, and six chickens. You can follow him on Twitter @joedarris.