Everyone has a home base, a place in town where they feel welcome, comfortable, and relaxed. For me and many of us at The Austinot, that place is Batch Craft Beer & Kolaches.
It’s easy to explain why. Not only does Batch produce exquisite baked goods, but the exceptional craft beer tap list, awesome bottle selection, and family-friendly environment sets it apart from the rest. Whenever I’m planning to meet friends, Batch is my go-to recommendation.
But with a new brewery open as of this past weekend, our venerated local hangout is wading into uncharted waters. Luckily, Batch has approached this new venture with the same heart and spirit of adventure that created Austin’s kolache haven in the first place. And with an initial offering of brews you won’t find anywhere else, there’s nowhere to go but up.
Thank you to Batch for allowing me to try its beers free of charge for the purposes of this review. All opinions are my own.
Born From the Spirit of “Go For It”
The birth of Batch Brewery is incredibly “Austin.” When owners Noah and Josh Lit opened Batch Craft Beer & Kolaches, quality craft beer was a tent-pole of their concept. From a wall of bottles to a well-curated tap wall, it wasn’t all about pastries. Good beer shared with good friends was part of the DNA.
To serve the suds, the first person the Lit brothers hired was a bartender. John Snyder hung out in the car waiting for his wife to be interviewed for the position. Josh Lit invited him in, learned he was an avid home brewer, and a friendship was born.
A few years later, the Lit brothers handed Snyder the keys to create his magical brews in a brand new 3.5-barrel system. The brew house is broken up into two sections: the clean room and the BugRoom.
While the former is where the bulk of the “scientific” brewing takes place, the BugRoom is reserved for the wild world of barrel aging. From standard wooden barrels to puncheons to stainless steel drums, letting beer sit and develop flavors is a major part of the Batch Brewery concept.
Beers That Defy Classification
If you couldn’t tell by an upstart brewery already having a barrel room, Batch Brewery isn’t concerned with making the same old, same old. Snyder’s brewing philosophy is flavors first, style descriptions second.
“My style of brewing is very free form,” Snyder told me. “We didn’t eat out as much as kids, so my mom always welcomed us into the kitchen to cook. So I come from a food mentality of knowing what flavors complement each other or clash. My business card says, ‘Beer Cook,’ not brewer.”
To that end, many of the beers on Batch’s initial menu defy easy labels. Rather than skew consumer impressions based on a name (IPA means hoppy, pilsner means crisp, etc.), Snyder wants the beers to speak for themselves.
And boy, do they. Most of Batch Brewery’s initial tap list lives in the farmhouse/table beer arena. Offerings like the pineapple forward B.Y.N. table beer and the earthy, spicy Ha Ha Saison deliver unique flavors in a rich yet refreshing package. All Batch Brewery beers (with the exception of the IPA) feature an ABV around or below six percent and have a lovely, dry finish.
Speaking of IPAs, the Cottonmouth DDH Baustin is exceptional. Bursting at the seams with juicy citrus notes and a relaxed mouthfeel, the IPA showcases the hop build without being overpowering.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t heap special love on the SFOFEN strawberry farmhouse ale and the Urwagwa. Brewed with 3,000 strawberries, SFOFEN pours like a milkshake, but tastes like–well–strawberries. Rich in fruit flavor without a hint of candy sweetness, and backboned by a nice, dry finish, this ale is a thing of beauty.
Oh, and the Urwagwa? It’s just a gluten-free African banana ale made with yeast farmed from the peels and has a nose like a smokey mezcal. That’s it. Needless to say, I’ve never had anything like it and I can’t wait to get my hands on another bottle.
➡️ Keep reading: Batch Brings Kolaches and Over 400 Beers to Manor Road
With a Spirit of Discovery, the Sky’s the Limit
With a future that involves spontaneous fermentation, more vessels in the BugRoom, and the freedom to create whatever John Snyder can conjure up, Batch Brewery’s future is up in the air in the best possible ways.
What makes the eatery side of Batch special is the sense of community the food, beer, and environment create. Batch Brewery is a natural extension of the Lit brothers’ original vision, an “all are welcome” spot where good drinks and great food build personal connections. Only now, they get to serve fascinating, unique, and delicious beer made feet away.
And thanks to the time and talents of a man who years earlier sat in a car waiting for his wife to finish an interview, never dreaming he’d helm a commercial brewhouse of his own, Batch Brewery embarks on a new adventure. Organically grown through friendships and the spirit of discovery, Batch Brewery is ready to expose, educate, and delight Austinites with its unique take on craft beer. I can’t wait to see where the journey takes them.
3220 Manor Road – Website
@BillTuckerTSP wants to know:
What beer from Batch Brewery are you looking forward to tasting?