The owners behind the East Austin coffee shop the Wright Bros. Brew & Brew have been busy. They’re opening not only Better Half Coffee & Cocktails on West Fifth Street, a few blocks west of North Lamar Boulevard — but also a brewpub, Hold Out Brewing, right next door.
To run it, owners Matt and Grady Wright and Matthew Bolick have recruited two forces in their respective fields: Brent "Schmitty" Sapstead, longtime head brewer and production manager at Real Ale Brewing Company; and Rich Reimbolt, chef de cuisine of Austin's Jeffrey's and Josephine House restaurants.
Sister restaurant Better Half, which will have Reimbolt serving as executive chef, is expected to open soon, but beer lovers will have to wait until late next year for Hold Out.
It sounds like it’ll be worth the wait. The brewing program will focus on beers “the founders like to drink, including lagers, hop-forward pale ales, and a unique seasonal series that draws inspiration from Texas agriculture,” according to a news release. A 10-barrel system will make the mainstays, while a one-barrel pilot system will be reserved for experimental beers and collaborations.
"We want to make beers brewed to taste, not just to style," Sapstead said in the release.
He and Grady Wright, who has already turned the Brew & Brew into one of the go-to spots for good beer in Austin, will also curate the guest taps at the brewpub, featuring a lot of local brews.
And visitors to Hold Out Brewing, housed in a Quonset hut that had once been part of the original Camp Mabry complex, won’t have to go next door for food — a kitchen led by Reimbolt will serve up burgers and sandwiches. The brewpub will be set back from Fifth Street and aims to be a “secluded, friendly neighborhood space,” according to the release.
Like Better Half, it’s being designed Chioco Design (also behind Counter Three Five Seven), with interior design by Lilianne Steckel (also behind Thunderbird Cafe and Tap Room).
- 10 Austin bars, shops and breweries where you can get coffee and beer
- Get to know Austin’s breweries, distilleries and more in the Austin360 Boozery Guide
- Central District Brewing plans to open in prime downtown Austin location