A ramen bar, an oyster bar and a bratwurst bar? No, the coolest feature of the new Whole Foods at the Domain (from the perspective of this blog, anyway) is all the craft beers on draft in a few different locations around the store.
The fifth Whole Foods in Austin, opening its doors Wednesday morning, might well have the largest supply of craft beers on draft of all the other Texas Whole Foods, Krystal Angelo, draft beer buyer for the store, said. There are 41 available at the indoor oyster bar called the Draft Shack – a fairly balanced collection of beers both local and national – as well as seven more at the outdoor Public Domain, a bratwurst bar that was once a shipping container.
Rachel Malish, Whole Foods’ media coordinator, also said a beer tap is at the pizza station and another two are upstairs, where plenty of seating and a community meet-up space for yoga and cooking classes make it easy to hang out and have a pint.
People wanting to try out good beers are in good hands with Angelo, who’s doing her best to keep the beer list interesting and full of variety, although the former Colorado resident who worked at Odell Brewing admits that she’s partial to IPAs and does have quite a bit of them on the tap wall for the grand opening week. (See full list below.)
The benefit of such a tap wall in the middle of a grocery store, Angelo said, is that it gives people the chance to try something they might normally steer clear of at a liquor store, where so many labels and brands can be daunting. But if it’s on draft, “you’ll be able to taste it and see if you’re interested in it,” she said.
Shoppers have the option of taking the beer to go in a growler or ordering a pint of it and drinking it there. That’s what’s a little different about this Whole Foods – there are plenty of places, 11 in total, to sit back with a beer.
Behind the Draft Shack are shelves of beers in bottles and cans that are also carefully cultivated. And on tap at the shack are some drinks that aren’t beers, including cold-brew coffee that’s made in store, a couple of ciders (one from Austin Eastciders) and non-alcoholic Abita Root Beer.
You can start drinking a pint tomorrow at 10 a.m., although the store opens officially at 8 a.m.
Find all the details about the new store, as well as a calendar of opening events, at wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/domain. Whole Foods Domain will be open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
Draft Shack tap list for opening week:
Cold brew coffee on nitro (made in store)
Oskar Blues Old Chub on nitro (Strong Scottish Ale)
Victory Prima Pils
St Arnold Icon: Red (a Bohemian Pils)
Pedernales Lobo Lito (Pilsner)
Circle Alibi (Blonde)
8 Sixpoint Sweet Action (Pale/Cream/Wheat Ale)
Live Oak Hefeweizen
Goose Island 312 Urban Wheat
Circle Blur (Hefe)
Hitachino White Ale
Adelbert's Naked Nun (Wit)
Boulevard 80-Acre Hoppy Wheat
Live Oak Primus (Weizenbock)
Independence Austin Amber
Circle Envy (Amber)
Live Oak Big Bark (Vienna Lager)
Hops & Grain Alt-eration
Hops & Grain Pale Dog
Real Ale Sword Iron Swan Ale (English Pale Ale)
Founders Centennial IPA
Real Ale Lost Gold IPA
Adelbert's Gypsy (Belgian IPA)
Hitachino Japanese Classic (English IPA)
Ballast Point Sculpin IPA
Austin Beerworks Fire Eagle (IPA)
Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA
Oskar Blues Deviant Dales (Double IPA)
Southern Star Valkyrie Double IPA
(512) Bruin (Brown Ale)
Adelbert's Black Rhino (Dark Ale)
(512) Four (English Strong Ale)
Southern Star Buried Hatchet Stout
Circle Nightlight (Irish Stout)
(512) Cascabel Cream Stout
Circle Smokin' Beech (Bamberg-style Rauchbier)
Adelbert's Scratchin' Hippo (Bière de Garde)
Real Ale Devil's Backbone (Belgian Tripel)
(512) Three (Belgian Tripel)
Adelbert's Tripel B
Rodenbach Grand Cru (Flanders Red)
Austin Eastciders Gold Top
Leprechaun Golden Cider
Abita Root Beer