One local couple has noticed that Austin is similar in so many ways to Portland — but one thing far more common in the Oregon city is a combined bottle shop and taproom where visitors can enjoy a pint or two and then take bottles home with them.
Dash and Jonathan Harris, who lived for a couple years in Portland, were inspired by that concept and decided to bring it to Austin with their upcoming business, the Hedgehog Bottleshop & Barrelhouse. After a few years of research and development, they’ve now got a location for it in the southwest part of the city along Highway 290 and are raising funds in a Kickstarter campaign to have it opened next summer. The bar will be located at 9521 W. Hwy. 290, not far from other boozy locales like Thirsty Planet and Jester King Brewery.
With Hedgehog, they’re looking to create what will be “first and foremost a beer haven,” Dash Harris said via email. “We aim to be an integral piece of the Austin craft beer culture, providing an excellent selection and a warm atmosphere where beer novices and experts alike can unite over a lovely brew.”
That selection of beer is going to be very large, too. In addition to having 40 draft brews, Hedgehog will open with more than 400 bottled beers, and that number will grow to more than 700 within the first year of business, Dash Harris said.
She and her husband are going to be able to open with so many beers after time spent working in the industry, she said. Jonathan Harris, as beer manager at Stouthaus Coffee Pub, “has used this time to get hands-on experience in the industry, create connections with beer reps and distributors, hold education classes for staff and run successful beer-related events,” according to the Harrises. They want to spread their beer knowledge at Hedgehog by offering weekly classes and other events for customers.
Another key feature of their beer spot will be barrels, as the second half of Hedgehog’s name suggests.
“Barrelhouse is an ode to Hedgehog’s focus on barrels,” Dash Harris said. “We will incorporate retired barrels into our decor scheme, using them as tables and around the bar. In addition, there will often be amazing barrel-aged beers on tap.”
But that’s not all. The bar — named Hedgehog because the Harris family crest features the prickly little critter — will have an outdoor patio, live music shows and more. “Our warm atmosphere will invite long-term loyalty,” Dash Harris said.
The Hedgehog co-founders, high school sweethearts with deep Austin ties, are hoping to raise $21,000 by Jan. 5 to open the space in the summertime. For more information, visit www.hedgehogatx.com.