Beer and food get equal reverence at the Brewer’s Table in East Austin, where the grand opening in mid-June will introduce something we’ve been wanting since the beginning — the wood-fermented beers that accompany the wood-fired food.
Founder Jake Maddux created the Brewer’s Table to highlight the ways that beer is like food and vice versa, and head brewer Drew Durish, formerly of Live Oak Brewing, has incorporated culinary ingredients in many of the beers, all lagers, to reflect that.
The six beers were still being brewed, or didn’t even exist yet, when the restaurant opened its doors for the first time in April. Maddux decided to hold off on introducing any of Durish’s lagers until all of them were ready to go, so they “can shine as much as possible.”
And, Durish said, having them release at a later date “gives us a chance to have a second party to introduce them all.”
It’s now time to party. You’ll get a first taste of the half-dozen brews on June 10, when the Brewer’s Table will host its grand opening celebration with live music, a photo booth, outdoor yard games and activities for the kids. The grand opening is free to attend, although $25 pre-sale tickets will get you food and three beer pours.
Here are the six beers to expect. Note that most of them are light, easy-drinking options, as per the lager style.The Common Lager (5.2 percent ABV). The flagship beer, it’s brewed as a traditional steam beer would be — via open fermentation in the Brewer’s Table’s custom coolships underneath beautiful wooden foeders.Idée Fixe (5.4 percent ABV). Featuring English breakfast and black teas, as well as candied lemon, it’s a perfect summer sipper.
Vor Ort (4.3 percent ABV). Featuring locally milled blue corn, this beer is essentially a corn lager, but it’s no Bud Light. Vor Ort is a nod to how American brewers used to make beers, well before macro brewing processes came along and introduced corn syrup. Transatlantic Flourish (5.4 percent ABV). What do you do when you have a bunch of leftover flowers that you don’t want to go to waste? Incorporate them into a beer, of course. The final product features carrots and dried jasmine.Beets by Drew (5.4 percent ABV). If the Common Lager draws from Maddux’s brewing background — as a previous Anchor Brewing employee — then Beets by Drew is Durish’s particular masterpiece (to be clear: He’s devised the entire beer program). It’s got roasted beets, about a half-dozen varieties of mint from HausBar Farms and a base of smoked malt and rye.Baltic Hash (7.4 percent ABV). Want a dark beer option? You got it with this Baltic porter, normally an ale but brewed with lager yeast in this case, as well as sweet potatoes and mesquite pod syrup.
Each of the beers are fermented in one of the half-dozen wooden foeders visible from the main dining area. The foeder room — completely, strikingly lined with white subway tiles — is deliberately kept separate because it’s temperature-controlled, but a window allows you to peek in and watch as the fermentation happens in a series of coolships, or open containers, beneath three of the foeders.
“We’re able to mimic the perfect weather of a San Francisco winter’s day year-round,” Maddux said, noting that his time at Anchor Brewing there heavily influenced the types of beers he wants to focus on.
The June 10 grand opening party will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and feature live music from Jazz Mills and Cory Baum, Los Coast, and the Peterson Brothers. Food is only available through ticket purchase, as the regular menu will not be available that day. Beer drinkers are welcome to walk up without tickets.
For more information, visit the Brewer’s Table’s Eventbrite link.
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