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Austin brewery creates adults-only pillow fort with launch of new beer

Arianna Auber
aauber@statesman.com
Friends Dianni Ortegon, Elizabeth Sweet and Jordan Fernandez relax together on the pillow fort at the Brewtorium, which created the lounge area in celebration of a new beer. [Arianna Auber / AMERICAN-STATESMAN]

You might be drinking a beer while doing it, but you can feel at least a little bit like a kid again while lounging under a new, temporary pillow fort at one Austin brewery.

The Brewtorium Brewery & Kitchen came up with a fun way to celebrate the release of a new beer — an adults-only pillow fort tucked into one corner of the massive brewpub. The tent-like fort, featuring a mattress and lots of pillows for lounging, can fit three to four people comfortably and even has a small wooden table at one end where you can rest your beer. (No food is permitted at the fort, however.)

Order whatever you like off the tap wall, of course, but the Brewtorium created the pillow fort because of a specific beer: the Pillow Fort Juicy Pale Ale. The marigold-colored beer serves as the almost one-year-old brewery's first foray into the hazy style, and boy, does it succeed.

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The Pillow Fort Juicy Pale Ale bursts with vibrant notes of juicy kiwi, bright tangerine and tropical fruit thanks to the "insane amount" of Mosaic, Simcoe, Motueka and Pacific Gem hops used in the recipe, according to the Brewtorium co-founder Whitney Roberts. The name wasn't just an excuse to erect a mountain of pillows at the brewpub off Airport Boulevard. When it pours off the tap, pillowy foam forms at the top of the pint glass.

Even if you don't nab a nap in the pillow fort, you might feel nostalgic for your childhood anyway, once you take a sip of the very juicy brew.

"With a super low 5.4 percent ABV and only 37 (international bittering units), it's like sippin' on your favorite fruit juice box from when you were a kid. But better, of course," Roberts said.

Only 37 IBUs? What does that even mean? International bittering units are the measurement by which brewers detect how bitter their beer is. That's especially important for hop-forward beers like IPAs and pale ales that traditionally tend to be far more bitter than other styles. Now, with the proliferation of the hazy IPA, brewers aren't trying to create beers with the highest possible IBUs.

Instead, beers like the Pillow Fort rely on flavor profiles that almost abandon bitterness altogether.

Taste the juice-like pale ale for yourself this week while lounging in the pillow fort, which will be up for only a few more days. The Brewtorium is located at 6015 Dillard Circle. For more information, visit thebrewtorium.com.