All photography courtesy Batch Craft Beer & Kolaches
San Antonio brothers Josh and Noah Lit have morphed a 1940s stone house in the trending Manor/Mueller neighborhood into a funky-fun kolache bakery and beer garden with a modern-day Austin vibe. Pull into Batch Craft Beer & Kolaches, and you’ll discover a spacious parking lot filled with an intoxicating aroma of freshly baked bread. When the rich flavors of butter, salt and honey greet you before you even walk in the door, you know you’re in for something THAT good.
Background: I met Josh Lit on Friday afternoon at happy hour. The place was comfortably full, with a cool, quiet energy inside and a dog- and family-friendly back patio buzzing with folks just off work revving up for the weekend. Josh says he and Noah become obsessed with finding the perfect kolache while touring Texas with their rock band. (They still play when they aren’t making kolaches and manning the taps: check ‘em out here.) When their music took them to California, Josh discovered the craft beer scene, and the dream of creating a gourmet kolache and craft beer joint was born.
Brews: The open, naturally-lit inside space offers two distinct areas: one holds small tables and cozy sofas; the other, a great L-shaped bar, perfect for bellying up and ordering soft, fresh kolaches and sampling the revolving craft beer selection on draft. According to Josh, they’ll continue to provide a deep roster from breweries like Hops & Grain, Blue Owl Brewing, Austin Beerworks, as well as out-of-state options like Jolly Pumpkin, Prairie Artisan Ales, Mikkeller and Stillwater Arsenal. Whether you favor fruity, hoppy, complex or sour, there’s something to satisfy your thirst. In addition to enjoying the latest draft picks, you can create a multi-pack from an incredible “wall o’ beer,” floor-to-ceiling cold cases with over 400 craft selections, available to enjoy in-house or carry out. The Lit brothers also offer a curated selection of wine, cider and non-alcoholic beverages.
Breads: Chef Jasmine Jones works the magic in the kitchen, melding King Arthur Flour, organic sugar, and local honey with seasonal fruit from local farmers and Micklethwait Craft Meats. Jasmine knows her dough: not only does she own the baking/catering business, I Knead That, but she also makes all the bread for Micklethwait, and has baked for Lenoir, Vespaio and Amity Bakery. I experienced several of her notable koblasniky — the proper name for the savory, meat-filled pastries. I still can’t decide which was my favorite–the signature brisket, pickle and swiss; sausage, jalapeno and gourmet American cheese; or pepperoni and mozzerella–but brisket’s the most popular with patrons. And, of course, she also conjures up heavenly sweet kolaches — local fruit with a variety of accompanying cheeses: fig and sweet cheese; poppyseed; PB&J and apple pie with a cheddar cheese struedel.
Best time to come: Batch bakes all day, but note that kolaches pop out fresh first thing in the morning, partnering perfectly with espresso and coffee from locally owned Greater Goods Coffee Roasters, and just before happy hour, when you can chase a hot puff of flavor with an ice-cold brew. This combo’s already enough to deserve a standing ovation, but starting in October, the Lit brothers will also offer live music on Tuesdays and Thursdays, a harmonious addition that might just make Batch Craft Beer and Kolaches your new favorite watering hole.