We first came across Rentsch beers at a free tasting in our local HEB store soon after moving to South Austin nearly a year ago. We had a great chat with brewer Stefano and had been meaning to pay Georgetown’s only brewery a visit ever since. Just north of Austin and home of Southwestern University, Georgetown has one of those lovely old Texan town squares and sits along the astoundingly clear and beautifully clean San Gabriel River, complete with its own swimming spot, the Blue Hole. All of these are reasons enough to visit, but Rentsh’s stylish and spacious shiny new taproom is certainly the icing on the cake.
Although we arrived on a relatively brisk evening, we were still able to appreciate Rentsch’s expansive, circular multi-level beer garden complete with performance space, and will certainly be back for a weekend gig or two. The taproom interior is smart but cosy wood-panelling screens above the bar for showing games as well as the beer menu and Untappd check-ins. There is also an entire separate room devoted to sports with a giant projector beaming all games writ large onto the wall – I wish we’d known this before the World Cup! Flights are served in fours, and are priced individually, something I overlooked in my general excitement at arriving to discover three barrel-aged Oktoberfest variants on draft, as well as a regular one. With a focus on German-style beers, Rentsch had gone all out to embrace the festival, and I was impressed. Yes, obviously by November I was kind of over Oktoberfest, but how to resist the lure of the boozy barrel? No, I could not, and it certainly cost me – just four 5oz pours weighed in at a gobsmacking $19. Of course, I only had myself to blame – prices were clearly labelled, but when your regular ATX flight is between $8 and $12 (which I still consider a little steep), this did come as something of a shock. Happily, I can report that said beers were very tasty indeed – the lovely wood-smoke Bourbon being my top pick, although the sweet, sticky Double Rum was also rather good. Their new Double Dry-hopped IPA was my favourite of the non-barrel-aged offerings, and was unusually dry and crisp for a DDH, eschewing excessive juice and wearing it well. Of Rentsch’s core range, the savoury, resinous IPA is the most to my taste but all make for decent session drinking. I can’t deny that our second flight seemed a little underwhelming (if much easier on the pocket!) than the first, but my love for big bad boozy beer does precede me.
The staff at Rentsch are friendly and knowledgeable, and we even came across a fellow Brit, which doesn’t happen often! I’m also supremely impressed that all their beer is brewed entirely with renewable energy from Texas wind farms, a huge selling point to me in itself. Cans of their core range are available locally and in central Austin, but you need to visit the taproom to get the hard stuff, which is open from Wednesday to Sunday (4pm-10pm weekdays, 12pm-10pm weekends) and located just minutes from the centre of Georgetown. Easy peasy.