Pizzeria Vetri Opens in Austin Serving Local Craft Beer
Location: 2421 San Antonio Street, Austin, TX 78705
Family run Pizzeria Vetri opened this spring (2016) as part of an Urban Outfitters expansion in the new Space 24 Twenty on the “Drag” (directly across from The University of Texas) and it’s not just another place to grab a slice of Neapolitan-style pizza. Yes, the restaurant sells excellent pizza and other menu items, but what makes it stand out from the crowd is the carefully selected craft beer selection and focus on expanding the world of beer through events, dinner pairings and more.
I had the opportunity to speak to Amber Blanch, Assistant Manager and head of the beer program and this is what she had to say.
Tell us a little bit about Pizzeria Vetri and why Austin was chosen as part of the expansion?
What really excites me about the program is the easy to understand and approachable menu. I am proud to say our staff is trained to educate those who may not know the difference between say, an ale and a lager. Even though I would not consider us a “campus beer joint,” we are happy to be located next to the university. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy domestic beer, but it is great to see novice drinkers refine their palates while we explain the difference between a sour beer from local favorite Blue Owl, and a gose from Anderson Valley, I geek out a little. Being able to find what you like, and instill that knowledge in others is a rewarding experience for us here.
Aside from tap takeovers, what other special events do you plan to host?
We also plan on collaborating events in the Space 24 Twenty courtyard as well. There are talks of having a large awning, misters, and full use for their stage to do large-scale events. For instance, during SXSW, we collaborated with the folks at Shiner. We purchased large quantities of Shiner for the restaurant and had free michelada stations for people to build their own beer-cocktail. We would love to do more interactive events like that.
You recently collaborated with Blue Owl’s Jeff Young and Tre Miner on a beer dinner – can we expect more collaborations? How did you collaborate on the menu?
You absolutely can! We don’t have anything in the books as of now but our chef de cuisine, Jason Tallent, has been reaching out to local breweries to get ideas for our next one. Our menu with Blue Owl Brewing was amazing — not to mention unique! The collaboration was a combined effort of Jason, Blue Owl, and their knowledgeable friends at their distribution company, Flood. The menu was presented to Tre and Jeff, and approved for our full creative license. All four courses were not only paired with one of their beers, but also created with the brews themselves. For instance, their limited edition Dapper Devil (raspberry strong ale) was utilized in a citrus salad. They put the sour beer right into the vinaigrette! The pork inside dumplings was braised with their red ale, Van Dayum! I remember at the event, an attendee commented on how he didn’t realize that beer, let alone sour beer, could be so versatile!