A Peek at Round Rock's New Flix Brewhouse


Flix Brewhouse

Nothing pleases me more than passions for craft beer and film colliding, especially as part of an innovative project that places Austin on the map -- although technically I'm talking about a new establishment in Round Rock. Flix Brewhouse, the world's first movie theatre with a working microbrewery, opens this week in Skyridge Plaza. The facility is a joint venture between Los Angeles-based Galaxy Theatres (which also own Galaxy Highland in Austin) and a local investment group, Hospitality Investors, which also owns the neighboring Homefield Grill.

As a contributor for Beertown Austin, I was invited to a "sneak peek" at Flix Brewhouse this week along with other local craft beer writers. Although microbrewery production won't be running until mid-August, full drink service and concessions are available at the theater with over 40 draft beers and wines, and by July 15, full food service. Two of the six screens are fully functional now with a third screen becoming available this weekend.

Flix Brewhouse

We learned on Wednesday that Independence Brewing Company's head brewer Justin Rizza will be the brewmaster for Flix Brewhouse. The microbrewery will brew a selection of 6 to 8 beers ranging from a signature golden ale to seasonal specials like "Round Rock Red."

During our media tour with Vice President of Operations for Home Field Grill and Flix Brewhouse Walt Powell and Allan Reagan, President of Hospitality Investors, we were joined by John Seehuus (Vice President - Operations) and Lee Josselyn (Vice President - Film Buying) of Galaxy Theatres. They were in town to oversee the soft opening and provide onsite technical support.

Flix Brewhouse

Flix's stadium seating "dining rooms" are outfitted with high-definition digital cinema projection and sound technologies, and wall-to-wall curved screens. The cushy high-back chairs are reminiscent of a corporate board room and are paired with Easy Glider moveable table tops (pictured above). Call buttons allow diners to alert wait staff when service is required, and staff carry portable order systems to expedite food and drink orders.

The Flix Mix lobby bar and cafe will be open seven days a week with no ticket required. To provide an "adult" atmosphere, after 6 pm no one under 21 will be allowed at Flix Brewhouse without a parent or guardian.

Obvious comparisons to the Alamo Drafthouse were brought up during our tour, and Reagan amicably referred to "our friendly local competition" while focusing on what makes Flix unique. When asked whether talkers and texters would be escorted out of the theatre, Reagan responded that his trained hospitality staff would address the issues accordingly -- and that there are plenty of other venues around town for those people.

More photos on Flickr.

[Photo credit: Flix Brewhouse; lobby and Flix Mix bar; and Easy Glider with Lee Nichols of Austin Chronicle and I Love Beer Blog -- all photos by Debbie Cerda]

Sounds cool except...

Love the idea of beer but to actually have everyone TALKING to their servers... No thanks. The general public do not have indoor voices. I don't want to listen to the dude and his wife next to me each time they need to order a Miller Lite (because no matter how many great brews you have, people just want crap).

Did they elaborate on exactly

Did they elaborate on exactly what "hospitality staff would address the issues accordingly" means? Will talking and texting be tolerated or not? Also, how was the quality of projection? Many thanks!

The plan is that orders are

The plan is that orders are encouraged pre-show, and the rails are placed such that your view is not obstructed. Folks can order concessions to carry in for traditional snacks.

Regarding talking policy --
I asked if like a traditional theatre where you CAN get up and alert theatre staff and management of disruptive patrons, would this underused policy stand? Could a patron use their call light to alert staff?
The answer was yes, you can expect Flix management to be responsive and address the issue -- i interpreted that to probably not mean expulsion, but at least speaking with unruly guests.

I didn't stay for the evening screenings, but I did see part testing of Theatre 3 of Transformers in 3D along with Captain America trailer that knocked my socks off. Lights were up so couldnt get full effect, but they nearly had to drag me out!