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Texas Hill Country Spirits
Sit n' Sip in the Heart of Texas
Texas’ Hill Country and Southern Plains are home to great cities like Austin and San Antonio, but also some incredible breweries, distilleries, and wineries found throughout the central and southern regions.
Hill Country may be best known for wineries – of which there are more than 30 to explore – and U.S. Highway 290, dubbed "Wine Road."
Choose from Texas Hills Vineyards in Johnson City, Flat Creek Estate in Marble Falls, Dry Comal Creek Vineyards in New Braunfels, and Fredericksburg wineries like Becker Vineyards and Torre Di Pietra Vineyards. And don't forget William Chris Winery in Hye.
Fredericksburg is also home to the Hill Country Wine & Music Festival in May – along with popular wine routes such as the Wine & Wildflower Trail, the Holiday Wine Trail, and the Wine Lover’s Trail.
In the heart of Texas, you’ll also find unique distilleries and unforgettable breweries. Tour the facility at Cypress Creek Reserve, hear the amazing story of Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, and be sure to try some Strawberry Milk Stout and other fun flavors at Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling. Be sure to visit Dripping Springs for Twisted X Brewing Company. Visit Hye for “a little sit and sip” at Garrison Brothers Distillery, and sample the many exclusive types of ale at the Real Ale Brewing Company in Blanco. Then check out similar stops like Deep Eddy Vodka and Dripping Springs Vodka in Dripping Springs, or Dulce Vida Spirits in Austin.
Vineyards of Fredericksburg & Hill Country
Hill Country is one of the best wine regions in the nation. Visit Central Texas for more than 30 wineries, and plenty of wine festivals, tasting rooms, and vineyard tours for any fan of adult grape juice.
Fredericksburg is the epicenter of Hill Country’s wine region, set along U.S. Highway 290 – also known as Wine Road. The location of the annual Hill Country Wine & Music Festival, Fredericksburg is surrounded by wineries such as Torre Di Pietra Vineyards and Becker Vineyards.
Sample flavors like the Midnight Mymp, Amore de Tuscano, and Cabernet Sauvignon at the Torre di Pietra tasting room – open to the public – or head to Becker Vineyards for more wine tastings and daily vineyard tours.
Grab lunch at Flat Creek Estate in Marble Falls, and sample your way through the tasting room from Tuesday through Sunday. Southwest of Flat Creek you’ll find Texas Hills Vineyards in Johnson City. Also along Wine Road, Texas Hills features wines for purchase and a tasting room – open daily, offering Texas Hills Pinot Grigio, Due Bianco, and Roussanne. Just be sure to stop by William Chris Winery in Hye.
Northwest of San Antonio, Dry Comal Creek Vineyards is set in New Braunfels in the southern plains of Texas. Dry Comal Creek’s tasting room is open daily from noon to 5 p.m. – with public tours held each weekend at 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Local Beers in the Heart of Texas
If one’s thing’s for sure, Texas knows beer. Breweries and pubs are scattered throughout Texas Hill Country, from the flavorful pubs of Austin to the small-time breweries of San Antonio and the southern plains.
Hill Country has plenty of impressive breweries, many of which are award winning and the first of their kind. Double Horn Brewing Company is the only brewery in Burnet County, established in Marble Falls in 2011.
Open daily, be sure to stop in for local craft beer like 1855 Pale Ale or El Niño Tap, plus a delicious lunch. Another small town brewery, Real Ale Brewing Company is set in Blanco, and offers a tasting room and tour of their brewery and cellar each Friday. Then head to Twisted X Brewing Company in nearby Dripping Springs.
One of the oldest breweries in Texas, Spoetzl Brewery was founded in Shiner in 1909, and makes – you guessed it – Shiner Beer. Tours are offered Monday through Friday at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. – with 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. weekday tours offered throughout the summer.
Breweries a little closer to civilization include the Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling in northern San Antonio, and Jester King Craft Brewery in southwest Austin. Ranger Creek is a “brewstillery” featuring weekly tours of their facillery...facility...while Jester King offers public tours and tasting room visits every Saturday.
Lone Star State Spirits
Sure, Texas is known for great whiskey, but the Lone Star State produces some pretty impressive – and creative – vodka, rum, tequila and liqueurs as well.
For some real Texas whiskey, be sure to stop by Hill Country stillhouses like Balcones Distillery, Rebecca Creek Distillery, and Garrison Brothers Distillery for tours and tastings.
Balcones is home to Baby Blue corn whiskey, and the cask-strength True Blue Whiskey, while Rebecca Creek produces Creek Fine Texas Spirit Whiskey – and holds public tours each Saturday.
Don’t miss Sit & Sip Tours at the Garrison Brothers Distillery in Hye, not far from Johnson City and Blanco. The hour-long tour is $10 a head – free to horseback visitors – and is held at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays only.
Head to Dripping Springs for tastings of Deep Eddy Vodka or Dripping Springs Vodka, or make your way into Austin for a sip of some Dulce Vida Spirits.
Now this isn’t the Caribbean, but that doesn’t mean Texas can’t pump out great rums in Hill Country. Sip some Pecan Street Rum from the Spirit of Texas Distillery in Pflugerville – just north of Austin – or Cypress Creek Reserve Crystal Rum and Cypress Creek Reserve Vanilla Rum at Cypress Creek Reserve in Wimberley. Cypress Creek Reserve – found near San Marcos – also features tours of their facility and Wimberley Market Days Tours.
Explore the distilleries of Texas Hill Country and the southern plains – you won’t be disappointed.