14 Best Austin Area Distilleries to Visit

14 Best Austin Distilleries to Visit

Austin and the nearby Texas Hill Country are home to a spirited number of distilleries that are destinations in themselves. Stop in for a pour at an urban tasting room or set off on a Hill Country day trip. Here are 14 local craft spirits distilleries to explore:

Courtesy of Desert Door Distillery

1. DESERT DOOR DISTILLERY

Desert Door Distillery in Driftwood is the country’s only sotol distillery, crafting a distinctive Texan spirit. Unique to Texas and northern Mexico, the rugged sotol plant thrives in the desert. Do some sotol sampling in the modern Tasting Room (try the earthy Desert Door Original), then cozy up by the fireplace on a comfy couch surrounded by regional artwork. Or take an afternoon tour Friday through Sunday.

2. GARRISON BROTHERS DISTILLERY

Garrison Brothers Distillery in scenic Hye is the Lone Star State’s first and oldest whiskey distillery. Located on a small ranch, Garrison produces Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey made with its own organic winter wheat that’s grown and ground daily on site, along with plump yellow corn from the Texas Panhandle and fresh Hill Country rainwater. Take the one-hour Sit and Sip tour (Wednesday through Sunday), which includes a taste of sweet mash and high-proof “white dog” right from the stills, along with samples of Garrison’s latest limited-release whiskey.

Courtesy of Treaty Oak Distilling

3. TREATY OAK DISTILLING

Located in Dripping Springs, Treaty Oak Distilling is named for the 500-year-old live oak tree in Austin that was the site where Stephen F. Austin (known as the “Father of Texas”) signed a border agreement in the 1830s. Treaty Oak produces a number of spirits, including gin and bourbon, on its 28-acre, state-of-the-art distillery/ranch. Head out on the weekend to enjoy Saturday afternoon tours, live music, yard games, tastings at the Cocktail Lab and a gourmet bite from the on-site Alice’s Restaurant.

4. DRIPPING SPRINGS VODKA AND GIN

Dripping Springs Vodka and Gin, also found in Dripping Springs, produces its spirits in handmade copper pot stills. Brothers Gary and Kevin Kelleher founded the San Luis Spirits distillery, where they produce small 50-gallon batches of Dripping Springs vodka and gin using pure Hill Country artesian spring water. Tours are held Thursday through Saturday afternoons, and include a distillery tour, tastings and a souvenir shot glass.

Still Austin Whiskey Co. Credit Danielle Chloe Potts.

5. STILL AUSTIN WHISKEY CO.

Still Austin Whiskey Co., located at The Yard, holds the distinction of being the first whiskey distillery located within Austin city limits since Prohibition. A true grain-to-glass distillery, everything is done in-house, from mashing to barreling and bottling. Take a 30-minute tour to see how Still Austin’s whiskey is made, then enjoy it straight up or in a cocktail best sipped in the whiskey garden.

6. FROG POND DISTILLERY

Located just east of Dripping Springs, Frog Pond Distillery is known for its small batch gin and vodka crafted in a Texas Hill Country setting. Stop in for a cocktail on the back porch and try the newest products, available only at the distillery. Listen to live music and sip a craft cocktail at the distillery every Saturday and Sunday.

Courtesy of Deep Eddy Vodka

7. DEEP EDDY VODKA

Deep Eddy Vodka is a Dripping Springs favorite. Its sprawling 30,000-square-foot distillery includes a fun, retro-feel tasting room where you can sip specialty cocktails or sample flights Thursday through Sunday. Vodka varieties are flavored with fruit that includes cranberry, peach and ruby red grapefruit. Both kids and dogs are welcome to come sit a spell on the patio and take in the panoramic view of the surrounding Texas Hill Country.

8. REVOLUTION SPIRITS

Revolution Spirits is an experimental craft distillery that produces small batches of gin and liqueurs in Austin. Revolution’s signature is the contemporary, American-style Austin Reserve Gin, made with juniper, lemongrass and Texas grapefruit. It also produces liqueurs that include the Cafecito, blended with cuvee coffee. Tastings and cocktails are offered in the tasting room Thursday through Sunday, with tours of the production area available by request.

Courtesy of Kooper Family Whiskey

9. KOOPER FAMILY WHISKEY CO.

Located just a quick drive from Austin in Ledbetter is Kooper Family Whiskey Co., a true mom-and-pop distillery known for its rye whiskies that are blended with pure limestone-filtered Travis County spring water and slowly matured in bourbon barrels. Try a flight of three rye whiskies in the tasting room, open Friday and Saturday.

10. BANNER DISTILLING CO.

Located on 12 acres of farmland on the outskirts of East Austin, Banner Distilling Co. is a small batch distillery built from the ground up by two craft beer and spirits enthusiasts looking to carve out a Texas distilling legacy with its smooth vodka and original whiskies. Join the 45-minute distillery tour and tasting experience, where you’ll get to try the award-winning Banner Natural Vodka and Texas Wheat Whiskey, available for sale in limited quantities.

Real Spirits Distilling Co. Whiskey. Credit to Davin Topel

11. REAL ALE BREWING CO

Producing craft beer since the mid-1990s, Real Ale Brewing Co launched Real Spirits Distilling out of its Blanco tap room in 2017. Stop by for a tour and tasting of its Texas Hill Country Signature Whiskey, Grain to Glass Gin, and the very limited first batch of its Single Barrel Whiskey. The tap room is open Wednesday through Sunday, with free afternoon tours offered Friday and Saturday afternoons.

12. GENIUS GIN

Genius Gin focuses on making this solitary spirit in two versions: Standard Strength (a homage to the classic London Dry variety) and Navy Strength (a sip-worthy version inspired by the historical proof carried on British Royal Navy fleets). Tours are offered by appointment only, with knowledgeable distillers who explain the history of gin and offer tastings.

Ben Milam Whiskey. Credit Brooke Taelor Photography

13. BEN MILAM WHISKEY

Ben Milam Whiskey is named for a larger-than-life Texas freedom fighter who was born in Kentucky, the birthplace of bourbon whiskey. Stop in at the distillery tasting room (Tuesday through Saturday), located in the picturesque small town of Blanco that’s known for the spring-fed Blanco River that runs through the center of the community. Sample Ben Milam’s hallmark Single Barrel Bourbon that’s just made for sipping, and was a Double Gold winner at the 2017 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

14. TEXAS SAKÉ COMPANY

Texas Saké Company, which uses centuries-old techniques to brew its saké, is a hidden little gem in Central Austin. The saké is produced in small batches, taking care to find the right balance of bold and crisp flavors. Tours are held during taproom hours, Wednesday through Saturday, when you can try saké by the glass or mixed in a cocktail at the Japanese-style bar, and chat with the resident Toji (master brewer).

Austin Area Dining Guide

In Central Texas, our hospitality and palates are a source of local pride. From the Texas barbecue tradition, to staples like TexMex, breakfast tacos and burgers, our appetites and demand for great food are as big as the state of Texas itself. This is a only a taste of the many favorite spots to find the favorite local flavors of the Central Texas area.

Information Provided by Texas National Title

If you’re looking to sell, you need to know how to stage your home. These simple and inexpensive tips can help!

Staging your home for the sell is one of the most important elements in making your space inviting and attractive to potential buyers, but in the midst of a move, who has the time (or money) for a complete renovation? Save time, money, and energy—without sacrificing quality—with these tips.

  • Remove excess by ridding cluttered rooms of furniture or decorative pieces that are taking up too much space. Minimal seating, wall hangings, and rugs offer a cleaner, more appealing look.
  • Increase the size of a space visually by pulling furniture away from walls, maintaining a similar color scheme between rooms, and incorporating lighter-colored fabrics.
  • Avoid personalized items such as children’s toys, books, or DVD collections, which might be off-putting to potential buyers.
  • Keep it clean by making sure to scrub down baseboards and floors, and dust around countertops and chairs. Less dirt and grime not only makes a home more appealing, but can make it feel larger, too.
  • Replace dim lighting with brighter bulbs or modern fixtures. Lighting is one of the most important elements of a space that can also be one of the cheapest fixes.
  • Clear out closets or swap out differently colored hangers for uniform ones. An organized closet can make a bedroom look more polished.
  • Fresh flowers and plants, when used minimally and strategically, can instantly add a touch of charm and freshen up your home.
  • Get organized and save time by boxing up as much as you can before potential buyers see your home. Less clutter means a more attractive home, and you’ll be glad you got a jump start on packing.

If you want to make the most of your open house without breaking your budget, be mindful to follow these tips—potential buyers will surely be impressed.

Small Changes That Can Make for a Happier Home

As the saying goes, it’s the little things. When it comes to making your home a home, sometimes it’s the small efforts that go a long way. It doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg to create a happy space for yourself, it can be as simple as making these small changes.

Add plants or flowers

Plants breathe life into any given room, and flowers can do the same. They help filter the air of toxins, as well as brightening up the space with color and life. I know whenever I have a vase of flowers in the corner of my bedroom, it instantly adds a smile to my face after a long day.

Clear out and organize your closet

Is your closet bursting at the seams? Do you find yourself unable to find an outfit to wear in the morning within a reasonable amount of time? It may be high time to organize your closet space. You could take it one step further and Marie Kondo your wardrobe, or you could keep it simple.

Put up art

No, this doesn’t have to be a one-of-a-kind painting worthy of hanging in The Louvre—maybe just keep your eyes peeled next time you head to the flea market or even as your perusing through Target. A piece of art (or a few) can add a sense of personality to your space.

Consider essential oils

An essential oil diffuser was something I didn’t know I needed until I received one as a gift for Christmas, and honestly, I finally understood the hype. I’ve only ever used a lavender essential oil, but there are many to choose from depending on what benefits you want to see.

Make your bed every morning

This requires no money and very little effort on your end. Coming home to a freshly made bed every night can do wonders for your mental health, so don’t skimp out on this morning task.

These are just a few small changes that can improve your home, and in turn, improve your well-being.

 

CREATE AN EVACUATION PLAN FOR YOUR PETS

An evacuation plan is a necessity for every home, especially if you live in an area where fires, tornadoes, hurricanes, flooding, and other disasters are a possibility. Many homeowners create evacuation plans for their homes and practice them with their kids, but far fewer have considered one for their pets. Take these steps to add your pets to your evacuation plan.

Assign pet evacuation to an adult. 

Everyone should know how to act during an evacuation, and that includes assigning one parent or adult to the pets. This allows the other parent and the children to focus on their part of the evacuation plan, so there’s no confusion during a high-stress moment when time is of the essence.

Keep evacuation maps and pet carriers readily accessible. If you need to evacuate, you should know exactly where every important item is. If you pets require carriers, keep them in a place that you can access easily.

Practice your plan. Include your pets in your home evacuation drills.

It’ll help you see how they will respond and make changes to your plan if necessary. Getting your dog out of a window may not be as simple as you think!

Be prepared in case you get separated from your pets. 

No matter how much you drill your evacuation plan, it’s possible that a dog or cat will run off while you’re focusing on keeping your family safe. A microchip or a GPS-compatible tag can help you find your pets once it’s safe to return to the area.

A Day in Texas Wine Country

The Texas Wine Country is one of the most coveted wine regions in the United States. It’s beautiful vineyards, breathtaking views, and homegrown grapes attract travelers from around the world. 

The Texas Hill Country, more specifically Fredericksburg, is located at the heart of Texas Wine Country. Both areas are located in the center of Texas, making it that much more accessible for travelers to visit some of the 50 wineries this area has to offer. Fredericksburg, known for its small-town feel, delicious peaches, and outdoor activities is home to some of the best restaurants, shops, and attractions. The many scenic views and activities are what makes Texas Wine Country one of the most visited regions in Texas. 

The Best Time to Visit Texas Wine Country

The Texas heat can be a deal-breaker for some people when it comes to outdoor activities. Although Texas Wine Country is a popular place to visit year-round, the best time to go with pleasant temperatures and beautiful wildflowers would be during March, April, and May. The fall season is another excellent time to visit because of the beautiful weather and various fall festivals, including Oktoberfest and the Fredericksburg Food & Wine.

Texas Wine Country Tours

The best way to start your day full of wine-tasting would be to start in town. Other wineries are within a 30-minute radius of the town and offer shuttles to get you wherever you want to go, without having to designate a driver for the day. Here are some wineries that every traveler should check out. 

  • 1851 Vineyards is the closest winery to Fredericksburg. This winery will give you a step by step on all that goes into making a bottle of wine, along with tours of the vineyards and wine tastings. 
  • Bell Springs Winery is just a short 25-minute drive from Austin. Located in Dripping Springs, Bell Springs Winery provides you with beautiful views of the vineyards, live music every weekend, chef-prepared food, and wine tastings throughout the day.
  • 4.0 Cellars started as a small-concept tasting room and has rapidly grown into a well-established unique winery. Each tasting room showcases the various techniques 4.0 Cellars uses when creating its diverse blends. 

Texas Wine Country is the perfect place to relax and drink some of the best Texas-made wine. Whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway or a day trip, Texas Wine Country has everything and more. 

If you’re thinking about trying to sell your home yourself, don’t. Here’s why.

Every year, a small portion of homes are put up for sale by the owner (FSBO). But according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), FSBOs will have a far more difficult time getting off the market. Here’s a few reasons why hiring an agent can save you time, energy, and unneeded stress.

Industry know-how

You probably don’t have a lot of experience with the ins and outs of real estate. The industry can be tricky to navigate, but an agent has the education and experience to back up his or her decisions.

Negotiation skills

If you don’t fancy yourself an expert negotiator, that’s where a real estate agent comes in. REALTORS® have mastered the art of negotiating and can ensure your home sells for a fair price.

Confusing paperwork? Handled. 

Instead of spending hours on the internet to find out what escrow means, your agent can explain everything to you in basic terms and handle the often-difficult process of navigating a real estate transaction.

Working for you

Agents are required to have your best interest in mind, which can be a breath of fresh air during a particularly stressful process. It’s always beneficial to have an expert opinion to back you up and marketing expertise to make sure your home is seen by the right people.

A neighborhood authority 

Whether you’re moving down the street or four states away, choose an agent with extensive knowledge of the neighborhood you’re interested in. The agent will know the average price of homes in the area, plus extra information you might not be able to find in an internet search.

For more real estate tips, visit americanlifestylemag.com/home.

Summer Treats for Your Best Friend

Is there anything that makes a dog more excited than getting to chow down on a delicious frozen treat? You already know how many times they’ve tried to steal your ice cream cone, which is why these healthy snacks are the perfect bite for them all summer long.

Coconut-Peanut Butter Print Treats

Ingredients

  • 1 c. unrefined coconut oil, plus more for the bottom of each treat 
  • 1 c. natural peanut butter
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  1. Heat up a small amount of coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl until it becomes a liquid, and pour to fill the bottom of the paw-print molds or ice cube tray. Freeze until hardened. 
  2. Combine cup of coconut oil, peanut butter, and cinnamon. Microwave until liquid, and stir well.
  3. Pour the mixture into each mold or ice cube tray, and freeze until hardened before serving to your pet

Strawberry-Banana Smoothie Bites

Ingredients

  • 2 c. strawberries 
  • 1½ bananas, sliced 
  • 1½ c. plain yogurt 
  • ¼ c. skim milk 
  • 3 tbsp. honey 
  1. Combine all of the ingredients together in a blender on medium speed. Blend for about two minutes.
  2. Pour the mixture into a bone-shaped silicone baking mold or an ice cube tray, and freeze for at least four hours before serving to your pet.

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