Sipping pretty in the vineyards, breweries and distilleries of the Lone Star state
What comes to mind when you think of Texas? Ranches and rodeos? Sunny skies that are larger than life? Heritage foods such as spicy Tex-Mex, saucy barbecue and meaty chili? Whichever notion comes to mind, a refreshing beverage — crafted in Texas — will complement it.
A Long History of Beer-Making
Consider this: Texas boasts a rich beer-making heritage inspired by early generations of Czech and German immigrants. Today, more than 40 breweries are active in the state. The Houston Beer Fest in June is an ideal atmosphere for sampling what each of these breweries are experimenting with, as is a trip to San Antonio.
Sample the fruits of the state's rich beer-making heritage, inspired by Czech and German immigrants
San Antonio's Beer Renaissance
San Antonio’s brewing industry is in the midst of a renaissance. Several craft breweries are coming on the scene and the 19th-century Pearl Brewery is being repurposed as a food-centric urban neighborhood. The Pearl, as locals now call it, features restaurants along the lines of Southerleigh, with a high-quality in-house brewing program. Temper the heat of the house-cured jalapeño sausage with a Shady Oak Blonde Ale crafted by San Antonio’s Branchline Brewing Co.
The Hay Merchant in Houston takes beer seriously — enjoy finding a favorite among its 80 taps
Explore Texas Wine Country
After a scenic hour’s drive north from San Antonio, you’ll come to Fredericksburg in the heart of Texas Wine Country. Explore more than two dozen wineries here with a trip down Fredericksburg’s Wine Road 290, where you can enjoy tastings and tours. Opt for a Texas Tempranillo (red) or a Viognier (white), the region’s standout varietals. You might not know that Texas is the fifth largest wine producer in the U.S., with more than 200 wineries statewide and a centuries-old tradition of cultivating vines. To sample the diversity of Texas wines, pick up the Grapevine Wine Trail near Dallas-Fort Worth and tour Lubbock’s renowned wineries. These include Llano Estacado Winery, McPherson Cellars and La Diosa Cellars, which serves Spanish-style tapas in an onsite bistro.
Stop in for a tour and tasting at some of Texas Wine Country's more than two dozen wineries
Spirits With Style
For a nip of Texas spirits, ask any bartender or restaurant server what they’re pouring — more than 30 distilleries are now operating in the state. Balcones Distillery whiskeys offer a hand-crafted, authentic taste of Texas (if it’s available, request Balcones’ Rumble, a specialty spirit made with Texas wildflower honey, mission figs and turbinado sugar). In San Antonio? Take your tasting one step further with a tour of Rebecca Creek Distillery. Afterward, relax in the tasting room for samples and cocktails crafted with the distillery’s impeccably smooth Enchanted Rock Vodka.