Photo by Enrique Macias on Unsplash ~ Texas Distilleries

Tap into the Texas Love of Spirits & Craft Distillery Tours

Craft distilleries and distillery tours are popping up all over the Lone Star State. While the Republic of Texas declared itself an independent nation in 1836 with a flag with a single star, you’ll find more “stars” all over the state in the form of craft distilleries

While there’s no distinct definition of a craft distillery, we know them as small, independent distillers who are dedicated to providing visitors with the best in taste and in service! So, grab your cowboy hat and a pair of boots, and let’s hit the Texas craft distillery trail.

Acre Distilling in Fort Worth, Texas

The Acre craft distillery story begins in late 2015 when they opened in Hell’s Half Acre, which was the very den of debauchery in the Old West. This is the place where Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Butch Cassidy, the Sundance Kid, and others once spent their time. 

So, the Acre tapped into this “renegade” Texas spirit to produce their small batch spirits with locally sourced ingredients. Just eight years later, Acre Distilling has a nationally acclaimed, award-winning single malt whiskey, gin, bourbon, vodka, rum, and more!

If you’re in the local area, this is one craft distillery you don’t want to miss. They open seats at their distiller’s table for Tour + Tasting events each week. This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to sample the entire lineup of Acre spirits. You also get to explore and learn more about the history of Hell’s Half Acre and North Texas at around the turn of the century. 

 Here are the Tour + Tasting details:

  • $20 per person, plus tax
  • All ages may attend, but only adults of legal drinking age can taste products.
  • Reservations are encouraged because seating is limited. Tours are limited to 20 people.
  • It takes place at the Distiller’s Table on the production floor, and guests stay seated.
  • Tastings include bourbon, single malt whiskey, gins, vodkas, rum, cordials, and liqueurs.
  • Guests get discounts on bottles purchased at their store.

Visit website >  

Bendt Distilling Company in Lewisville, Texas

Started in 2012, with a strong learning curve and a small distributor, Quentin’s River Rum was born. It was rum that was on the menu until a year later and the hire of an intern who put her efforts into a grain-to-glass malt whiskey that their direction would turn from rum to whiskey.

Once Texas changed its laws in 2013, distillers were allowed to pour samples and sell cocktails and bottles directly to customers. So, they quickly built a bar and created a limited cocktail menu. At this time, the distillery was known as Witherspoon Distillery. 

As they started a massive marketing campaign, they soon outgrew their space with hundreds of visitors and even waiting lists. They needed a new facility and an additional partner. 

They saw huge growth in 2016 and 2017, even adding live music to their tasting hall and tours, food, and an expanded cocktail menu. In addition, they really decided to focus on whiskey blending and experimentation. By 2019, they also changed their name to Bendt Distilling Company.

By 2022, they decided to release a new kind of Texas whiskey made solely with Texas grains. It’s made grain-to-glass in-house, and they age it in a 53-gallon barrel for more than four years. It was their goal to show the strength of Texas distillers, Texas grains, and Texas heat to make the perfect whiskey.

They have several options for their craft distillery tour

  • Friday and Saturday tours for ages 21+
  • Craft Cocktail Classes
  • Private Distillery Tours + Tasting (21+ only)

On their tours, you learn the science behind distillation and the art of aging, blending, and finishing whiskey and craft spirits. You also enjoy tastings and even a bit of their famous whiskey cake. 

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Garrison Brothers Distillery in Hye, Texas

This trailblazing distillery is the first legal whiskey distillery in Texas and the first one outside of Kentucky to produce what you know as authentic bourbon whiskey. 

They make their exceptional whiskey at their Texas Hill Country Ranch. They leverage the intense climate of Texas, custom barrels designed to withstand the Texas heat, a sweet mash bill, and Hill Country rainwater to make their hand-dipped bottles of authentic whiskey.

One thing is certain: the Garrison Brothers are serious whiskey distillers. Their goal is to prove that Texas can hold its own with the best whiskeys in America.

If you want to experience the tour, you’re in luck as they offer tours all day Tuesday-Saturday. They are about one to two hours, depending on your tour leader. There are 68 acres on this working ranch, too.

The tours are priced at $10 per person, $20 on Saturdays, and “free if you show up on a horse.” Tastings are free for those 21 and up. They recommend tour reservations, but you are welcome to show up and just hang out.

Other craft distillery tours not to miss include the following at additional prices:

  • The Garrison Brothers Whiskey Shack restaurant
  • The Tour and Tasting Package includes more than you can imagine!
  • The Hye Reserve Tasting, where you sit at their custom-made, private bar and enjoy the best drinks.
  • Bourbon Bungalow Rentals for four, where you can sip and relax in style. Price includes one drink and food item per person and a dedicated ranch hand to keep you well-stocked.

Visit website >

Frequently Asked Questions

Like in other states, is there a whiskey trail?

Yes! We just scratched the surface of the finest Texas craft distilleries. There is a Texas Whiskey Trail (there are four different ones), and you can find info here.

When did the first Texas distillery open?

The first legal distillery opened in 2006, and it got the first distiller’s permit for bourbon outside of Kentucky and Tennessee.

Is Texas whiskey good?

Yes! Texas is hot most of the year, it’s windy, and the shifts in weather are often extreme. Because of this rowdy weather pattern, Texas distillers find it accelerates the aging process. This allows younger Texas whiskey to compete with older whiskey from more traditional whiskey regions of the U.S. 

Texans say, “Don’t curse the Texas heat because it’s what makes their whiskey taste so good.”

You Don’t Have to Be a Cowboy or Cowgirl to Enjoy Texas Craft Distillery Tours

There’s nothing quite like time spent in Texas. Heat, humidity, and a whole lot of history are what you’ll find right along some of the best whiskies in the United States. If you’re up for an extended vacation filled with great whiskey, great people, and craft distillery tours, don’t forget about Texas. You’ll love it!

If you want more information about craft distillery tours in Texas, please visit Distillerynearby.com. It’s your ultimate online source for whiskey, bourbon, vodka, gin, and other spirits. 

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