It’s hard to believe that as recently as 2005, there were only three licensed distilleries in the state of Texas. Now, there are dozens ranging from vodka to whiskey, rum to rare liqueurs that you may never have even heard of.
We've got a wealth of great Austin distilleries. In just a short drive, you can learn about the production process from grain to glass. Check out this list of some of the best distilleries in the area, and start planning your visits.
Desert Door Distillery
There are plenty of great distilleries in the area making vodka, gin, and whiskey. But only one local distillery makes sotol, a traditional spirit made from the wild sotol plant. Slightly reminiscent of tequila, this bright liquor is great on its own or added to cocktails like Palomas or margaritas.
Desert Door’s gorgeous southwestern tasting room in Driftwood is definitely worth visiting for their craft cocktails and laid back desert vibe.
Dripping Springs Distilling
Dripping Springs Distilling’s award-winning vodka is what first put them on the map back in 2007 and 2008. Made in 50-gallon copper pot stills, their small-batch vodka is fresh and neutral, great on its own or in cocktails.
Gin was next on the agenda, which was soon winning its own award categories. The vodka and gin are still made onsite in Dripping Springs. But the distillery has now acquired several small-batch liquor brands like 1876 Bourbon, Republic Whiskey, and Paula’s Liqueur. Stop by their tasting room for seasonal cocktails or tastes of their vodkas, gins, and bourbons.
Still Austin Whiskey Co.
Most local distilleries are on the outskirts of town among the wineries and breweries of Dripping Springs or Driftwood. But Still Austin Whiskey Co. is just south of downtown in the rapidly growing St. Elmo district. Still Austin started out with their “pre-aged” New Make whiskey and award-winning gin and has now started small batches of aged whiskey as well.
Visit their tasting room for cocktails made from infusions like strawberry & thyme or hibiscus-infused New Make Whiskey.
Treaty Oak Distilling
Places like Treaty Oak are part of the appeal of popular Dripping Springs. Located on 27 acres of countryside, this distillery feels like a different world from downtown, even though it’s just a short drive away.
Treaty Oak is a great place to visit with a group that all has different tastes. In addition to whiskey and gin, they also have wine and beer available under their label. Try batch cocktails in the big open barn, or head inside to the tasting room for samples of the liquors on their own (and bask in the air conditioning.) Bring the kids and let them run around outside while you sample the goods. Enjoy some incredible BBQ and sides at the venue's eatery, Alice's Restaurant.
Deep Eddy Vodka
Deep Eddy is the undisputed champ of local flavored vodkas. Their Sweet Tea, Ruby Red Grapefruit, Cranberry, and Lemon vodkas are staples on cocktail menus all over town. But those flavors aren’t intended to hide anything. Deep Eddy spirits are distilled 10 times and then filtered over charcoal 4 times for exceptional purity.
Visit the beautiful tasting room and dog-friendly patio for craft cocktails and live music Thursday through Sunday.
Garrison Brothers Distillery
Garrison Brothers Distillery in Hye, Texas is the furthest from downtown Austin, but it’s well worth the trip. As Texas’ first bourbon distillery, it has a pedigree that no one else in the state can match.
Schedule a tour to see the process, from “corn to cork.” Or just sample some of their award-winning bourbons, like the classic Small Batch or Balmorhea, aged for five years. Wander the grounds and take in the old-school Texas vibes.
Iron Wolf Ranch and Distillery
Go to Iron Wolf Ranch and Distillery for the booze, but stay for the party. In addition to vodka, gin, and bourbon, they also make some creative spirits. Try their 100% molasses rum aged in Bourbon barrels for vanilla complexity. Or get a Bloody Mary with the Giddy’up horseradish infused vodka.
Iron Wolf has live music & food trucks on the weekend, plus a playground for the kids. There’s bocce, corn hole, and even a 9-hole disc golf course across 15 acres. You can spend the whole day here, playing games and soaking up the sun.
Goodnight Loving Vodka
Goodnight Loving Vodka’s tasting room is a secret hidden inside an enigma. First, pull into a nondescript office park. Drive by the entrance two or three times, because the sign is that small. When you finally find it, you’ll enter a tiny office and be very confused. There’s no distillery here! But wait...the person behind the desk will open a magical sliding bookcase to reveal the cutest 1960s-style tasting room you’ll ever see.
Made with “Texas artesian spring water,” the vodka at Goodnight Loving is crazy smooth and perfect for cocktails. You’ll definitely want to buy a bottle to take home.
Run by a husband and wife team in Driftwood, TX, Stinson focuses on small-batch spirits and liqueurs. Their vodka, brandy, Carajillo, Mirabeau Elderflower liqueur, and Texas Holiday Nog have all won medals at the Denver International Spirits Competition.
Sample their options or get a cocktail in the wood-lined tasting room around the back of the building. Stay for a chat with the family about distilling and life out in Driftwood.
Where: 18281 Ranch to Market Road 150 #211, Driftwood, TX 78619
Phone: (512) 894-2009
Revolution is probably best known for its Austin Reserve Gin, a contemporary-style gin with juniper, rosemary, lavender, and other botanicals. But they’ve also expanded into some wonderful spirits that are less common, like their Cafecito Coffee liqueur made with Cuvee coffee.
They also make Amico Amaro, a bitter Italian liqueur often consumed after meals as a digestif. This is the first amaro ever produced in Texas. Visit Revolution’s small tasting room in west Austin to get some to take home. Their sleek modern bottle design will look great on a bar cart.
Crowded Barrel Whiskey
Crowded Barrel is the world’s first “crowdsourced distillery.” Funded by subscriptions from their supporters, the owners experiment with different recipes to distill and age their own whiskeys. Visit their tasting room, the Fang and Feather, in southwest Austin to sample their offerings and cocktails.
If you want to get involved, you can become a member of their Patreon! For a small monthly fee, you’ll become part of the Whiskey Tribe, getting free samples at the tasting room, coupon codes, and voting rights on new whiskeys. Even if you never make it out to Crowded Barrel, check out the Whiskey Tribe Youtube channel. These guys are pretty funny.