Texas Keeper Cider, Kooper Family Rye opening tasting rooms this weekend

Photo by Ben Sklar. Texas Keeper Cider's cidery in the Onion Creek area of South Austin isn't opened with regular hours yet, but the cider release party on June 20 is a good opportunity to visit the scenic cidery in the meantime.

Photo by Ben Sklar. Texas Keeper Cider’s cidery in the Onion Creek area of South Austin is finally gearing up to open with regular hours starting Saturday, when a party will have food, live music and the release of a new cider.

Two local beverage companies, after establishing a niche for their bottles of booze in the market, are ready to draw crowds to their facilities outside of Austin. Both Texas Keeper Cider and Kooper Family Rye are throwing grand opening parties on Saturday — two solid alternatives to South by Southwest festivities this weekend.

Texas Keeper Cider

After a year-and-a-half in business, the cidery started up by a winemaker, a homebrewer and their longtime friend now has a taproom next door. Nick Doughty, Brandon Wilde and Lindsey Peebles have spent the past few months restoring a historic farmhouse near their cidery into the taproom where Austinites can “relax on a Saturday afternoon with great music, food and cider,” according to a press release.

“This will be the new heart of Texas Keeper, allowing folks to come try special limited releases, as well as partake in a curated list of great cider and wine from around Texas, the U.S. and the world,” the press release noted.

That’s been a dream of the trio: to be able to offer a place where more than their cider is enjoyed. The cidery and taproom are both located on a 20-acre ranch along Onion Creek in deep South Austin, making Texas Keeper Cider prime to join the list of destination spots like Live Oak Brewing, Jester King Brewery and other slightly off-the-beaten-path booze makers. Peebles has even noted before that the scenic space surrounding Texas Keeper is “a little reminiscent of Jester King, with lots of live oaks and a great view of Onion Creek.”

On Saturday, the cidery will have all of its current ciders available by the bottle and glass, and it’ll also be releasing the latest cider in the Grafter series: Grafter Blanc. The cider-and-wine blend features Northern Spy and Empire apples and Texas-grown Blanc du Bois grapes.

Plus, the 2 to 6 p.m. grand opening celebration will have food from Anjore and Hector’s Tortas Ahogadas and live music from the Possum Posse and Brand New Key. Get $10 tickets for the event at texaskeepercider.eventbrite.com.

Texas Keeper Cider is located at 12521 Twin Creeks Rd., Manchaca.

Kooper Family Rye

Photo by Kooper Family Whiskey Co. Austin's finally got a rye whiskey produced here with the arrival of Kooper Family Rye to the local market.

Photo by Kooper Family Whiskey Co. Get a taste of Austin’s first locally produced rye whiskey at Kooper Family Rye’s grand opening on Saturday.

Although this whiskey producer only started releasing bottles of rye to the market in the fall of last year, it’s already welcoming fans to the Kooper tasting room and barrel-house in Dripping Springs.

Kooper Family Rye, which joined the ranks of Texas whiskey with a 100 percent rye recipe, barreled, aged and blended in the Hill Country, is intentionally opening its doors to locals this weekend, the start of the 30th year of SXSW.

“Our whiskey and tasting room are for Texans, and we’d like to offer our fellow Texans a place of refuge from the out-of-town crowds of SXSW,” Troy Kooper, the co-founder of Kooper Family Rye along with his wife, Michelle, said in a press release.

As if you needed extra incentive to escape the city, Kooper is offering visitors to the tasting room a free whiskey drink throughout the afternoon on Saturday starting at 2 p.m. While there, you’ll “learn all about Kooper Family Rye and the Kooper Family process,” according to the press release; you’ll also be able to sample the whiskey and enjoy cocktails like an Old Fashioned for $5.

After the grand opening, the tasting room will be opened every Saturday from 2 to 6 p.m.

The owners “are excited to be part of the growing number of distillers and brewers in the Dripping Springs area,” according to the release.

Kooper Family Rye is located at 31560 Ranch Road 12, #211, Dripping Springs (at the corner of Ranch Road 12 and Fitzhugh Road). For more information, visit www.kooperfamily.com.


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