Austin’s drinking events calendar, June 2017

Contributed by Olive & June. Negroni Week returns to participating Austin bars and restaurants from June 5-11. Proceeds from Negroni purchases, like this Frozen Show Pony Negroni from Olive & June, go toward good causes chosen by each place.

Thursday, June 1

Banger’s Summer Love Luau with Victory Brewing, 6 to 10 p.m. Summery outfits are encouraged at this party featuring a variety of Victory beers, including Summer Love Blonde Ale.

Boots & Bourbon at the Driskill Grill, 7 to 9 p.m.The Driskill restaurant is pairing meats from Austin’s Ranger Cattle with whiskey from Fort Worth’s Firestone & Robertson Distilling. $79.

Friday, June 2

Blue Owl Brewing Saison Puede Release, 12 p.m. Don’t miss this limited run of bottles filled with Blue Owl’s sour, spicy and fruity spring seasonal.

Uncle Billy’s June First Friday Firkin, 5 p.m. This month’s firkin is a Coffee IPA: the Green Room IPA with lightly roasted Puerto Rican Arabica coffee beans.

Saturday, June 3

Craftsman’s 2nd Anniversary Luau, 4 p.m. Pau Maui Vodka cocktails, a pig roast, hula girls and fire dancers will mark the birthday of this East Cesar Chavez bar.

Crystal Creek Distillery’s Grand Re-Opening Bash, 5 p.m. The Spicewood spirits maker has a new distillery and tasting room and wants to show it off with live music, giveaways and more.

Monday, June 5

Friends & Allies Can Release, 4 to 10 p.m. Friends & Allies Brewing is releasing its beers in cans for the first time. Pick up a six pack, but first, enjoy a draft pint of one of its limited seasonal options.

Gin Class at Bullfight, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Parkside Projects’ beverage classes continue with this study of gin, featuring gin cocktails and tapas from the Spanish-inspired restaurant. $32.50.

Astronomy on Tap, 7:30 p.m. This special edition of the monthly talks about the cosmos over beers brings in astronomers from the American Astronomical Society.

Thursday, June 8

South Lamar Negroni Stroll, 6 pm. Sip Negroni cocktails from Backbeat, Vox Table, El Burro and the Highball as part of the charity-focused Negroni Week.

Friday, June 9

Kings of Craft Series: Meet David Walker of Firestone Walker, 6 p.m. Flying Saucer is hosting a Firestone Walker tap takeover with the founder and lots of Parabola variations.

“Trappist Beer Travels” Book Release at WhichCraft Taproom, 6 to 10 p.m. The locally based authors of the new book about Trappist breweries will officially share the combination beer journal, history book and travelogue.

Saturday, June 10

Now That’s What I Call a ’90s Party at Hops & Grain, 1 p.m. Come dressed as your favorite Nickelodeon character or in straight-up ’90s garb for this old-school party at the brewery.

Reinheitsgebot Party at Orf Brewing, 2 p.m. No, Austin’s newest brewery isn’t celebrating the German purity law — just the German way of partying with beer.

National Rosé Day at Backbeat, 4 p.m. Say yes way to rosé with Backbeat, which is expanding its summer rosé list with 7 incredible rosé wines from around the world.

Sunday, June 11

Austin’s First Tequila ‘n’ Tacos Crawl, 1 p.m. Enjoy helpings of Austin’s favorite food with cocktails while exploring West Sixth bars like Star Bar and Parlor & Yard. $35.

Whisler’s 4th Anniversary Party, 1 p.m. To celebrate this boozy birthday, on-site food truck Thai Kun is whipping up something special. Plus, there will be live music, drink specials and prizes.

Monday, June 12

They’re Back! Celis Re-Launch at Whip In, 5 p.m. Celis’ iconic Celis White and new Citrus Grandis IPA will be on tap in advance of the brewery’s reopening in North Austin.

The Craft Series at 1886 Cafe & Bakery, 6 to 9 p.m. The Driskill Hotel’s beer pairing dinner series continues, this time with Blue Owl Brewing’s sour-mashed beers. $40.

Tuesday, June 13

Easy Tiger’s Celis Launch Party, 5 p.m. Raise a glass of Celis White or Celis Citrus Grandis IPA with Christine Celis, the daughter of Celis Brewery’s original founder Pierre.

Wednesday, June 14

National Bourbon Day at Easy Tiger, 5 p.m. Celebrate this most important day with a special flight of Basil Hayden’s, Maker’s Mark, Knob Creek & Booker’s for $12.

Vox Table’s Shacksbury Cider & WhistlePig Whiskey Dinner, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Chef Joe Anguiano has prepared a special four-course menu to pair with the cider and whiskey. $65.

Thursday, June 15

Cannon + Belle’s Texas Winemaker Dinner Series, 7 p.m. This month’s multi-course feast will feature wines from Lubbock’s McPherson Cellars as well as the founder, Kim McPherson.

Saturday, June 17

Hi Sign Brewing’s New IPA Release Party, 12 to 10 p.m. The brewery is making its lucky number seven beer and wants to celebrate the milestone with you. Relax in Hi Sign’s on-site hammocks.

Arianna Auber / American-Statesman. Hi Sign is releasing a new IPA at the brewery, the seventh beer it has made.

Off Flavor Tasting at B.B. Rover’s, 3 to 6 p.m. Train your palate to recognize off flavors in your beer with the help of this workshop led by a certified cicerone (beer expert). $25.

Garrison Brothers’ Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner. The Hill Country whiskey distillery is hosting a dinner to celebrate filling its 10,000th barrel with booze. $25-$40

Sunday, June 18

Father’s Day BrewBCruise, 2 p.m. Feast on Uncle Billy’s barbecue and beers while enjoying a relaxing cruise down Lady Bird Lake with your old man. $40.

Central Market Cooking School: Father’s Day Beef & Beer Dinner, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Spend the evening with Dad while learning to make beefed-up dishes paired with craft beer. $140.

Monday, June 19

St. Elmo Brewing, Soursop and Lewis & LeRoy Beer Dinner, 6 p.m. This collaborative dinner between two Austin food trucks and a brewery will feature a special beer, a Sichaun Saison. $78.

Saturday, June 24

Meet the Founder of Avery Brewing, 12 p.m. Banger’s is hosting Adam Avery of the Colorado brewery and will have a variety of Avery beers on tap like Liliko’i Kepolo.

Sierra Nevada Beer Camp, 5 to 9 p.m. Beer Camp on Tour comes to Austin and will feature both Beer Camp collaborations and other beers from U.S. breweries. $40-$75.

Austin’s drinking events calendar, May 2017

 

The Barks for Beers fundraiser runs through the month of May for dog and beer lovers alike.

Monday, May 1

Barks for Beers, ongoing through May 31. The fundraiser for Divine Canines officially kicks off with 30 participating breweries. Buy a pint glass for $20 and get a free pour at each one.

Cannon + Belle’s Texas Winemaker Dinner with Duchman Family Winery, 6:30 p.m. The first in this new culinary series will feature bites from the Hilton Austin’s new restaurant with accompanying Italian-centric wines from Duchman.

Tuesday, May 2

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society’s Riverboat Dram Cruise, 7 to 9 p.m. Hop aboard for a tasting of 10 sublime casks from Speyside, Highlands and Islay, with Ruby’s BBQ offering the bites. $100.

Wednesday, May 3

Run for the Rosé with Twin Liquors, 5:30 to 8 p.m. Derby Day doesn’t have to be all about mint juleps. Twin Liquors’ Hancock location will have up to 20 different rosés featured to celebrate the upcoming Kentucky Derby.

Central Standard Wine Dinner with Mondavi, 7 to 10 p.m. The five-course dinner will feature wine pairings curated by special guest Dina Mondavi, co-founder of the Michael Mondavi Family Estate known for its Napa Valley wines. $160.

Easy Tiger’s Meet the Brewer Night will offer a special chance to try the sought-after Founders KBS.

Thursday, May 4

Founders’ Meet the Brewers Night at Easy Tiger, 5 p.m. Meet Founders brewer Jeremy Kosmicki while pairing beers like Frootwood and KBS with snacks from Easy Tiger. $10-$15.

Wine and Chocolate Pairing at Lenoir, 6:30 to 8 p.m. Relax in Lenoir’s outdoor wine garden while pairing Chocolaterie Tessa chocolates with fine wines. $50.

Official Drink of Austin, 7 to 10 p.m. Find out which Austin bar team will take the boozy title at this year’s competition, held at Fair Market. $65.

Opal Divines’ North American Whiskey Festival, 7 p.m. American and Canadian whiskey, from rye to bourbon to single-malt and more, will be available for sampling along with passed appetizers. $40.

Friday, May 5

Pinthouse Pizza’s 2017 Burro’s Breakfast Release Party, 11 a.m. Pinthouse’s Mexican lager is going on tap at this all-day celebration, timed with Cinco de Mayo, that will have mariachi music and limited-edition shirts.

Cinco de Elmo at St. Elmo Brewing, 12 p.m. The South Austin brewery is celebrating Cinco de Mayo with a new beer, Señor Bueno Mexican Lager with lime, and will have $3 micheladas from 4 to 6 p.m.

Oskar Blues’ Fugli IPA Release Party, 12 to 10 p.m. The Austin brewery is sending up a new summer seasonal, an IPA made with yuzu and ugli fruit infusions, with cans to come.

Cinco de Meow at Mean Eyed Cat, 5 p.m. Celebrate America’s favorite Mexican holiday with margarita, tequila and beer specials, along with piñatas.

Uncle Billy’s 11th Anniversary First Friday Firkin, 5 p.m. In celebration of 11 years in business, Uncle Billy’s will have two casks of a new saison available, along with a special of moules-frites.

Meridian Hive Meadery’s Fandango Release Party, 5 p.m. Austin’s only meadery is releasing an agave and lime mead and will have $2 tacos and a screening of the road trip movie “Fandango.”

Cinco de Mayo at Guero’s Taco Bar, 6 to 9:30 p.m. Where else to spend this Mexican holiday but at a Mexican restaurant? Guero’s garden will have Tequila Cazadores cocktails and live music from Peligrosa.

Saturday, May 6

19th Annual Becker Vineyards’ Lavender Festival, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Sip and swirl with live music, artisans and nearby lavender fields in bloom. $85 for luncheon.

Inaugural Crawfish Boil at Twisted X Brewing, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. $20 gets you unlimited crawfish, a commemorative cup with complimentary pour, live music and more.

2nd Annual Cider Fest at Whip In, 1 to 9 p.m. Whip In is tapping some of the rarest and best ciders, including many locally based ones like Texas Keeper and Argus.

Derby Day at the Four Seasons, 2 to 6 p.m. Pull out your seersucker suit for an afternoon of Kentucky Derby watching, Maker’s Mark mint juleps, a costume contest and a derby hat pop-up shop. $20.

Irene’s Kentucky Derby Party, 3 to 7 p.m. The patio at this downtown bar will have full race coverage and traditional Kentucky treats, including mint juleps and hot brown sandwiches.

Revelry Kitchen + Bar’s Kentucky Derby Viewing Party, 3 p.m. Dress your derby best – including the hat – to try and win a costume contest. Plus, draft mint juleps, Kentucky mules, boozy lemonade and more.

Monday, May 8

The Craft Series at 1886 Café & Bakery, 6 to 8 p.m. The Driskill Hotel’s beer pairing series is bringing back Independence Brewing beers for its four-course feast. $40.

Hops & Helado Pairing, 6:30 to 8 p.m. Didn’t think beer and ice cream could pair? Think again. The $35-$40 tickets get you 5 beer samples at Lazarus Brewing with 5 ice creams, all seasonal flavors.

Tuesday, May 9

Thirsty Planet Buckethead IPA Launch Party, 7 to 10 p.m. Thirsty Planet’s Buckethead IPA and Yellow Armadillo Wheat are finally in bottles, and Black Sheep Lodge is celebrating with free bites, a photo booth and more.

Slow and Low Whiskey Pop-Up Gallery, 7 to 10 p.m. Photographer Asher Moss is showing off his work at Byron & Blue with whiskey cocktails and music from Kalu and the Electric Joint.

Wednesday, May 10

Adelbert’s Beer Tasting at the Carillon, 5:30 to 7 p.m. The Carillon’s chef, Dan Bressler, will present delicious bar bites to go with your cold beer. $20; reservations required.

Saturday, May 13

The Austin Winery Grand Opening, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. The urban winery has moved into its South Austin location and is ready to celebrate with new wine releases.

Index Fest, 12 p.m. Previously Untapped, the rebranded festival continues its focus on live music and craft beer, while also offering art and food components. $25-$119.

Fall Creek Vineyards’ A Toast to Mothers Luncheon, 12 to 1:30 p.m. Treat Mom (or any other special woman in your life) to this multi-course lunch paired with Fall Creek wines. $40.

New Braunfels Brewing’s 4th Anniversary Party, 1 to 7 p.m. More than 20 beers will be on tap for this birthday bash, including Bier No. 217, Very Seldom Naughty and more.

Sunday, May 14

Mother’s Day at Treaty Oak Brewing & Distilling, 12 to 9 p.m. Celebrate Mom with a special Mother’s Day brunch and cocktails, along with live music.

Mother’s Day Maifest at Live Oak Brewing, 1 to 6 p.m. A petting zoo, live music, food from Kick Drum Burgers and beer from Live Oak will make Mom feel special indeed.

Half Step’s Alabama Bug Boil, 2 to 10 pm. Enjoy bourbon punch, a crawfish boil and live music from the Pine Hill Haints of Mobile for only a $10 suggested donation.

Mother’s Day Champagne Class at Backbeat, 3:30 to 5 p.m. What better way to celebrate your mom than treating her to this guided tasting flight of bubbly wines? Light bites will be included. $55.

Monday, May 15

Mega-Mutt Monday at Banger’s, 6 p.m. This month’s beneficiary of the dog-friendly event is Greyhound Pets of America-Central Texas. There will also be other pet-related vendors and live music.

Tuesday, May 16

Astronomy on Tap, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. The out-of-this-world bar talk returns to the North Door with explorations about ice on Mars, merging galaxies and more.

Wednesday, May 17

Central Market Cooking School: Southern Cheeses, Southern Wines, 4:30 p.m. Central Market’s “Taste the South” promotion kicks off with a class pairing cheese and wine from the South. $40.

Donkey & Goat Wine Dinner at Olamaie, 6 to 8 p.m. The five-course dinner is being paired with the wines of Jared and Tracey Brandt, who take a hands-off approach to natural winemaking. $100.

Thursday, May 18

Chocolate & Spirits Tasting at Backbeat, 6 to 8 p.m. Want a little booze to go with your bon bon? Chocolaterie Tessa is teaming up with the cocktail bar to show what a divine pairing spirits and chocolate can be. $45.

St. Genevieve’s Champagne Social, 9 p.m. The Rock Rose wine lounge’s new monthly event kicks off with a champagne fountain and a free dessert bar. Your weekend starts now.

Friday, May 19

Blueberry Sour Release at Adelbert’s, 3 p.m. The latest in Adelbert’s taproom-only fruited sour series will go on sale, $4 for 5 oz. pours and $15 per bottle.

Circle Brewing’s Fanny Pack Kolsch Release Party, 4 p.m. Head to Cheer Up Charlies for the debut of Circle’s refreshing summer seasonal. Free fanny packs while supplies last.

Central Market Cooking School: Lazy Magnolia Beer Pairing, 4:30 p.m. This time, Central Market is pairing regional cheese with beers from Mississippi’s Lazy Magnolia Brewing. $40.

Saturday, May 20

Whip In’s 6th Annual Pink Mahal, 1 to 5 p.m. It’s officially rosé season, and Whip In boasts one of the largest rosé selections in the country. The wine bar will have 100 rosés from all over the world available for tasting. $35.

Orf Brewing Open House, 1 to 6 p.m. Austin’s newest brewery is open for business for the first time. Tour the space and taste the beers, like an Asian white ale, that will be on tap.

6th Annual Pup Crawl for Austin Humane Society, 2 to 8 p.m. Drink specials will be available for participants in the charity bar crawl along Rainey Street. $25 wristbands.

Barrel-Aged Beer Party at Craft Pride, 3 to 11 p.m. Just because it’s almost summertime and already hot outside doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy barrel-aged brews like Austin Beerworks Midnight Swordfight.

Sunday, May 21

Whisler’s Crawfish Boil, 1 p.m. $15 will get you a pound-and-a-half of crawfish, a beer and a raffle ticket. There will also be Bloody Marys, sangria and mules.

Tuesday, May 23

Drink Beer, Save Turtles on World Turtle Day, 5:30 to 8 p.m. Hops & Grain is teaming up with the Turtle Survival Alliance to host a night of awareness at the County Line on the Lake.

Wednesday, May 24

Hops & Grain’s River Beer Can Launch, 5 to 8 p.m. Eat some barbecue at the Salt Lick and discover how well the new light lager from Hops & Grain pairs with the summer months to come.

Saturday, May 27

Forager Fest at Zilker Brewing, 12 to 4 p.m. Celebrate local, wild and cultivated ingredients with different versions of Zilker’s saison made with foraged items.

Texas Keeper Cider’s Grafter Rosé Release Picnic, 2 to 6 p.m. The return of this tart, dry cider and wine blend will be hailed with barbecue from the new LeRoy and Lewis.

Monday, May 29

Austin Beerworks’ Memorial Day Einhorn Release, 12 to 8 p.m. The beloved Einhorn Berliner Weisse is making its debut for summer with Mr. Sparkle German Pilsner.

Wednesday, May 31

Freedmen’s May Whiskey Dinner, 7 to 9 p.m. Taste whiskeys from Firestone & Robertson Distilling in Fort Worth with three courses of paired bites. $36.

New Texas bourbon, Devils River Bourbon Whiskey, to hit market in April

The current president of the Texas Distilled Spirits Association has produced a whiskey named for and made with the pure, limestone-filtered water from a feisty Texas river.

Devils River Bourbon Whiskey, thought up by Mike Cameron, will hit stores in early April as a 90-proof small-batch Texas whiskey primarily made up of corn, with rye as a strong secondary ingredient. Cameron, also the co-founder of Rebecca Creek Whiskey, named his new project after a Southwest Texas river where he used to fish in college.

When he “decided to create something new in the world of Texan distilled spirits,” he came up with several possible brand names — including Devils River Whiskey — and liked the personal connection he has with the river near Del Rio, he said in a press release.

“I had all but settled on the brand and, by chance, had lunch with a friend, who told me that he was going to go kayaking on a beautiful river in Southwest Texas. He was referring to Devils River, and that’s when it started to feel like fate,” he said.

Devils River Whiskey is made from the water of a beloved Texas river.

The whiskey is fermented using a proprietary process, distilled in traditional copper pot stills suited for making flavorful dark spirits, and matured in charred oak barrels. Pure water from the Devils River is used during the distillation.

As a result, Devils River Whiskey is “sweet yet bold,” with an “oak, honey and caramel medley” on the palate, according to the distillery. The whiskey is 75 percent corn, 21 percent rye and 4 percent barley.

That’s already proven to be a recipe for success: Devils River Whiskey recently took gold at the Denver International Spirits Competition.

The whiskey will hit the Texas market next month with a suggested retail price of $29.99. For more information, visit devilsriverwhiskey.com.

Devils River Whiskey Buck
2 oz. Devils River Bourbon Whiskey
1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
1/2 oz. simple syrup
1 1/2 oz. chilled ginger beer
Pour all ingredients except the ginger beer into a copper mug over ice. Stir to combine. Top with ginger beer and garnish with a lime wedge.
— Devils River Whiskey

Austin’s drinking events calendar, February 2017

Arianna Auber / American-Statesman. Throughout the month of February, part of the proceeds from taproom sales of the Zilker Coffee Milk Stout will go toward the Mother's Milk Bank at Austin. Plus, the brewery is hosting a chocolate pairing for Valentine's Day.
Arianna Auber / American-Statesman. Throughout the month of February, part of the proceeds from taproom sales of the Zilker Coffee Milk Stout will go toward the Mother’s Milk Bank at Austin. Plus, the brewery is hosting a chocolate pairing for Valentine’s Day.

“The Founder” Founders Beer Dinner, 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1. The Alamo Drafthouse is screening the McDonald’s origin story, now in theaters, with a themed menu and pairings from Founders Brewing. $64.95.

Beer, Babies and Boobs at Zilker Brewing, 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 2. Drink Zilker’s Coffee Milk Stout to help out a good cause: Mother’s Milk Bank at Austin is getting a portion of the stout sales.

Dark Beer Competition at Stouthaus Coffee, 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 2. Come to the dark side with beers from breweries like Hops & Grain, Austin Beerworks and Adelbert’s.

Corner Bar Five Year Anniversary Party, 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 2. Friends & Allies Brewing, Thousand Oaks Brewing and others are helping kick off a whole weekend of anniversary festivities.

February First Friday at Infinite Monkey Theorem, 4 to 11 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3. Jam out to a silent disco provided by two live DJs – just don’t spill your glass of wine.

This month's First Friday Firkin at Uncle Billy's is the Crazy in Love, an imperial lager with cherries.
This month’s First Friday Firkin at Uncle Billy’s is the Crazy in Love, an imperial lager with cherries.

First Friday Firkin at Uncle Billy’s, 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3. This month’s cask is Crazy in Love: the Crazy Day Imperial Lager with the addition of sweet dark cherries.

GoldRush Re-Release Party at Texas Keeper Cider, 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 4. This single varietal cider is returning, and Guadalajaran food will be on site for you to pair with it.

South Austin Brewery’s 3 Year Anniversary, 12 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4. A special anniversary beer, food trucks like Kebabalicious, and live music from Full Service Circus and more await at this big celebration.

Austin’s Hill Country Wine Tasting, 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4. Take this interactive tour of Texas wines (William Chris Vineyards, Perissos Vineyard & Winery, and more) paired with local bands at the Gatsby bar. $45-$80.

Half Step’s 3 Year Anniversary Party, 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4. Celebrate the birthday of one of Rainey Street’s most esteemed cocktail bars with Stiles Switch BBQ, live DJ music and ginger palomas.

Super Sunday at Treaty Oak Distilling, 2 to 10 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 5. Watch the Super Bowl at the ranch – and get a sneak peek of the distillery’s upcoming Ghost Hill restaurant.

Second Annual SOUPer Bowl Watch Party at Craftsman, 4 to 9 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 5. Several participating breweries will make a soup, stew, gumbo or chili using one of their beers, and you’ll vote on your favorite after tasting samples of each. Oh, and watch the game, too.

Super Bowl Party at Whitestone Brewery, 5 to 10 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 5. The Cedar Park brewery will have games, snacks, drink specials and a raffle benefiting Heroes Night Out, in addition to the big game playing on multiple screens.

Parkside Projects’ Beverage Series: Sherry, 6:30 to 10 p.m. Monday, Feb. 6. Learn about the different types of sherry, a fortified wine, at this class at the Spanish-focused Bullfight. $32.50.

Rosé Party at Irene’s, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8. Relax on the patio with your first glass or bottle of rosé of the season. California-based Lorenza is also launching in Austin at this party.

How to Classic Cocktail Series at Craftsman, 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8. Russell’s Reserve Bourbon is leading this class to demonstrate how to make an Old Fashioned, Manhattan and Boulevardier. $16.82.

Cat Mezcal Pairing Dinner at Coast, 7:30 to 10 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8. Enjoy cocktail pairings with this special seafood dinner that will complement the flavor profiles of the mezcal. $69.57.

Ommegang Rosetta & Chocolate Pairing at Banger’s, 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 9. Taste sweet cherry in this traditional Belgian kriek. The beer is being paired with Rosetta-infused chocolates.

Austin-Only Beer Release at Oskar Blues, 12 to 10 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10. Only available on draft at the taproom is the Parliament Dunkeldelic, a Munich-style dunkel.

Adelbert’s Passion Fruit Sour Release Party, 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10. Celebrate Adelbert’s new taproom-only bottle release by enjoying limited samples and taking home a bottle of your own.

Wine Tasting Lounge Opening at House Wine, 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10. The new space will feature a rotating tasting menu of small-production wines, an exquisite bottle list and a seasonal tasting menu.

Fall Creek Vineyards’ Wine & Roses Valentine’s Day Luncheon, 12 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11. Enjoy a three-course lunch with Fall Creek wines at the Tow location of the winery. $35.95.

Rodolfo Gonzalez / American-Statesman. Fall Creek Vineyards is hosting a Valentine's lunch called Wine & Roses.
Rodolfo Gonzalez / American-Statesman. Fall Creek Vineyards is hosting a Valentine’s lunch called Wine & Roses.

Valentine’s Beer & Chocolate Pairing at Zilker Brewing, 6 to 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 12. The East Austin brewery is joining forces with another local business, Chocolaterie Tessa, to offer an evening of sweet pairings. $45.

Garrison Brothers Whiskey Dinner at NXNW Slaughter, 5:30 to 10 p.m. Monday, Feb. 13. Don’t miss this six-course feast with three special whiskeys and a barrel-aged beer collaboration with NXNW. $125.

The Craft Series at the Driskill, 6 to 9 p.m Monday, Feb. 13. The monthly beer dinner at the 1886 Cafe & Bakery will feature South Austin Brewery this time. Make reservations, but you won’t pay until after the meal. $40.

Valentine’s Mega Mutt Monday at Banger’s, 6 to 9 p.m. Monday, Feb. 13. This extra-romantic version of the dog-friendly event will have all-day happy hour, live music and a puppy kissing booth with Heart of Texas Lab Rescue.

Galentine’s Day at Infinite Monkey Theorem, 4 to 10 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 14. All ladies will receive 20 percent of their bar tabs, no matter whether you’re a raging cynic or a hopeless romantic.

What the Firkin? at Oskar Blues, 4 to 10 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 14. In honor of Valentine’s Day, Oskar Blues is releasing a cask of Old Chub Scotch Ale with cherries and chocolate added.

Beer and Chocolate Pairings at Mort Subite, 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 14. The Belgian beer bar is partnering with Crave Artisan Chocolate to provide a self-guided beer and chocolate feast on Valentine’s Day. $25.

Stone’s Arrogant Valentine’s Day at Banger’s, 7 to 11 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 14. Celebrate Stone Brewing’s 21st birthday and the day of love all in one go, with 21 Stone beers to choose from.

Cookies and Beer at the Whip In, 7 to 10 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15. This sweet pairing will feature Girl Scout cookies and beer from Hops & Grain, AleSmith Brewing and Goose Island Brewing.

2nd Annual Sausage Kings of Austin, 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16. At St. Elmo Brewing, several sausage purveyors will compete for your vote, while you sample their wares and two beers from St. Elmo. $26.

Vigilante Grand Opening, 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17. The gaming bar is officially opening with free game rentals and other goodies – for real this time.

Strange Land Brewery’s 2nd Anniversary Party, 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18. Your $20 ticket will get you commemorative glassware, two full pours of any beer (including limited-release, small-batch stuff), a slice of beer cake and more.

Brews & Brunch at Hopfields, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 19. Sip on flights of beer like the (512) Brewing Cascabel Cream Stout with floaters of Chameleon Cold-Brew.

The Brewer’s Table Pop-Up at Austin Beeworks, 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 19. Taste the upcoming restaurant-brewery’s flagship Common Lager along with bar snacks.

First Crawfish Boil of 2017 at Infamous Brewing, 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 19. Stuff yourself silly with the tiny shellfish and Infamous beers. First batch of crawfish will be ready by 2 p.m.

Pappy Van Winkle Flight Nights at Easy Tiger, 5 to 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 20 and Tuesday, Feb. 21. Just 30 flights are available each day of bourbon like the 10 Year, 12 Year and 15 Year. $50.

Bellus Wines Free Happy Hour Tasting at Italic, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21. Sommelier Jordan Salcito, founder of Bellus Wine and beverage director for Momofuku, is pouring three of his wines in the cafe.

How to Classic Cocktail Series at Craftsman, 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22. The East Cesar Chavez Street’s boozy series continues with a workshop on making gin cocktails like a Negroni and French 75.

Barrel-Aged Stout Challenge at Waller Creek Pub House, 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23. Four competitors, including Oskar Blues with reigning champ BA Ten Fidy, are going head to head and hoping for your vote.

Spicewood Vineyards’ 9th Annual Pair It with the Claret Chili Cook-Off, 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25. Taste the different kinds of chili to decide which ones pairs best with Spicewood’s 2015 Cabernet Claret. $25.

Wine & Food Foundation of Texas’ Third Annual Roast & Toast, 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26. Taste Texas Monthly’s Top Texas Wines of 2016 at the picturesque Stonehouse Villa. $60-$85.

Austin Beerworks Beer Dinner at Greenhouse Craft Food, 6:30 to 9 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26. The Round Rock restaurant is offering another epic multi-course dinner with Austin Beerworks brews. $64.12.

Love Scotch whisky? Don’t miss the Blackheart’s inaugural Peat Week

Gabi Porter. Enjoy Scotch whisky by itself or in a cocktail during the Blackheart's Peat Week.
Photo by Gabi Porter. Enjoy Scotch whisky by itself or in a cocktail during the Blackheart’s Peat Week.

America’s beloved bourbon often steals the spotlight here, but one Rainey Street bar hasn’t forgotten about one of the oldest whiskeys of the world. The Blackheart is devoting an entire week to Scotch whisky starting Sunday and will have drink specials, happy hour events, tastings, Scotch 101 classes and more.

Each day, the Blackheart will have two featured Scotch whiskies available neat, on the rocks or in a classic cocktail like the Blood and Sand and the Rob Roy. One of the whiskies will be “a mid-price, everyman kind of Scotch,” while the other is more of a harder-to-find top-shelf brand, according to the Blackheart.

Don’t know much about Scotch? That’s OK. The bar will teach you with two workshops: a Scotch 101 tasting featuring Lagavulin at 7 p.m. on Jan. 18 and another one featuring Glenkinchie, Clynelish and Talisker Storm at 7 p.m. on Jan. 19. Peat Week is also kicking off at 6 p.m. Sunday with a screening of Mel Gibson’s “Braveheart” — which, while not entirely related to the subject, is certainly an epic way to debut a boozy week.

Peat Week gets its name from Scotch’s striking smoke characteristic.

“Some Scotch whisky distilleries slowly dry the malted barley (from which Scotch is made) using fires made from peat, a special kind of turf,” the Blackheart noted in a press release. “The 30-hour drying process gives the whisky a distinctive smoky flavor, often referred to as ‘peatiness.’”

Here’s the schedule of whiskies going on special each day:

Sunday, Jan. 15

Bruichladdich Octomore
Bruichladdich Port Charlotte

Monday, Jan. 16

Glen Scotia Samaroli
Auchentoshan Single Malt Whisky 12 Year

Tuesday, Jan. 17

Laphroaig (Lore)
Laphroaig Quarter Cask

Wednesday, Jan. 18

Lagavulin 16 yr
Ardbeg 10 yr

Thursday, Jan. 19

The Glenlivet 21 Year
Glenlivet Founders Reserve

Friday, Jan. 20

Laphroaig (Cairdeas)
Singleton Whisky 15 Year

Saturday, Jan. 21

Compass Box Whisky
Oban 14 Year

Via 313 owners taking over Longbranch Inn with new bar concept

Kelly West / American-Statesman. The Longbranch Inn is being transformed into Nickel City, which will retain the neighborhood bar vibe of the original space.
Kelly West / American-Statesman. The Longbranch Inn (circa 2005 in this photo) is being transformed into Nickel City, which will retain the cozy neighborhood bar vibe of the original space.

Having successfully launched pizza franchise Via 313 in Austin, brothers Zane and Brandon Hunt are trying their hand at something new: opening a bar in the old Longbranch Inn space, which closed in September after more than 80 years on East 11th Street.

In April or May of next year, the Hunts — along with Craig Primozich of Javelina and another as-yet-unnamed business partner — will debut Nickel City as a neighborhood bar with a heavy whiskey selection and an accompanying food trailer called Delray Cafe at 1133 E. 11th St.

Like Via 313, the food selection at Delray Cafe will be Detroit-style. Delray Cafe, Brandon Hunt said, was named after an old eatery in the brothers’ hometown that is no longer there.

The Hunts have been wanting to open a bar in town and jumped at the chance to take over the Longbranch Inn. They want to make clear, however, that they don’t want to completely destroy the spirit of the longtime institution. Their intent, instead, is to “spruce up” what’s already there, including the antique bar top that originally belonged to the 130-year-old Driskill Hotel but was relocated to the Longbranch Inn.

“I think when people hear that a place they have fond memories of is gone, they get bummed out, especially with the way things are going in Austin,” Brandon Hunt said. “So what’s important to us is that we want to respect the Longbranch and the history there and do it right, but we want to bring it up to date as well. I’m pretty sure that bar hasn’t been touched since it was built.”

One of the new additions to the bar will be draft beer, he said. It’ll also have “great cocktails without the pretentiousness and higher price points,” he said. “Nickel City is going to be the kind of place where you get a handshake when you walk in and a handshake when you walk out, with an old school bar feel to it.”

Nickel City was named after Buffalo, New York, where the unnamed partner — not yet ready to announce involvement in the venture — is from. The food truck, on the other hand, pays homage to food that the Hunts grew up with, such as Detroit-style Coney dogs, cheese fries and sliders. But no pizza: Via 313’s four locations will continue to be the only sites for the Hunts’ thick square pies.

Delray Cafe gives them a chance to branch out, Hunt said.

“Definitely Coney dogs and sliders are the focus, but by calling it a cafe, we aren’t limiting it to what we’ll offer,” he said. “We’ll have a fish fry on Fridays, that kind of thing. We still want to represent Detroit with our food.”

The Hunt brothers first opened a Via 313 trailer in late 2011, and the pizzas proved so popular that they now have another food trailer and two brick-and-mortar locations. But the itch to own a bar was never quite satisfied. That’s why they had been searching awhile for an old watering hole, like the Longbranch, to make new again.

“My background is managing bars in Detroit, and it’s every guy’s dream, right, to own a bar, a place they can call their own?” Hunt said.

Garrison Brothers Cowboy Bourbon ranked as one of the best whiskeys

The Garrison Brothers' trio of whiskeys again includes the hard-to-find Cowboy Bourbon, which aged five years in white oak barrels.
The Garrison Brothers’ Cowboy Bourbon, the bottle on the right, is a limited-edition whiskey that won’t be easy to find but is worth the hunt.

Made in the Hill Country, Garrison Brothers’ Cowboy Bourbon — a hard-to-find whiskey that sent Garrison fans into a frenzy last year over its release — might be more than just hype.

For a second year, a revered whiskey critic has given it the U.S. Micro Whisky of the Year Award in his “Whisky Bible 2017.” The whiskey-loving expert, Jim Murray, releases a book every year announcing what he believes are the best whiskeys in the world (or whiskies, depending on which kind), giving each one a score. The Garrison Brothers bourbon received the distinction of a 96.5, out of a possible 100, in the American Whiskey category.

That’s a small improvement from two years ago, when Murray gave the 2013 version of the Cowboy Bourbon a 96. This year, he also listed the Cowboy Bourbon as the best bourbon nine years and under.

“Four years in Texas evidently equate to 23 in Kentucky: there’s a geography lesson for you,” according to Murray. “Whiskeys from this distillery have absolutely delighted and astonished me in the past: this proves, indubitably, it was no fluke. If you didn’t think Texas was on the world map of Great Whisky, it is now.”

The Cowboy Bourbon is made just as Garrison Brothers’ flagship is: with organic Panhandle corn, soft red winter wheat grown at the distillery, two-row malted barley and Hill Country rainwater. But unlike the flagship, the 2015 Cowboy Bourbon was aged for four years and left at barrel-proof, unfiltered and uncut. If you’ve been able to get your hands on a bottle, treasure it.

Murray’s “Whisky Bible” features tasting notes from more than 4,600 whiskeys from all over the world. He named Booker’s Rye 13-Year-Old, from Kentucky, as the World Whisky of the Year.

Austin’s drinking events calendar, November 2016

Brooklyn Brewery Mash will give Austinites plenty of chances to try some beloved Brooklyn brews and meet the folks behind them.
Brooklyn Brewery Mash, returning Nov. 10-13, will give Austinites plenty of chances to try some beloved Brooklyn brews and meet the folks behind them.

Mort Subite’s Grand Opening Party, 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1. The long-awaited Belgian beer bar on Congress Avenue officially opens with a raffle, ribbon cutting, special tappings and more.

Wines of Tuscany at Italic, 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1. Master sommelier Craig Collins is sharing a tasting of six of his favorite wines from the Italian region of Tuscany. $20.

Ventura Wine Dinner at Bullfight, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2. Explore Spain’s recent fascination with the mencía grape with this four-course dinner. $68.

First Friday Firkin at Uncle Billy’s, 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4. Taste Uncle Billy’s newest beer: the Brew Oyster Cult Figgy firkin, an oyster stout being served in 22 oz. mugs for $3.

The Dig Pub’s 9th Anniversary Party, 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4. Expect a lineup of rare beers that are tapping on the hour, including Firestone Walker Velvet Merkin ’14.

Austin Homebrew Festival, 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4. The annual event celebrating the best of local homebrews, from beer to cider to mead, returns with tastings, a silent auction and more. $35-$50.

Harvest Flavors with Wine at Central Market Cooking School, 6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4. For your girls’ night out, learn how to pair seasonal foods with wine (and try them all, of course). $45.

Jay Janner/American-Statesman. The Whip In will have a variety of sparkling wines available at its third annual Bubbles & Brunch event.
Jay Janner/American-Statesman. The Whip In will have a variety of sparkling wines available at its third annual Bubbles & Brunch event.

Whip In’s 3rd Annual Bubbles & Brunch, 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 5. Enjoy sparkling wines from around the world at this brunch featuring locally sourced ingredients. $35-$40.

Meridian Hive’s Limited Release Mead, 1 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5. After two years in the making, Bounty – Meridian Hive’s bourbon barrel-aged cyser – is finally ready for enjoying.

The 7th Annual Bourbon, Bluegrass & BBQ, 6 to 10 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 6. The U.S. Bartenders’ Guild is offering tastings of premium bourbon, live music from local bluegrass musicians and barbecue from Central Texas pitmasters. Must RSVP to attend. $15-$30.

Movember Kick-Off Party at Easy Tiger, 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 7. Raise a glass for a great cause. The proceeds of six featured beers will be donated to the Movember Foundation all week.

Election Night Watch Party at Black Star Co-op, 6 to 11 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 8. Drinks, food and entertainment await to get you through the final stretch of the 2016 presidential election.

2016 Election Party at Infinite Monkey Theorem, 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 8. Await results of the election with a glass of wine, on tap and on special for the event. Plus, come dressed as your favorite American.

Yoga + Beer 1-Year Anniversary at Zilker Brewing, 6:30 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9. It’s been a year of yoga at the brewery. Bring your mat, towel, water and $15; leave feeling relaxed (and maybe with a new pair of yoga pants).

Big Reds & Bubbles, 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10. The Wine & Food Foundation’s event marries cuisine from local chefs with a mix of sparkling wine and red wine.

Brooklyn Brewery Mash, 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10 through 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 13. The weekend-long mash-up of beer and community fun – including a dinner, a concert, something called the Beer Mansion and more – returns.

Live Oak Brewing’s Primus Release Party & Ugly Sweater Contest, 5 to 11 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11. ‘Tis the season for Primus Weizenbock and for you to break out your best ugliest sweater.

Nice Wine: A Holiday Meal at Central Market Cooking School, 6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11. Just in time for the holidays, learn to pair food and wine from the perspective of two winemakers who are also chefs. $70.

Wine Sensory Analysis Workshop, 8 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 12 through 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 13. These workshops will benefit anyone who seeks a deeper understanding of wine. $200-$350.

The 78702 Beer Mile Fun Run at Whip In, 10 a.m. Nov. 12. The run sounds simple, if you can hold your beer: Drink a 12 oz. can of Hops & Grain’s 78702 Kolsch, run a quarter mile, then repeat three more times.

4th Tap’s 1st Anniversary Party, 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 12. The brewery co-op will have a variety of special beer releases to celebrate one year, including a Bière de Coupage. There will also be food trucks and live music.

Balcones Distilling moved into a more than 65,000 sq. ft. building in downtown Waco.
Balcones Distilling moved into a more than 65,000 sq. ft. building in downtown Waco and is planning a first look at the distillery in November.

Balcones Whisky’s Downtown Debut, 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12. Get a self-guided tour of the new distillery in Waco, as well as a complimentary sampling of special edition whiskies. $10.

Pinot & Pig at Easy Tiger, 11 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 13. While DJ Gatsby spins his tunes, enjoy American and French flights of Pinot Noir and by-the-glass specials, all paired with a pig roast.

Feast of San Martino at L’Oca d’Oro, 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 13. Make reservations for this dinner celebrating the patron saint of winemaking by calling 737-212-1876. $65.

The Craft Series at 1886 Cafe & Bakery, 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14. The Driskill Hotel’s beer pairing dinner series continues, this time with Real Ale Brewing. $40.

Beaujolais Crawl at June’s & Irene’s, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16. Taste all 10 Crus of Beaujolais and French-inspired bites with master sommeliers June Rodil, Craig Collins and Devon Broglie at June’s; then, move to Irene’s for all the Beaujolais Nouveau you could want.

Hopfields’ 5th Anniversary, 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 19. The entire tap wall is getting switched over to a special collection of barrel-aged, sour and rare suds from Jolly Pumpkin, Firestone Walker, Prairie Artisan Ales and more.

Blue Owl Brewing’s Paper Anniversary Celebration, 12 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19. One year of Blue Owl means music, food, games and all kinds of special barrel releases are in store for a party at the taproom.

Wine & Cheese Pairing at Pilot Knob Vineyard & Winery, 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19. Five Pilot Knob wines are getting paired with five gourmet cheeses. $30 for wine club members, $35 for everyone else.

Red Line Brewery Tour 1 Year Anniversary, 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19 Take the Capital MetroRail Red Line to visit three local breweries: Circle Brewing, Black Star Co-op and Zilker Brewing.

Austin Beerworks & New Belgium Collaboration Release, 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19. The Texas-Style Mango Berliner Weisse that the two breweries teamed up to make debuts at the Draught House.

Grand Opening of Jackalope South Shore, 9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19. Celebrate the second location of the Sixth Street bar with screen printing, an interactive photo booth and more.

6th Annual Wine & Swine, 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 20. The Austin Food & Wine Alliance’s pig roast returns with live music and top-quality wine, beer and spirit tastings. $85.

Hops for Hope: Annual Art & Beer Bazaar, 4 to 10 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 20. Thirty-six artists, more than 30 beers, five local DJs and three food trucks come together to support the 2016 HOPE Projects.

Mega Mutt Monday at Banger’s, 6 to 9 p.m. Monday, Nov. 21. It’s a special “giving back” edition of the pet-friendly event. Along with Banger’s extended happy hour, live music and favorite dog vendors, the bar will be collecting items for Austin Pets Alive.

Collaboration Release with 4th Tap at Black Star Co-op, 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 22. The fellow co-operators have teamed up to make Jim Crust’s Friendship, a cherrywood-smoked imperial “friendship” brew.

Friendsgiving at W Austin, 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 23. The turkey can wait. Because you’d much rather be at all-night happy hour, right? Get the Thanksgiving festivities started early with DJ beats.

Yard Bar’s Black Dog Friday, 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 25. Yard Bar’s answer to Black Friday will have free dog ice cream for dogs with black coloring, as well as a holiday photo booth, live music and a limited release beer Yard Bar created with Austin Beerworks.

Black Friday Festival Fun at Treaty Oak Distilling, 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25. In case you need a respite from the shopping mall madness, Treaty Oak is opening the ranch an hour early with games and activities, including a family tug-of-war and a turkey waddle relay.

Mysterium Verum Bottle Release Party at Real Ale, 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 26. Bottles of Real Ale’s Tenebra Aeterna, a barrel-aged sour porter, are debuting in the Texas market for the first time. Celebrate at the brewery.

Wassail Fest, 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 26. Downtown merchants in Bastrop will be competing for bragging rights for the best holiday brew during this inaugural event, an addition to the Lost Pines Christmas line-up.

Fall Creek Vineyard’s Cowboy Christmas & Feast, 12 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26. Get your family into the holiday spirit with a lunchtime performance by “cowboy poet” Steve Smith and singer/songwriter Reuben Darnell at the Tow location of this Hill Country winery. $24.95.

Harry Potter-Inspired Beer Yoga at Circle Brewing, 11 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 27. A third installment of this outrageously popular yoga session promises more magical brews and poses. $20.

Japanese Whiskey Dinner at Vox Table, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 29. Tour the versatile tastes of Japanese whisky with this pairing dinner featuring six courses of Japanese-influenced cuisine. $120.

Andalusia Whiskey Co. distills Hill Country charm in Blanco

Arianna Auber / American-Statesman. Andalusia Whiskey Co. features a tasting room of wood and metal, with spaces for playing games, reading books and, of course, drinking whiskey.
Arianna Auber / American-Statesman. Andalusia Whiskey Co. features a tasting room of wood and metal, with spaces for playing games, reading books and, of course, drinking whiskey.

Two years ago, a couple of Real Ale Brewing employees decided they wanted a crack at their own business — but they didn’t get into brewing.

Ty Phelps and Tommy Erwin had watched as Texas changed the laws in favor of distillers in 2013 — allowing them to sell cocktails from their tasting rooms, as well as a limited number of bottles to go — and saw the potential for a “more in-depth tasting room experience,” Phelps said.

That potential has turned into reality. The duo opened Andalusia Whiskey Co. last month in the Hill Country as a large, comfortable place where whiskey lovers can hang out, taste the boozy offerings and tour the distillery where barrels have started stacking up and a copper pot still sits plumply, dutifully delivering their product.

Day trippers wanting to visit don’t have to worry about driving to the middle of nowhere, either. Andalusia is not far from Phelps and Erwin’s old stomping grounds: Phelps had moved onto ranch land near Blanco-based Real Ale with his wife, Ericka, in 2010 and turned part of the acreage into the distillery site, built from scratch by the two Andalusia co-founders and a friend without blueprints.

The proximity to the 20-year-old Real Ale has already proved helpful, as the brewery has pointed customers their way and has offered ready advice to Phelps and Erwin whenever they ask.

Arianna Auber / American-Statesman. Andalusia Whiskey founders Ty Phelps, left, and Tommy Erwin wanted a tasting room that offered a view of the distillery beyond, where their favorite spirit is made with a copper pot still and aged in barrels.
Arianna Auber / American-Statesman. Andalusia Whiskey founders Ty Phelps, left, and Tommy Erwin wanted a tasting room that offered a view of the distillery beyond, where their favorite spirit is made with a copper pot still and aged in barrels.

Not that the whiskey makers always need it. Phelps, in addition to brewing, had been helping Real Ale owner Brad Farbstein launch a distilling project, Real Spirits (which is still in the works). Erwin, a microbiologist, ran Real Ale’s quality assurance lab and has the science background.

Distilling is also not terribly different from brewing, Phelps said — or, rather, “it’s brewing and then another step. We make malt whiskey here, which is similar to beer because they’re both barley-based.”

He and Erwin create a whiskey wash (essentially beer, sans hops) and double-distill it with the 250-gallon copper pot still. Having a pot still versus a column still — as many spirits producers prefer, for the column’s ability to produce a pure, clean spirit — was a deliberate choice for Andalusia because it “keeps the flavor and oils from the grain, so it gives the whiskey a nice body and a lot more flavor,” Phelps said.

Once it’s been properly distilled, the clear spirit (yes, whiskey looks more like vodka at that point) is either added to barrels for aging or filtered and bottled as Andalusia Whiskey’s White Pearl. It’s a white whiskey, moonshine-like, that provides Phelps and Erwin the chance for income while they wait for the barrels to transform the maturing liquid within into single malt and other kinds of aged products.

And boy, do they have plans for that barreled whiskey.

Phelps and Erwin have chosen single malt whiskey — instead of bourbon, for instance, the spirit that U.S. distillers invented — because of their beer background. Plus, they tend to prefer it the most.

“I’m much more of a malt whiskey guy,” Erwin said. “Bourbon is a much different flavor profile, and we’d have to change our still, our process, to make it.”

Instead, they have three different kinds of malt whiskey in the works that they hope will introduce the U.S., which still largely thinks of single malt whiskey as being produced exclusively in Scotland, to the growing category of American single malt whiskeys. Andalusia Single Malt, the flagship, will be similar to a non-peated Scotch, Phelps said. The distillery will also make a whiskey with peat for all the Scotch drinkers out there, but he and Erwin want to branch out and make another whiskey that is distinctly American.

“We’re going to do an American craft version of peated Scotch, which is instead of using peat to smoke the malt, we’ll use American barbecue woods, like mesquite, oak, apple,” Phelps said. “We’ve got many barrels of this whiskey that I’m talking about now that is going to be our American smoked single malt. Instead of peat, which is a very unique smoke flavor, very phenolic and spicy, this whiskey will have more of a smoke flavor like barbecue, campfire. A type of smoke that I think is more familiar to the American palate.”

Because of the aging process, visitors to the distillery can only buy bottles of the White Pearl for now. But the cocktails are made from both the White Pearl and from already produced Andalusia Single Malt, too small in quantity to be bottled.

The White Pearl — sweet and fruity, like a light white rum — hasn’t been the only draw so far. Walk into Andalusia Whiskey Co. and you just might gasp, like many people laying eyes on the airy, wood-and-metal space for the first time. It’s two stories, with the bar along one side, couches and other seating in the center, and a back room filled with old books that Phelps and Erwin call the library because you can pull out these tomes and read them, if you like. Upstairs is filled with tables and chairs and has games like Jenga available.

Arianna Auber / American-Statesman. Right now, Andalusia Whiskey’s moonshine-like White Pearl is the only product available to take home, but you can get a taste of coming aged whiskeys in cocktails like the Old Fashioned.
Arianna Auber / American-Statesman. Right now, Andalusia Whiskey’s moonshine-like White Pearl is the only product available to take home, but you can get a taste of coming aged whiskeys in cocktails like the Old Fashioned.

“We are one of the first distilleries to come out after the laws changed, so we really focused on this tasting room,” Phelps said. “Really, what we’ve got is something more than just a tasting room. People can come and play darts or hang out in the library. We wanted to take advantage of the success that wineries have had.”

Once a fence goes up around the property, he wants to bring his family’s livestock back to the field in front of the distillery, where they used to graze before the building was erected. The farm animals will be one more element of Andalusia Whiskey Co. as a destination spot — and as a family-friendly place where kids can have just as much fun as their whiskey-drinking parents.

Distillery tours provide the chance to try much more than just the white whiskey, but Phelps and Erwin can’t wait for their aged products to be fully ready on a wider scale.

“Maybe if the whiskey gods are good to us, we’ll have something ready for spring next year,” Erwin said.

Andalusia Whiskey Co.

What: A whiskey distillery offering tours and tastings, with a limited number of snacks and plenty of parking. Sign up for $10 tours on Eventbrite.

Where: 6462 N. U.S. 281, Blanco

Hours: Noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday

Information: facebook.com/andalusiawhiskeyco

Austin’s drinking events calendar, October 2016

In addition to the Tequila Tour on Oct. 20, the Iron Cactus is celebrating its 20th anniversary with this special margarita featuring an extra añejo tequila.
In addition to the Tequila Tour on Oct. 20, the Iron Cactus is celebrating its 20th anniversary with this special margarita featuring an extra añejo tequila.

Flying Saucer’s Oktoberfest Beer Games Day, 12 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1. Kick off your October with stein hoists, dachshund races and a keg race, as well as German food and beer specials.

Brew & Brew & Brew, 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1. Celebrate three years of the Brew & Brew with a raffle for 1400 Miles and a killer beer list. No, really, it’s a good one.

Boxers at the Brewery, 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1. Thousand Oaks Brewing in Cedar Park is hosting this fundraiser for Austin Boxer Rescue.

Founders Breakfast Stout Brunch at Brass Tap Domain, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2. Get a Founders-branded mug with the purchase of any Founders beer, including the breakfast stout.

Bluebonnet Oktoberfest, 12 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2. Delicious German beers, food, balloons, face-painting, bouncy houses, contests and more await at the Round Rock brewery. $5 online, $7 at the door.

Easy Tiger’s Pumpkin Beer Flight Nights, 4 p.m. Monday, Oct. 3 and Tuesday, Oct. 4. $8 flights treat you to pumpkin beers from Boulevard Brewing, Dogfish Head, Southern Tier Brewing and Avery Brewing.

12th Annual Oktoberfest at Zax, 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5. Local and German Oktoberfest beers are going to taste extra good with Smokey Denmark beer brats.

2nd Annual Oktoberfest Crowler Cup at Cuvee Coffee, 6 to 11 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6. Ten Oktoberfest beers will enter the ring, but only one will be victor. The winner is declared based on your vote.

For First Friday Firkin, Uncle Billy's Firkin Nutz is going for $3 a pint. It's the Berdoll Brown Candied Pecan Ale with cocoa nibs and raspberries.
For First Friday Firkin, Uncle Billy’s Firkin Nutz is going for $3 a pint. It’s the Berdoll Brown Candied Pecan Ale with cocoa nibs and raspberries.

First Friday Firkin at Uncle Billy’s, 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7. This month’s limited release is Firkin Nutz, Uncle Billy’s Berdoll Brown Candied Pecan Ale infused with cocoa nibs and fresh raspberries. $3 a pint.

Red River Tailgate at Treaty Oak Distilling, 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 8. If you can’t make it to the rivalry game, the distillery has the next best thing: a festive State Fair vibe with burgers and dogs grilled over live fire, the game on multiple screens, beer on tap, and specialty cocktails.

Taptoberfest at the Brass Tap Round Rock, 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 8. More Oktoberfest fun, with live music, a mug-holding contest and a beer list that will make your mouth water.

The Driskill Beer Dinner with Adelbert’s, 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 10. A four-course meal from the 1886 Café & Bakery team, paired with beers from Adelbert’s Brewery. $40.

Blue Owl Brewing’s Wee Beastie Release, 3 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 12. Blue Owl’s next seasonal is a sour Wee Heavy, lightly peated, with malty-sweet caramel notes.

Edi Kante Pop-up Wine Dinner at Italic, 5 to 10 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 12. Wines from producer Edi Kante will be paired with Italian dishes from Chef Andrew Curren. $25-$75. There’s also a free Kante happy hour at Italic’s café.

Women in Whiskey Panel at Easy Tiger, 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 12. This special Whiskey Wednesday event will feature four whiskeys whose production is influenced by women – with three of those female industry stars present at an hour-long panel.

Oktoberfest at Banger’s, 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13 through midnight, Oct. 15. Three days of German beers, German-inspired food, German-related games and more commence with a gun salute and a free firkin of Live Oak Oaktoberfest.

Beers on Pink at Lustre Pearl East, 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13. This fundraising event for the National Breast Cancer Foundation features photographs of the beers from participating local breweries.

Deep Ellum Brewing Pint Night at Frank, 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13. Pair Deep Ellum’s Hop Seeker, a wet hop ale, with poutine waffle fries to find yourself in a delicious food coma.

Hops & Grain’s 5th Anniversary Party, 12 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15. No pre-sold tickets this time; just show up and enjoy beers from an irresistible tap list.

Treaty Oak Ranch’s 1-Year Anniversary, 12 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15. Celebrate one year of the distillery’s new digs with games, cocktails, food trucks and even a car show.

It’s the Tits Fest at Adelbert’s, 1 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15. Adelbert’s 2nd annual fundraiser for the Breast Cancer Resource Center will have much more than 15 beers on tap.

Flying Saucer’s BeerFeast 2016, 2 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15. The bar’s annual festival, with more than 50 breweries and 80 craft beers, returns. $35 in advance, $45 at the door.

Operation Steingrabber at Zilker Brewing, 2 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15. The launch of Zilker’s Festbier wouldn’t be complete without sausage, steins and music, of course.

Sip & Savor at Swift’s Attic with Lakewood Brewing, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19. Go on a culinary tour of Lakewood’s brews, which are paired with inspired small bites. $40.

Iron Cactus Tequila Tour, 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20. Taste 10 tequilas of your choice from up-and-coming brands. Admission also gets you appetizers, live music and a branded snifter glass. $25 in advance, $30 at the door.

.5K Micro Marathon at Circle Brewing, 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 22. Run with pints for 1,640 feet to help raise money for the Sustainable Food Center. Don’t spill to win. $20-$35.

Honey Fest at Texas Keeper Cider, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22. Two Hives Honey will be at the cidery for a day of bee education and revelry. Plus, Texas Keeper is releasing its first cyser (honey and apple fermented together). $10.

Pinthouse Pizza’s 4th Anniversary Party, 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 22. The Burnet Road brewpub is transforming into a 1980s senior prom for the day, with a photo booth, an ’80s DJ and special tappings. If you live south, check out Pinthouse Pizza on South Lamar’s 1st anniversary bash (a freshman prom.)

Live Oak Brewing’s Annual Oaktoberfest, 12 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22. Enjoy polka music, smoked meats and sausages from Smokey Denmark, and fresh Oaktoberfest and Smoaktoberfest on draft at the brewery.

AustOberfest 2016, 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22. The annual event doubles as Scholz Garten’s whopping 150th anniversary. Expect beers, all-you-can-eat sausage, bowling and more.

Winemaker Tasting at June’s, 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26. Join the Wine & Food Foundation of Texas for this come-and-go tasting featuring Jasmine Hirsch of Hirsch Vineyards. $55-$70.

Infamous Oktoberfest at the League in Lakeway, 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27. Celebrate the League’s 5th anniversary with beers from Infamous Brewing.

Official Kick-Off Party of Austin Beer Week, 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28. The week of beer insanity returns with a celebration at Craft Pride, which will be tapping more than 20 special releases.

Arianna Auber / American-Statesman. San Gabriel River Brewery, in Liberty Hill, is hosting its first chili cook-off at the end of October.
Arianna Auber / American-Statesman. San Gabriel River Brewery, in Liberty Hill, is hosting its first chili cook-off at the end of October.

San Gabriel River Brewery’s 1st Annual Chili Cook-Off, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29. An admission ticket, proceeds of which benefit Habitat of Humanity of Williamson County, will get you a taste of any or all of the chili and a beer from the taproom. $10.

Pints for Pups at Infamous Brewing, 12 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29. $10 donation gets you an event glass and 1 pint of Infamous goodness, with the money going toward Wags, Hopes and Healing.

Draught House’s 48th Anniversary Party, 1 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29. The beloved brewpub’s biggest party of the year will host a Beer Olympics, live music and food trucks. And lots of great beers.