The sun sat low against the Hill Country skyline, blanketing the ground with yellows, reds and browns. Buildings fashioned out of reclaimed wood and discarded fences dotted the landscape. The air breathed clean as the sound of clinking glasses and laughter trickled from the wooded pavilion behind me.
If this sounds like a country fantasy, brace yourself. By embracing the majesty and power of the Hill Country, Treaty Oak Distilling Company isn’t just changing addresses. They’re building a fantastic new locale for food and spirits, and inviting good times for the whole family. An Austin classic just got a whole lot better.
New Digs, Old Heritage
Founded by master distiller Daniel Barnes, Treaty Oak has been creating craft spirits since 2006. Winner of dozens of national awards, Barnes has dedicated his life to the creation and appreciation of craft liquor.
Offering everything from a punk rock take on Texas Tea to a flavor packed barrel aged gin, Treaty Oak features a fantastic selection of delicious libations:
- Graham’s Texas Tea – Boozy sweet tea? Yes, please! Made with a vodka base, this juice with a kick arrives sweet and finishes clean.
- Red-Handed Bourbon – Sourced from some of the finest whiskeys in the country, this award winning bourbon is perfect for a standout Sazerac or straight up.
- Starlite Vodka – Born from Hill Country water, Treaty Oak’s signature vodka is simple and straight forward, providing a well-crafted kick to any cocktail.
- Treaty Oak Rum – May I introduce the king of the Treaty Oak family? When you swing by the distillery, try the Madagascar Libre. It’s a luxurious take on the traditional Cuba Libre that will make you beg for a beach umbrella.
- Treaty Oak Barrel Reserve – This is their regular rum aged in oak barrels. The additional time adds a rich woodiness to the already stand out spirit.
- Waterloo Gin – Bright, airy and full of fresh lavender notes, Waterloo is one of the cleanest gins I’ve ever had. It has none of the soapy flavor typical of the style.
- Waterloo Antique – Whiskey meets gin in this dark, herbal spirit that’s perfect on the rocks or neat.
Treaty Oak’s New Distillery
Thanks to Treaty Oak’s many awards and rising popularity, the distillery quickly outgrew its North Austin operation. The new ranch features a monster 1,000 gallon brewing system, four 1,000 gallon wood fermenters and a 500 gallon handmade copper still. The new gear promises to increase production ten-fold and allow Treaty Oak to experiment even further with new, delicious styles.
But according to Barnes, it’s not all about cranking out more booze. “The Treaty Oak Ranch is much more than a distillery. We envision the ranch to be a Hill Country destination for people who love enjoying Texas-centric food and beverage experiences. Beyond tasting what we make, we want our guests to learn about the innovations and people behind our products.”
The new facility also features:
- The Treaty Oak Rickhouse, traditionally designed to age barrels, as home to a cozy tap room. Surrounded by floor to ceiling barrels of aging spirits, the Rickhouse will offer 16 taps of cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages.
- A sampling bar, perfect for tasting their mainline products.
- Food trucks serving Mexican and German fare.
- A fully stocked gift shop.
- The Cocktail House, a full service restaurant and bar (opening spring 2016).
- Both an adult and kiddie playground. Prepare to play horseshoes, bags and bocce ball as your little ones party on the swing set.
Add to the mix a brand new brewery launching next year, and you have a one stop shop for all things fun and boozy in Dripping Springs.
New Local Favorite
As the sun fell, moonlight and campfire blanketed the property in flickering light. We sat by the fire, sipping Old Fashioneds and relishing the down home comfort of Treaty Oak’s new address. It was classic Texas, the way nature intended it.
Trends may come and trends may go, but the classics need to endure. Treaty Oak’s impressive new complex isn’t just about producing more barrels and increasing sales. It’s about creating a dining and drink destination that honors a rich heritage, while looking to the future. Visit, sip and enjoy. Dripping Spring’s newest libation destination is a guaranteed good time.
The new Treaty Oak Distillery opens its doors for the first time on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Following its grand opening, the ranch will be open Fridays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Visit treatyoakdistilling.com for event, product and social media information.
@BillTuckerTSP wants to know:
What’s your favorite Treaty Oak spirit?
Disclosure: I was invited to a media event at Treaty Oak before the grand opening. All opinions are my own.