Vista Brewing, an Actual Farmhouse Brewery – Print

f you ask us what our favorite bar trend of the past few years is, the answer is easy: the rise of joints that specialize in beer or wine (or maybe both). We get behind responsibly made stuff from small producers, and we’re happy to report that the young, unstuffy spots where these drinks are served—by people more interested in showing us a good time than impressing us—have swiped the crown from buttoned-up cocktail bars. From small- town main streets to major cities, these are the American bars, breweries, and taprooms we can’t wait to get back to. —ALEX DELANY

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How OPA Design Studio Makes Austin’s Elite Brewery Taprooms

Stephen Oliver does his tap dance Imagine a time when a Texas brewery couldn’t sell its own beer to its own visiting taproom customers. There was a loophole breweries cartoonishly tiptoed through like top-hatted, waxed-moustache bootleggers in order to get their product in front of gawking tourists and local beer fans, and that was to peddle a logo souvenir glass to their visitors populated with a few “free beer fill” coupons inside. And while giving away all that liquid profit in exchange for moving a lousy $10 pint glass sounds like a super lucrative endeavor for small breweries statewide, it […]

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Pink Boots Austin Chapter Cranks Out Record Number of 2020 Collaborations

It seems like so long ago we got together and brewed some beer for the annual Pink Boots Society Collaboration Brew Day. I wanted to publish this article weeks ago, but things were beginning to escalate around the country, and it just didn’t seem like good timing. Last year, Austin hosted a record number of collaboration brew days, releasing seven collaboration beers in total. For 2020, a full twenty-onebreweries signed up to do a collaboration beer, and some of those collaborations have been postponed for a few months. However, several Austin breweries are gearing up to release their collaboration beers, […]

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Women in Beer | Karen Killough

When I started writing for Craft Beer Austin back in 2015, my first series of articles was about Women in Beer. I am happy to announce that thanks to the ladies of the Austin chapter of the Pink Boots Society, I am bringing back the Women in Beer series. This edition features Karen Killough, Co-Founder of Vista Brewing. Read More

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What Is an Oenobeer?

Brewing with fruit—from cherries to apricots to raspberries—is a pretty commonplace phenomenon in the world of beer. It adds a secondary sugar source and bright, fruity flavors to a wide range of styles. But the concept of using wine grapes in brews has created an entire new category, known as oenobeers or beer-wine hybrids. There’s no official definition for what counts as an oenobeer, meaning the increasing number of brewers dabbling in these crossovers is free to experiment and put their own spin on it. Some use actual grapes, some just use juice, others age their brews in wine barrels. […]

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All the Cool New Bars Are in Texas Hill Country

The 9 places you need to know. This newcomer arrived on the scene in April 2018 in Driftwood and is unique for its ties to the local wine industry. Vista Brewing repurposes freshly dumped barrels from nearby wineries to age some of their beers, but also makes a range of more conventional brews as well. They often host live music and ticketed dinners. Their food program is a notch above typical bar food, incorporating produce from the on-site farm the team is currently restoring and expanding. Read More

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Beer Winners

With over 2,000 entries each year, the competition is fierce for a Good Food Award. In each category, three food crafters from each region – North, South, East, West and Central – receive the honor each year. Look for the blue Good Food Awards seal on the shelves of exceptional grocers like the Good Food Merchants Collaborative who take care to stock them. Winner: Stonewall Belgian Lambic-Style Ale with Texas Peaches Read More

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First sotol barrel-aged beer is ready to taste in Austin

Barrel-aging beer has long been a way for brewers to incorporate whole new flavors in the beer — but until recently, no one had worked with Texas sotol barrels. Releasing this week is what may well be the first sotol-aged beer, Vista Brewing’s Desert Skies Sotol Barrel-Aged Black Pilsner. The Hill Country brewery teamed up with Desert Door Distilling and the Fairmont Austin to create the beer, a variation of Vista’s popular Dark Skies lager. Read More

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A Texas Brewery Just Released the First Sotol Barrel-Aged Beer

Ever since 1992, when Goose Island’s former brewmaster Greg Hill allowed some imperial stout to mellow out in bourbon barrels, barrel-aging programs have been a staple of the craft brewing world. While assorted whiskey barrels remain classic, in more recent years, brewers have experimentedwith barrels that previously held red wine, aquavit, mezcal, maple syrup, cocktails like Boulevardiers, and even Tabasco sauce. Now, Vista Brewing in Texas has teamed up with Desert Door, the first US-based sotol distillery, to age Dark Skies, a 4.9% ABV black pilsner in sotol barrels. Unlike better-known agave-based Mexican spirits such as tequila and mezcal, sotol […]

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Vista Brewing | Desert Skies

When was the last time you drank something completely new? Was it the first time you braved a beer with “milkshake” on the can? The first time you confused an IPA for a glass of juice? A beer-infused with CBD and smelling like a college dorm room? Vista Brewing in Driftwood, Texas, has achieved the rare privilege of making a beer that has a unique spin on an established method. The first-ever beer aged in sotol barrels. Craft beer is an ever-evolving industry always looking for the next big thing. In the quest to make the first beer of its kind, brewers […]

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