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Garrison Brothers Distillery in Hye rolled out its first barrels of straight bourbon in 2008.  To be called “straight” bourbon, it must be aged for at least two years in new, charred-oak barrels.  (Photo by J. Griffis Smith)

As I swerved to miss the potholes along a stretch of warehouses in northeast San Antonio, I finally caught sight of the headquarters for Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling. Even with a towering windmill out front, if it weren’t for the rustic metal sign on the building, I might have imagined that the crowds were waiting for access to a warehouse sample sale. Discounted furniture or couture? Not today: Lucky for us, we were in for an entirely different sort of sampling experience—a Saturday “brewstillery” tour.

Published in FOOD & DRINK


More worthy experiences

Published in TRAVEL

Lori Moffatt plays hooky—and tourist—for the day

Published in TRAVEL

Matt Joyce explores life on Austin’s aorta, where history meets quirky

Published in TRAVEL

Jill Lawless’ grade-schooler runs a tight ship. Here’s her kid’s dream day downtown.

Published in Family Travel

(Photo by J. Griffis Smith)

It’s a challenge to write about the place you call home, especially when that city is as multifaceted as Austin, a bustling burg flavored by music, art, and the outdoors. In the end, our Austin story is a staff collaboration: Jill Lawless explores Austin’s kid-friendly enticements, Matt Joyce rediscovers Congress Avenue after returning to town from a nine-year hiatus, and Lori Moffatt embarks on the perfect grownup “staycation” day. We had to leave dozens of worthy experiences on the cutting-room floor, so see those here. Check the Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau website  for details on hotels and tours, as well as maps and other information.

Published in TRAVEL

Since 2006, Berkman Books has offered rare, used and collectible volumes. (Photo by Kevin Stillman)

It’s getting tough to spend the day in Fredericksburg. After enjoying numerous day-trips to this Central Texas town, I realized during my most recent visit that Fredericksburg’s attractions—both the new and the venerable—have become so numerous that one day just doesn’t cut it anymore. Fredericksburg has become an overnight destination.

Published in TRAVEL

Drummond phlox in Gonzalez County. (Photo © Laurence Parent)

What's your flower IQ?The world didn’t end in December with the Mayan calendar. The zombie apocalypse has yet to occur. Sure, the weather has gone all cattywampus, but nonetheless, spring will return to Texas, bringing with it the annual miracle that is our wildflowers.

Published in TRAVEL

On a hot, muggy evening last summer, hundreds of people gathered inside the San Marcos Army Airfield hangar at the San Marcos Municipal Airport for the opportunity to go back in time. The day was June 6, and to commemorate the anniversary of D-Day, the Hays County Historical Commission premiered the 52-minute documentary Hays County in World War II. We all sat watching while surrounded by vintage aircraft, including a B-25 WW II bomber known as the Yellow Rose. The film included interviews with local veterans, and we gave those in attendance a standing ovation before and after the movie.

Published in TRAVEL

The high temperature had just peaked at 103. A historic drought gripped the entire state. But conditions couldn’t have been more perfect as I followed four other kayakers tooling around Spring Lake in San Marcos one summer evening last year. Seventy-degree spring-fed water provided all the natural air-conditioning we could want. A full moon rising above the trees illuminated the setting. As daylight faded, we paddled around a hidden bend where the limbs of trees hugging the shoreline sagged with dozens of white egrets.

Published in TRAVEL

The expansive Medina Dam impounds the clear waters of Medina Lake, rising like a gray apparition from the cedar-and-oak scrub clinging to the rugged tumble of hills and canyons 20 miles northwest of San Antonio. Built to harness the mercurial Medina River, this grande dame of Texas dams celebrates its 100th birthday this year.

Published in History

Photo courtesy of The Daytripper with Chet Garner

Sweeping hills, giant platters of sausage and kraut, overflowing beer steins, and hefty men clad in lederhosen playing polka till their fingers turn blue—all in Fredericksburg, a town that is both remarkably German and completely Texan.

Published in Daytripper
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