The Garrison Brothers Distillery is Fun and Educational for Bourbon Experts and Novices Alike

Hye, Texas, is a town of 105 people, located on U.S. 290 on the road from Austin to Fredericksburg. It's also the home of Garrison Brothers distillery, the first bourbon distillery in Texas and one which makes bourbon exclusively. Their bourbon is pricey, but it has always been highly reviewed, and I became a believer once I sampled some on one of my whiskey-tasting outings at Poison Girl.

On a recent visit to the Hill Country, I managed to persuade my lady friend and her mother that we should drop by for a tour on their way to buy peaches in Fredericksburg. They graciously agreed, so after sampling some homemade peach ice cream, peach butter, peach preserves, and, of course, fresh peaches, we turned back to take the 4 p.m. tour.

The distillery is well off the main highway, a mile or so up Hye-Albert road, where a sign indicates the visitor entrance, and where you can drive through the fence to the welcome center (a cabin), which is stocked with an honor bar featuring local beer, wine, and water.

If you're a bourbon fan and you've had Garrison Brothers, you know what kind of quality product they make, and I don't have to sell you on the excitement that lay in the possibilities of a visit. If you haven't had Garrison Brothers, you're in for a treat (hell, the tour is less expensive than most bars charge for a shot of their bourbon). If you don't drink at all, I have first-hand testimony that the tour was still fun and illuminating, showing the art, science, and human touch that makes for a craft.

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Nath Pizzolatto