Hi, again! As I mentioned in my introduction, I’m a DIYer whenever possible, granted, The Bride often raises a quizzical eyebrow at some of my crazier DIY project ideas around the house. However, when I recently told her I wanted to build a picnic table, she had no doubt I could (eventually) figure it out. Step one in this project was to call Pops; for 30+ years of my life, I’ve been learning the DIY way at his side, so why wouldn’t I call my dad? Plus, he’s the one with the tools, so yeah, there’s that. Fast forward a month and we have a gorgeous cedar table with wide, comfortable benches and bright, green trim.
So how does this apply to local food & businesses? As a thank you to Pops, I invited him to take the brewery tour at Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling. I’m a homebrewer (and fan of Ranger Creek) and Pops has started venturing into the world of craft beer, so I knew this would be a fun afternoon!
Ranger Creek is located here in San Antonio, at the 410E/35N interchange, and they have been turning out some mighty fine handcrafted products going on three years now. They are the only “brewstillery” in Texas, because they brew beer and distill bourbon and whiskey. Locals aren’t the only ones to notice the wonders and delights coming from the small shop, they have won awards for both their beer and bourbon and recently earned a spot on Draft Magazine’s Top 25 Beers of 2012 for their Small Batch Series #2!
When we walk into the brewstillery, Col.Mac, a retired US military lifer who has a dynamic personality and seems right at home in the environment, immediately greets us. He invites us to grab a seat as we wait for the rest of the group to arrive. The room was packed with folks both local and visiting as Col. Mac began telling us a little about Ranger Creek, their products, and the process for making the beer and spirits. He explained that Ranger Creek believes in using local products whenever possible, so they pride themselves on supporting local businesses. They even have a tradeoff with a farmer: he hauls the spent beer grains out and then uses those to feed his livestock!
After describing the process and products, Col. Mac showed us around the full facility and gave more detail on how it’s all done. Oh, and the best part is that you are doing this tour with a cold beer in hand! That’s right, for a $10 entry to the tour, you get 3 beer samples (full beers, mind you) or 2 beers and 1 bourbon. The bourbon was sublime! This is a true, by-the-books, bourbon that has such a full, complex flavor I was astounded. And the beer, where do I start? They make several beers only available on tap around the city as well as the Small Batch Series that you can find at local HEBs and liquor stores. Every beer I’ve tried from them is outstanding, including my new favorite, the Strawberry Milk Stout, made with strawberries from neighboring Poteet.
So if you are looking for a fun, new experience
on a Saturday afternoon, check out Ranger Creek and get your first taste of the
already large, local craft beer scene. You can find them online at: http://www.drinkrangercreek.com