4 Unparalleled Texas Distilleries: A Powerhouse of Craftsmanship and Passion

Explore the top Central Texas distilleries, including Balcones Distillery's unique whisky and Still Austin's local spirits. Discover Texas' finest!

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There are four top-rated Texas distilleries located throughout Central Texas that every liquor connoisseur must add to their bucket list. Each distillery uses a unique method to craft their distinctly different elixirs in combination with vastly different choices of ingredients.

As you journey through the captivating landscapes of Central Texas, a realm where the spirit of craftsmanship and the pursuit of excellence converge, prepare to be enchanted by the four top-rated Central Texas distilleries that grace this region.

These exceptional establishments have made their mark on the world of spirits, captivating the palates of discerning connoisseurs and leaving an indelible impression on those fortunate enough to experience their offerings.



Homepage screenshot of Balcones Distilling in Waco, TX; one of the most famous Texas distilleries

The year was 2008, and a seed of an idea took root—an unyielding desire to create something truly authentic and groundbreaking, nestled within the very heart of Texas. Balcones was born from this fervent passion, emerging as a beacon of innovation and craftsmanship. A humble beginning awaited our intrepid pioneers, as they embarked on a remarkable journey inside an old welding shop, concealed beneath a bridge in the vibrant city of Waco.

With their bare hands and relentless determination, the team set forth on a mission to transform this modest space into a haven of whisky alchemy. Days turned into weeks, and weeks into months as they toiled under the scorching Texan sun.

Roofing was replaced, walls were torn down, and bricks were meticulously laid, shaping the physical embodiment of their vision. Pipes were cut, and gleaming copper pot stills, sourced from the enchanting lands of Portugal, found their rightful place within the confines of this unassuming structure.

Against all odds, a whisky distillery was birthed from the sweat and ingenuity that permeated every corner of that quaint building. The year 2009 marked a milestone—a testament to the unwavering spirit that defined Balcones.

With hearts filled with pride and a sense of accomplishment that comes only from creating something with one's own hands, the first drops of liquid gold began to flow from the stills, heralding the beginning of a remarkable chapter in Texas whisky history.

Balcones, against the backdrop of its humble origins, stands tall and resolute, a testament to the indomitable spirit and relentless pursuit of excellence. From the depths of that old welding shop, a legacy was forged, one that continues to captivate the palates and hearts of whisky enthusiasts worldwide.

As you raise a glass of Balcones, you become part of this incredible story, honoring the journey that began with a dream and evolved into a reality as exceptional as the whisky itself.


In the realm of spirits, where time-honored traditions intersect with a vibrant New World spirit, Balcones "1" Texas Single Malt emerges as a testament to the eternal allure of malt whisky.

Paying homage to centuries of distilling craftsmanship, this exceptional creation resuscitates the essence of classic techniques and ingredients while embracing the evolving tastes of today's connoisseurs.

As you uncork the bottle, a symphony of aromas dance through the air—a delicate interplay of toffee and opulent overripe fruits. Setting the stage for a captivating experience, the first sip reveals layers of toasted malt and golden honey gracefully unfolding on your palate.

With each moment, the whisky unveils its true character, enchanting your senses with the gentle embrace of baked pears and juicy apples. The lingering finish is an exquisite encore—a harmonious duet of cinnamon and cloves, leaving a lasting impression that resonates long after the final sip.

Balcones "1" Texas Single Malt stands as a testament to the pride of Texas, forged with dedication and passion. Born from the hands of our artisans, we find joy in creating this remarkable whisky, and it is our sincerest hope that you relish its flavors as much as we delight in its creation.

Raise your glass and embark on a journey through time and taste, as Balcones honors the past while embracing the future of whisky craftsmanship.

There is a reason why Balcones has quickly become one of the top-rated Texas distilleries; so add it to your itinerary and discover the magic of Balcones '1' Texas Single Malt for yourself.


Homepage screenshot of Still Austin Whiskey Co in Austin, TX

Still Austin Distillery takes great pride in being one of the exclusive distilleries in Texas that embraces the practice of sourcing grains from local farmers. With utmost dedication, they ensure that their distillation process remains environmentally friendly and takes place in-house.

Nestled within the serene landscapes of the Texas Hill Country, they patiently age their spirits, allowing them to acquire unique flavors and characteristics. By utilizing ingredients from their very own homeland, Still Austin Distillery captures the essence of Texas, allowing the rich creativity and individuality of the region to shine through with every sip.

The marriage of local sourcing with the timeless distilling traditions carefully practiced at Still Austin is a union worth celebrating.

Flagship Spirit: The Musician "Straight Bourbon"

Their esteemed flagship spirit is crafted with utmost care, distilling it from grains that are grown within the heart of Texas. This exceptional bourbon is aged for a minimum of two years, maturing gracefully in their Hill Country rickhouse. Its subtle and intricate flavor profile sets it apart as one of the finest bourbons available, showcasing the expertise and dedication of its creators, and the quality of the locally sourced ingredients that form its foundational flavors.


Homepage screenshot of Garrison Brothers Distillery in Hye, Texas; the oldest of the Texas distilleries

Established back in 2005, Garrison Brothers Distillery stands tall as a pioneer, gracing Texas with its presence as the first and oldest (legal) whiskey distillery in the Lone Star State.

With great pride and revelry, they unveiled their monumental creation, Garrison Brothers' Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey™ in 2010, marking a historic moment as the inaugural legally produced whiskey in Texas. Going beyond boundaries, they proudly claim the title of the first bourbon crafted outside the realms of Kentucky or Tennessee, leading the way from the cultivation of corn to the sealing of the cork, all within their very own Distillery.

Every drop of their exceptional bourbon is meticulously concocted from organically grown grains, a testament to their unwavering commitment to quality and sustainability. Over the years, Garrison Brothers has had the honor of selling countless cases of their highly acclaimed bourbon whiskey, captivating the taste buds of whiskey enthusiasts far and wide.

Nestled in the captivating landscapes of Hye, Texas, Garrison Brothers Distillery finds its home amidst the breathtaking beauty of the Texas Hill Country.

As a business owned by the Garrison family and their cherished friends, they take immense pride in being an integral part of the vibrant communities of Blanco, Fredericksburg, Hye, Johnson City, and Stonewall. Together, they form a harmonious alliance that embraces the spirit of Texas, enriching the lives of all who encounter their remarkable whiskey.

Garrison Brothers Distillery has consistently won numerous awards every year since opening.


Once every year, Garrison Brothers graces the whiskey world with a truly remarkable offering: Cowboy Bourbon®.

Diverging from their esteemed Small Batch collection, this exquisite creation comes to life through the discerning choices of Dan and Donnis, the passionate visionaries behind the distillery. Selected from their personal favorites, these exceptional barrels are carefully set aside for extended maturation, allowing the flavors to evolve and deepen.

Bottled at cask strength, with no dilution or filtration, Cowboy Bourbon emerges as an unparalleled elixir—a manifestation of pure delight that transcends earthly boundaries. Prepare to embark on an extraordinary journey as you indulge in the ultimate essence of bliss, encapsulated within every precious sip of Cowboy Bourbon.


Desert Door Distillery in Driftwood, TX Website Homepage Screenshot

A tale intertwined with history unfolds, beginning with the Spanish introducing the art of distillation. Soon after, a succession of soldiers, settlers, and cowboys embarked upon the arid lands. While battles were fought, ranches flourished, and oil flowed, there existed a hidden secret—a spirit consumed in the shadows. Sotol, a well-kept treasure, found its way into the glasses of those who sought its allure.

The resourceful pioneers of early West Texas ingeniously utilized the sturdy sotol stalk for construction purposes, recognizing it as one of the precious few substitutes for the scarcity of wood in the desert.

Fuel and feed were ingeniously derived from its heart, and with determination, they ventured further, distilling this extraordinary plant.

Within the confines of the Pinto Canyon in Presidio County, Sheriff Juan Morales presided over a thriving sotol enterprise as early as 1950. The echoes of its production reverberated during the tumultuous era of World War II, where Val Verde County became a commercial hub for sotol distillation.

These very ranches, bordering our own at Desert Door, became the cradle of our bountiful harvest.

As you savor each drop of Desert Door, you immerse yourself in a legacy intertwined with the spirit of the land, imbued with the resilience and ingenuity of those who came before us.

Bound by their mutual appreciation for unbridled authenticity and the meticulous artistry of their craft, destiny conspired to bring together three extraordinary souls. These Texans, also veterans who had crossed paths at The University of Texas MBA program, felt an undeniable calling—an unwavering mission to revive the spirit of the Texas sotol plant. Some may attribute it to mere coincidence, but the profound truth resonates in the vast expanse of silence and lingers in the gentle rustle of a hidden tail.

Within the heart of Desert Door lies a profound dedication, a testament to the wild and untamed spirit that lives on in every meticulously crafted drop. This is more than a venture—it is an embodiment of reverence for the land, a celebration of heritage, and a pursuit of excellence.

As you indulge in the elixirs from Desert Door Distillery, you become part of the tapestry that weaves together the legacy of the Texas Sotol plant, forever etching its distinctive mark upon the rich landscape of spirits.


Prepare to tantalize your senses as you delve into the tasting notes of Desert Door Original. While distinct from an agave spirit, its aromatic allure rivals that of a premium tequila, teasing the air with vibrant hints of vanilla and fresh green grass.

Yet, as the elixir dances upon your palate, it unravels a symphony of unique flavors—sweet toffee, refreshing mint, and the essence of zesty orange peel.

The grand finale is a velvety-smooth finish, custard-like and unrivaled in its elegance—a texture that surpasses even the silkiest tequila, complemented by delicate whispers of sage.

In addition to its captivating complexity, Desert Door Original readily adapts to a multitude of experiences. It lends itself magnificently to the art of mixology, seamlessly infusing cocktails with its distinctive character.

It may also be relished straight, sipped gently, revealing its true essence, or poured over a single ice cube, allowing time to unveil its hidden depths.

This remarkable spirit, born from the wild, invites you to embark on an extraordinary voyage of taste, embracing the wild spirit within.