Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Little Texas Beer and Bourbon

All right. Let's get all the misconceptions out of the way. Yes, bourbon can be made anywhere in the United States. No, it doesn't just come from Kentucky or Bourbon County Kentucky. Bourbon must be at least 51% corn, but this can be corn produced anywhere, like say... Texas. And it must be stored in new, charred oak barrels. These are the basics of Bourbon. You can also read about this in my Bourbon Notes.
This fun submarine-y looking thing is where all the magic happens
So with that in mind on Christmas Eve my family, sans littlest sis who had to work, went on a beer and bourbon tour at Ranger Creek Brewstillery, right here in San Antonio. If you are in town and have a chance, I definitely recommend it. At $5 for 3 beers (+ keepsake pint glass) and an extra $2 for their bourbon tasting, it's a steal. And they don't skimp on the product. Starting the tour with a full pint glass of the first beer, they do a brief explanation of how they came about as a brewery and a quick 101 on beer brewing and then they're off showing you around.

On the tour, this bin was where the bourbon was becoming... well bourbon
Happy parents in the barrel room

The beer keg room, all ready to go
There were way to many nuances in the bourbon making and beer brewing process to go into and most of the basics are covered in my Bourbon Notes page, but things I really enjoyed that the Ranger Creek guys were really trying hard to create a "Texas" bourbon, meaning using as many local products as possible, including and possibly most importantly, corn. Water from our local aquifer, heat from our Texas summers. Which is another interesting fact... the hotter the atmosphere, the faster the water evaporates. So a process that could take 5 years in Kentucky, or 20 years in Scotland (obviously for Scotch) may only take 2 years here in Texas. And they really aren't making the same stuff you'd drink in Kentucky, or New York, or anywhere else... and that's just cool. So if you live near a beer brewery or a bourbon distillery or any other spirit and find these types of things interesting, go! It made for a very educational, interesting and one-of-a-kind type of day.

1 comment:

  1. Wondering about the future of "craft bourbon" and if I'll be ordering Jack or Jim next time I'm out, can't bring myself to drink generic beer anymore.



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