New San Antonio distillery banks opening date in historic downtown building
A 100-year-old building on Broadway Street will soon be the home of San Antonio’s newest watering hole. After more than two years of feverish anticipation, downtown dwellers will finally welcome distillery Maverick Whiskey sometime in May.
The project, founded by local ophthalmologist Kenneth Maverick, is steeped in history. Housed in a former bank building at 115 Broadway St., the concept is a tribute to Maverick’s ancestor and Texas founding father Samuel A. Maverick. Maverick's wife, Mary, was one of the Lone Star State’s original “girl bosses,” according to spokesperson Jody Lutz.
First announced in March 2017, Maverick has been a labor of love for the family. Most recently, the building housed an antique mall, which had to be completely gutted.
“It was a mess,” says Lutz, noting that part of the space had been once converted to a third-story apartment. She says that the team had to install almost everything new, from plumbing to a new elevator — not to mention top-of-the-line distilling equipment.
Keeping in mind the historical inspiration, the team worked to bring a sense of the past to the three levels. Lutz says vintage tile and period-specific moldings were brought in and the walls are decorated with family photographs and documents. The former bank vault is even finding new life as barrel storage.
Once open, Maverick’s ground floor will showcase the liquor making operations. Rikk Munroe, an alumnus of another spirit maker named after a Texas Revolution figure — Ben Milam — leads the team as head distiller. He says a trio of offerings will be available when the spot debuts.
The first is Alamo Whiskey based on a mash bill found in the Maverick family’s papers. The new make whiskey is a little different from similar products with a mellower grain forward taste and caramel notes from a one-day barrel aging.
Munroe will also produce a light whiskey, which he calls a “vodka drinker's whiskey” and a Texas take on London dry gin. The latter selection will have unique terroir due to the five local ingredients added to a blend of 14 botanicals — bay, pecan, rosemary, Mexican mint marigold, and Valley grapefruit.
In two years, the first batch of rye and Bourbon will be ready, but until then Munroe says he will be tinkering with liqueurs, bitters, and vermouths — a necessity since Texas law doesn’t allow producers to bring in outside alcohols. Beer is also on its way once Maverick completes the search for a brewmaster.
Upstairs from all the booze will be a casual eatery. Although Lutz did not have a final menu, she did share that it would be locally sourced and the restaurant would be open for lunch and dinner. An upstairs event space completes the ambitious project.
But all the work was worth it for the passionate team. “[Maverick] is a labor of love for us and a place we want everyone in San Antonio to feel comfortable going to,” says Lutz. “We have to live up to our namesake and his reputation.”