San Antonio Brewing News
What's brewing in San Antonio: 5 San Antonio-area breweries win at World Beer Cup, and more news
Editor's Note: With a new craft beer spot popping up in San Antonio seemingly every month, we've started a new column to track all things beer in Alamo City. Here's our roundup of everything that's brewing in San Antonio.
Local breweries among World Beer Cup winners
Five San Antonio-area breweries were among winners of the World Beer Cup, which was held during the annual Craft Brewers Conference and BrewExpo America events. All of the 2023 events took place in Nashville; More than 200 beer professionals judged World Beer Cup entries in 100-plus categories, where gold, silver and bronze medalists were named.
In the end, Freetail Brewing Co.’s "Imagine 14 Years" won a gold medal for hoppy lager. Imagine 14 Years, released as part of Freetail’s 14th anniversary celebration last fall, is a variation of the brewpub’s award-winning "Imagine a World with Beer Cellars Instead of 401ks."
Five Stones Artisan Brewery’s "Norma Jeane" was awarded a bronze medal in the fruit beer category. While "Norma Jeane" is part of Five Stones’ seasonal lineup, it has been popular with Five Stones fans since its launch. Located north of San Antonio, Five Stones marked its 10th anniversary earlier in May. “The beer has given us both grief and joy in our pursuit to get it right. Being awarded bronze at this competition blew major wind in our sails as a brewery and a family,” the folks at Five Stones said in a social media post about the award.
Three Hill Country breweries claimed World Beer Cup honors, too. Fredericksburg’s Altstadt Brewery’s hefeweizen was a gold medalist in the South German-style hefeweizen category. Blanco’s Real Ale Brewing Co.’s "Scots Gone Wild" received a gold medal in the wood- and barrel-aged sour category. Johnson City’s Pecan Street Brewing Co.’s rye lager received a bronze medal in the rye beer category.
Other distilled news and notes
Maverick Distilling in downtown San Antonio has released its limited-edition Samuel Maverick Barrel-Aged Texas Dry Gin, which was distilled in small batches using locally grown Texas ingredients. It was then aged in bourbon barrels on-site in the underground vaults of the historic Lockwood National Bank. Only 250 bottles were produced for this small-batch release, which was barreled at 120 proof and aged in No. 3 char white American oak barrels.
“With our barrel-aged Texas Dry Gin, we wanted to create a spirit that is refreshing and unique to the Lone Star State,” distillery founder Dr. Kenneth Maverick said. “Gin continues to grow in popularity as people discover that good gin doesn’t taste like bad medicine. We wanted to offer our customers another version of gin and knew that the impressive botanicals that we use for our Texas Dry Gin would evolve into something beautiful with barrel aging.”
In a May 9 media event previewing the new gin, Maverick provided an update on his facility, saying they have eliminated full kitchen service in favor of partnering with neighboring restaurants and food trucks. Distillery visitors will be able to order food for delivery onsite. Maverick Distilling is open to the public, but it is also available for private special events, from family celebrations to corporate functions. Maverick did say, however, that there are plans to expand the original craft beer offerings.
The biergarten at Faust Brewing Co. in New Braunfels is buzzing once again. Having closed their doors to the public at the outset of COVID-19, the brewery is back open with an expanded biergarten, a new food trailer serving pub grub, and improvements around the tasting room.
Additionally, Faust now has a liquor license and is able to offer spirits, and the brewery owners are promoting their ability to host special events on site. While Faust had a soft re-opening April 1, the brewery hosted the New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce for a formal opening and ribbon-cutting May 18 to celebrate their revamp.