Now that we've covered winery tours and brewery tours, it's time to move on to something for our more hardcore drinkers: distillery tours. If tasting various liquors for four hours sounds like fun (and if you're celebrating a bachelor/bachelorette party, why wouldn't it?), then you've come to the right place! We're here to help you decide which options best suit your needs, and also offer some advice on how to not get too inebriated too early in your celebration. Austin distillery tours have plenty to offer, so you don't want to miss out!
Which Distilleries Should You Visit?
There are a plethora of distilleries to visit in both the Austin and Hill Country areas. It really just depends on what you're wanting to drink! If we may be so bold as to make a few suggestions, though:
Deep Eddy Vodka Distillery
Dripping Springs is sort of the hot place to be in Central Texas right now. Located between Austin and the Hill Country, Dripping Springs is home to some of the best distilleries out there, especially when it comes to vodka. First up is the Deep Eddy Vodka Distillery. What makes this particular venue so great is that it has something for everybody. Famous for their flavored vodkas (Ruby Red Grapefruit, Sweet Tea and Peach are just some of the flavored options), Deep Eddy is a distillery you don't want to miss.
Dripping Springs Vodka, Gin & Bourbon Distillery
Rounding out Dripping Springs is the aptly named Dripping Springs Vodka, Gin and Bourbon Distillery. If we're being quite honest, we're including this one if only because it offers three of the five "Big Liquors," so there's bound to be something for everyone in your group!
Still Austin Whiskey Co.
If you are a fan of housemade liquors, then Still Austin Whiskey Co. is your distillery. Everything is made in-house and 100% locally made from grain to glass, as their website proudly states. This is a great stop to make around lunch time since the Pan-Asian food truck Soursop is in the same parking lot.
Texas Saké Company
If you'd like a break from some of the stronger liquors, give Texas Saké Company a try. It's a nice little palette cleanser from all of the other distillery. If you're staying in Austin, it's also a great place to end your tour since it's located in the South Lamar area in the middle of Austin's busy tourism district.
We're getting ahead of ourselves, though. The first thing you should do when planning a distillery tour is to make a plan. Do some research on the distilleries in the area. Check and see when they are open and what their hours are. If you have a large group, call ahead and make a reservation (if the distillery accepts reservations).
Tips for Distillery Tours
We've all had it happen before: you day-drink a little too much and by the time it's time to hit the town you're ready to hit the sack. It's easy to avoid this with a winery tour or a brewery tour, but when you're tasting hard liquor all day it all comes down to two things: pacing and moderation. When you're on a winery or brewery tour, you won't be tasting full glasses of wine or full pints of beer, but you have the option to purchase them. The same thing happens at distilleries, so you'll just want to remember to pace yourself and drink lots of water between stops.
You'll also want to decide which type of tour you would like. There are two types of tours at a distillery: a distillery tour and a tasting tour. A distillery tour will walk you through the process of making the liquor and a tasting tour is, well, a tasting tour. For maximum effect, we recommend visiting 3-4 distilleries and switching between distillery and tasting tours at each stop.
As for how to display good manners in a distillery, it's fairly simple. There are three things you should do to make a good impression at a distillery:
Be on time!
Treat this as you would to any other reservation. If you make one at a distillery, that means they turn down potential business from other reservations to accommodate yours. Be respectful and be on time. This means that when you set a pickup time for your party bus, you need to make sure everyone is on time for that as well. Speaking of: book a party bus for group transportation!
Tip the tasting room staff.
The tasting room staff should be tipped as you would tip a server at a restaurant. They are entertaining you for the time you are there and should be rewarded for that.
Share photos and videos on social media.
Finally, it's important to remember that the best kind of kickback you can give a local distillery is to promote them on social media. Take pictures at each distillery and tag them on social media. It's a great way to show your appreciation.
What Ninja Buses Has to Offer
Ninja Buses visits dozens of distilleries every weekend, so what we can offer you is inside knowledge on the ins and outs of each distillery, carefully guiding you through the selection and planning process.
Contact us for more information about distillery tour planning and to get the inside scoop!