We’re sure that you’ve heard all the buzz about all of the breweries populating the Dripping Springs area these days. Many of these places have amazing outdoor areas where you can play lawn games, sip on a well constructed brew, listen to the great tales of the brewers or cozy up in an adirondack chair and relax.
For the fall edition of LOCALE Austin magazine, we took on the “difficult” task of touring a few of these places… all in the name of “research,” of course. Here’s an excerpt from our trip to Twisted X Brewing. Read the full article and get your own copy of LOCALE Austin here.
When Twisted X Brewing Company relocated its licensing from the former Cedar Park location to its current Dripping Springs digs, founder Jim Sampson couldn’t have anticipated shutting down production for three months. There was no telling when the licensing stork would magically drop off the new permit. Once it arrived, all production at the Cedar Park location had to halt while the not-fully-occupied Dripping Springs building got the green light. It was an act of bureaucracy Sampson couldn’t plan for. With the current facility running smoothly for the past two years, that delay must make the success taste even sweeter.
Of all the breweries we visited, Twisted X is the biggest and most ambitious. The tasting room is open seven days a week. On a Friday afternoon, the place was bustling between our arrival and departure. Air-conditioned indoor seating was prized real estate. The bar was standing room only. Newcomers were content to grab a beer and sit at the many outdoor tables. As Sampson tells it, the destination facility attracts a lot of passersby. Drivers see the signs from the road. Then curiosity and thirst take care of the rest.
Twisted X initially began with three types of small batch brews: Twisted X (their Tex Mex take on Mexican lager), Cow Creek (a Vienna-style lager), and Fuego (a jalapeño- infused pilsner). The selection then expanded with the next generation of Twisted X: Chupahopra (a dry- hopped IPA), Siesta (a prickly pear lager), and Señor Viejo (an imperial black lager aged in Dulce Vida tequila barrels). When we visited, we tasted a beer flight consisting of ten current varieties.
As if the beers weren’t tasty enough, we also fell head over heels for Twisted X’s take on the Michelada. Made with Fuego, the Twisted X Michelada was zesty and balanced, delivering a perfect hit of heat at the end. It made us think twice about ordering a Bloody Mary ever again.
David, one of the brewers, talked about putting his stamp on the menu with the delicious Dripping Oak (an IPA). Named for the tree sitting outside the window, David explained the dying oak was on the verge of being chopped down when the company decided to hire a chainsaw artist to carve it. The tree bears the mascots of Twisted X’s signature brews: the sleeping chameleon of Siesta, the gargoyle-like Chupahopra, and the sombrero-wearing skull of Señor Viejo.
Though the production process has expanded to a 30-barrel brew house with 120 barrel fermenters, Twisted X maintains its original 3-barrel pilot system for research and development. One of the more imaginative flavor experiments to come out of the Twisted X brew lab? David called it “Hop Tart,” a fermentation of strawberry-flavored pop tarts that tasted more like the breading than the filling. He said next time they’d maybe try the brown sugar kind.
Read about more stops on our Dripping Springs brewery tour here. Or sign up to receive your own free copy of LOCALE Austin!
About Schmitz & Smith at KW-Portfolio Austin Real Estate
Nationally recognized for their approach to marketing and branding, Schmitz & Smith at KW-Austin Portfolio Real Estate is a neighborhood-focused upscale real estate group that matches their clients’ lifestyles to ideal niche areas in Austin, Texas. These Realtors® leverage their extensive network to create a concierge-style home buying or selling experience. Their quarterly magazine, LOCALE Austin, and yearly Schmitz & Smith’s Guide to Austin are available in many high-end Austin hotels. For more information, visit SchmitzandSmith.com.