Texas Goes Big on Craft Spirits


Written by Kara New man of the WineEnthusiast

October 15, 2020

The Lone Star State, the largest in terms of square mileage in the continental U.S. as well as one of its most populous, encompasses a wide range of home-grown spirits. In other words, don’t mess with Texas.

Its pioneering attitude and diverse population means a sometimes unconventional approach. From Austin to Waco and beyond, there’s plenty of whiskey, an iconic vodka brand and surprise detours through rakia, sotol and more.

What makes distilling different here? According to Heather Greene, who relocated from the New York City area to Austin to become CEO and master blender at Milam & Greene, it’s the sprawling state’s wide-ranging climate that allows for a varied range of spirits.

In general, it’s marked by heat and humidity, which helps whiskey and other spirits mature faster, but it’s also subject to winds that sweep down the plains and desert-like conditions further south.

“What is ‘Texas whiskey’?” asks Greene. “How do you define it in a place this big? You could fit three Scotlands in Texas!”

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