There’s a new style of craft beer on the horizon and it’s being brewed right here in the Texas Hill Country.
While the traits of “Tex Mex” can be used to describe countless infamous restaurants in the heart of Texas, there’s only one brewery that can say they serve drinks with a distinctly Tex Mex flair.
Think jalapeno-infused pilsners and lagers aged in locally-sourced tequila barrels and you’ll have a better idea of the sorts of flavors owners Shane Bordeau and Jim Sampson intend to showcase to fellow craft drinkers all over Central Texas.
Out in picturesque Dripping Springs sits the new tap room and brew house that Twisted X Brewing Company now calls home. Fans of the brewery may remember earlier phases in their business, such as their previous locations in Lago Vista and Cedar Park. The move and new 10,000-square-foot custom built brew barn allowed Twisted X to expand into the beautiful Texas Hill Country, bringing with them their own local flavors and flair.
“We actually set out to make this brewery what we call the ‘Hill Country destination-style brewery’. We wanted people to come out here on the wine trail, on their way out to Fredericksburg. We sometimes get young couples who stop in and say ‘We’ve been to five wineries and we just want a beer!'” Shane says as we pass through their tasting room.
The founders of Twisted X are the face of the brand and met while being part of a high tech start up company back in the early 2000. Jim Sampson had been home brewing and as Shane Bordeau learned more about the techniques, the craft beer scene was exploding.
At the center of this beer growth was the Mexican import market. The guys saw the chance and jumped in the game, first brewing at home and then expanding out to Cedar Park.
Mexican Beers Brewed in Texas
The first beer Jim and Shane brewed together under their Tex Mex style was a jalapeno pilz, a spicy and undoubtedly original refreshment that would be the start of it all. After talks about opening a Mexican-style brewpub, the idea was hatched.
“That night over a bottle of tequila, we came up with the concept of Tex Mex beer,” Shane goes on to state.
After a quick search online, the fellow brewers found that there was no such style of beer currently on the craft beer scene. They trademarked the term and worked on consistently brewing to find their mainstays and what Tex Mex flavors would combine well in the brews.
If you have an afternoon to stop by their tasting room (which is open everyday) you’ll get a chance to taste the full collection of taps, both mainstays and small batch. From their Twisted X Premium Tex Mex Lager, to their Senior Viejo Imperial Black Lager, there’s a little something for everyone.
When we visited, they were just about to debut another summer favorite of theirs, the Siesta Prickly Pear Lager.
At the moment, Twisted X offers four flagship brews that are available in six-packs and drafts around Central Texas including Austin, Houston, San Antonio and the Lake Travis area. You can check to see which special brews are up for tastings on their beer list online, or just stop by on your way out to the Hill Country and give one of their beer flights a try.
The Brewery & Tasting Room
If you take a drive down Hamilton Pool Road, to Ranch Road 12 and out to spacious Dripping Springs to the new location Twisted X has secured for their brewing operations, you might just want to stay a while.
The beers are cold, the patio is roomy and shaded, and their doors are open every day to give tours and serve patrons the finest in Tex Mex brews. They offer mix-your-own micheladas for those unbearable hot summer days and even have their own line of ghost pepper and lager-laced salsa, so appropriately named Salsa De Los Muertos.
The brewery is a popular stop for travelers on the Dripping Springs wine trail, Hill Country bikers ready for a break and a cool down period, and also a popular spot for families on the weekend. Well-behaved dogs are even allowed on the porch!
On the verge of tripling their production in the coming months, the beer brewing operations are running two shifts to keep up with demand and are utilizing some of the most up-to-date in beer brewing technology to assist in the process. But they haven’t lost their roots; in fact their small batch specialty beers are brewed in the original system that they have used since the very beginning.
Each beer is made with Texas pride and Mexican style, all the way down to their labels. Tattoo artist and graphic designer Joshua Rowan is the creative mind behind their eye-catching labels, which really capture the attitudes of the brews in colorful detail.
So make a stop at the new Hill Country brewery the next time you’re in the area for your chance to taste these spicy brews firsthand.
Twisted X Brewing Company
23455 W RR 150, Dripping Springs, TX 78620 (map)
Tasting Room & Tours:
Monday-Thursday 1-8 pm
Friday-Saturday 11-8 pm