Co-owners Kent and Karen Killough said they aim to make Vista Brewery a place people come for experiences. While beer fanatics are drawn to the brewery for its rotating selection of creative beers, they said people stay to explore the grounds, listen to music and eat food ordered from the onsite grill.
Vista Brewery is located on a historic 21-acre Driftwood property that includes 650 heritage trees and is surrounded by a stone wall built in the mid-1800s, Kent said.
Other than the brewing facility, the property features an indoor taproom, an outdoor beer garden with a stage, a grill serving housemade foods, a playground, a farm and orchard, and an apiary. The business is family- and dog-friendly and also hosts private and public events, Karen said.
“What we really wanted to showcase was the outdoors and the beautiful Hill Country,” she said. “We wanted to build a place with good food and drinks, where you can bring your kids or your dog and relax.”
Construction of the 10,000-square-foot facility, which opened in April 2018, required the removal of 16 trees, Kent said. About 95% of the wood from those trees was reused within the brewery to create countertops, tap handles, serving trays and benches, he said.
Preserving and using what is available on-site is an important aspect of the Killoughs’ vision. Vista Brewing sells products using honey from its apiary and prepares food with ingredients grown at its farm. Water to make the beer is drawn straight from the Edwards Aquifer using an on-site well.
Brewer Pat Korn creates an ever-changing menu of beers for the taproom, including lagers, pale ales and pilsners. Some beers are limited releases, such as the Merriwether, a hefeweizen made using dandelions and other plants foraged from the property this spring. Others, like the award-winning Dark Skies black pilsner and Adair Kolsch, are menu staples, Kent said.
“Dark Skies is really quickly becoming a cult favorite,” Kent said. “It’s literally a pilsner, but we have a special malt that makes it black and taste like a porter.”
Specialty varieties also include wine barrel-aged brews, in which beers are aged in barrels picked up from Hill Country-area wineries, Karen said. With local barrels, grains, wheat and water, it is “truly a local product,” she said.
13551 RM 150, Driftwood