Our good friends at Branchline Brewing Co. recently closed their doors. They’re undergoing a painful restructuring process, but they plan to fight back by contract brewing their beer. We look forward to their return, but until then we have to deal with an important question: what happened?

While there are always several factors that lead to a business restructuring, there’s one in particular that has me concerned. San Antonio doesn’t support local breweries the way other Texas cities do.

We sell our beer in major markets across Texas, and the differences are stark. In Austin and Dallas, the support for hometown breweries is deep. The majority of taps at craft beer bars are dedicated to local breweries from that city. Local beer is the only option at many bars that only have 2-4 taps. Major event venues carry a variety of local craft. Many Austin and Dallas breweries sell all they can make inside their own city limits.

Look around San Antonio and compare. The majority of taps at craft beer bars are national craft or Texas breweries outside of San Antonio. Local beer is hardly ever present at bars that only have 2-4 taps. It’s hard to find craft beer at major event venues. And many San Antonio breweries are forced to sell in other cities even though we’d love to sell more in our hometown.

San Antonio is not Austin or Dallas, nor should we strive to be. And don’t get me wrong, I’m happy that we developed a craft beer scene at all because there wasn’t one 6 years ago. But if we want a thriving craft beer scene, it starts with local. And local no longer means Texas, it means San Antonio.

The other cities are beating us at the local game right now, but we can catch up. We all have a role to play. Consumers: educate yourselves about your local breweries and try their beer or visit their brewery. If you don’t see local beer on tap, ask for it. Bar owners: make a concerted effort to put lots of San Antonio beers on your taps. When consumers ask for a recommendation, make it something local. Brewery owners: focus on putting out a quality product, making something that excites consumers, and supporting your retailers and distributors. If we all do this together, we can change things. When Branchline comes back, let’s welcome them into a city that has evolved from supporting craft to supporting local craft.

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We’re extremely excited to announce the release details for our collector’s item .36 Straight Bourbon. This whiskey is the final piece of the barrel experiment we envisioned when we started, and it’s taken us 6 years to see it through. Now it’s finally here, and it’s in a big 750 ml bottle! This collector’s item release consists of only 858 bottles and is set for the Friday after Thanksgiving. If you want a bottle to collect, drink, or give as a gift, you should RSVP.

On Friday, November 25 we’re throwing a release party and bottle pickup from 5:00-9:00 pm at our brewstillery. The release party is open to the public and will feature the new bourbon by the glass. No RSVP is required to attend the party. However, RSVP is required for bottle pickup. RSVP seats are available for $55 with a limit of 2 per person. Only 300 seats will be available. Those that RSVP will be able to pick up their bottle(s) at the event at no additional cost.

.36 Straight Bourbon Collector’s Item Release Party and Bottle Pickup
Friday, November 25
5:00 – 9:00 pm
Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling
4834 Whirlwind Dr.
San Antonio, TX 78217
RSVP here

.36 Texas Bourbon is our everyday straight bourbon packaged in a traditional 750 ml bottle, and it will be a year-round release starting in April of 2017. It was aged for a minimum of two years with a suggested retail price between $55-60. This collector’s item release is the first small batch run of 858 bottles. Unlike the year-round release, each bottle will be hand numbered to identify them as the first batch ever made of this whiskey.

This bourbon follows our Small Caliber Series and Single Barrel as the third release of our fascinating barrel aging experiment. Though each .36 bourbon uses the same recipe, the individualized barrel aging techniques makes each one distinct. .36 Small Caliber Series is a small batch bourbon aged in innovative small barrels and packaged in small 375 ml bottles. .36 Single Barrel is aged in one hand selected, large barrel and is packaged in traditional 750 ml bottles. This .36 Texas Bourbon is a small batch bourbon aged in traditional large barrels and packaged in 750 ml bottles. The different releases allow enthusiasts to try the .36 bourbons alongside each other to taste subtle differences and similarities.

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Collector’s Item .36 Texas Bourbon for November

September 28, 2016

As part of National Bourbon Heritage Month, we’re announcing the November release of a special collector’s item bourbon called .36 Texas Bourbon. Only 1,000 bottles of this collector’s item release will be available. .36 Texas Bourbon is our everyday straight bourbon and will be a year-round release starting in April of 2017. It was aged […]

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6 More Medals for Ranger Creek Whiskey

March 16, 2016

We’re excited to announce that we just won 6 more medals for our whiskey from one of the most important competitions that we enter. We brought home one gold medal and five silver medals from the Third Annual Judging of Craft Spirits of the American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA) (view full results). Along with the […]

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Introducing our Texas Bourbon Barrel series

January 20, 2015

Ranger Creek is a unique place. We’re beer guys, but we’re also whiskey guys. We call ourselves a “brewstillery” because we brew beer and distill whiskey. We’re the only operation like this in Texas, and one of only a handful in the U.S. We like to highlight the unique and fascinating relationship between beer and […]

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Strawberry Milk Stout – Farm to Pint

April 10, 2012

A big part of our philosophy on being a craft brewery is using local ingredients to make interesting recipes. We feel like it ties modern breweries back to the older pre-Prohibition breweries that had no choice but to use what was easily grown nearby and readily available. We’ve already done it to a good extent […]

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Equipment Install Part III – Cold Test

August 3, 2010

It has been a crazy, fun, exhausting week. After getting the process piping done for the brewstillery, the Hungarians and our contractors got busy connecting the water system, glycol system, steam piping, and electrical. It took countless trips to the pipe stores, returning incorrect orders, driving up to St. Pats in Austin, and learning how […]

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Equipment Install Part II – The Distillery

July 30, 2010

The distillery equipment install has been just as exciting as the brewing equipment. It turns out that our still was too tall for our building. Solution? Cut a hole in the roof and install a skylight that allows the moonlight to shine through. So now when TJ is here at night distilling whiskey he can […]

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Equipment Install Part I – The Brewery

July 26, 2010

Saying that the Hungarians are impressive is an understatement. These guys are not only highly skilled, they are work horses. One moment they are welding a completely new stainless steel frame for our mash tun (it only took about an hour), and the next moment they are grabbing straps to pull a huge piece of […]

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The Hungarians are Here!

July 23, 2010

Well, the Hungarians have arrived safely in San Antonio. All 6 of them. This might be the most Hungarians the city of SA has ever seen at one time. We, along our friends at Azar Distilling, took them to the Flying Saucer last night and fed them queso and American craft beer. The conversation was […]

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