Garrison Brothers, the first corn-to-cork bourbon distillery outside of Kentucky and the first legal whiskey distillery in Texas, continues their mission to give back to the community while producing high quality bourbon. Their latest contribution was a $30,000 donation to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation from Good Bourbon for a Good Cause, the 501(c)(3) public charity founded by the Garrison Family and their staff in 2018. The funds were earmarked for the restoration, preservation, and a long-term landscaping plan for Balmorhea State Park and its stunning spring-fed pool, which shuttered in May 2018 due to structural damage. The donation resulted from sales of Balmorhea, a rich, twice-barreled Bourbon named after the West Texas park.
Dan Garrison, founder and proprietor of the distillery, and his team stepped up to host a series of fundraising pool parties, bourbon pairing dinners with chefs and restaurants across the state and bourbon tasting classes at various liquor stores showcasing the spirit. Balmorhea State Park reopened the pool on March 1, 2019, which unfortunately had to close again recently for further repairs. Regardless, the distillery’s multi-award-winning bourbon will be available in 750mL bottle across 26 states and six foreign countries by May 13, 2019. $5 from the sale of every bottle goes to the park’s preservation efforts.
The enthusiasm for Balmorhea has been overwhelming, says Garrison. “Liquor stores tell us it is flying off the shelf after being named the American Whiskey of the Year by Jim Murray in his 2019 Whisky Bible. Bartenders serving Balmorhea have asked us to get them a bigger bottle, so in May of 2019 we’ll be introducing Balmorhea in a 750mL bottle. It takes some special and expensive barrels to make Balmorhea though, so when we release it, there will only be a few hundred bottles available.”
Garrison Brothers Distillery and Good Bourbon for a Good Cause distribute the funds they raise to charitable organizations primarily, but not exclusively, in Blanco and Gillespie counties of Texas and to ones that serve current and former American military personnel. Their initiatives recently crowned 27-year-old Irishman Terance Robson, managing partner at 612 Group and co-founder/mixologist at Here Nor There in downtown Austin, as the winner of their Bourbon Brawl contest, a 10-week long, statewide bartender competition. The grand prize includes $10,000 and an entire barrel of bourbon, as well as the chance to craft the official cocktail of Dallas Restaurant Week, instruct a series of cocktail classes at retailers throughout Texas and be a guest bartender at Whiskey on the Rock in Las Vegas.
50 competitors participated in The Bourbon Takeover of Texas, a full week during which bars and restaurants across Texas featured cocktails incorporating Garrison Brothers 2019 Small Batch Bourbon. The Garrison Brothers team visited every location to taste, critique, examine, and enjoy the creations. 25 participants advanced to the semi-finals, with one from every market reaching the finals. Joining Robson in the finals were Hugo Osorio from Bourbon & Banter at The Statler in Dallas, Jacob Peters from Whiskey & Rye at Omni Hotel in Fort Worth, Cody Northcutt from Ready Room in Houston and Riamond Lomeli representing The Edison Experiment in San Antonio.
This is just the first year of the Bourbon Brawl,” says Garrison. “We wanted to find and recognize the best in Texas. The finalists came down to a diverse group of people, each of whom showcased different aspects of their background, whether from Texas or their home country. The event truly exemplified the diversity of Texas and showcased how bourbon can bring people of all backgrounds together. We’re excited to see the competition grow in the coming years as we continue to change lives with great bourbon.”
To find Balmorhea and other Garrison Brothers products, you can use their store locator.