The Hill Country has become well-established as a wine region full of award-winning wineries that draw crowds to their tasting rooms every weekend, aided by established wine trails that show them how to plan their trips and provide them transportation.
And now breweries outside of Austin are getting a beer trail of their own, too.
The Hill Country Craft Beer Trail is the effort of the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce and the Convention and Visitors Bureau, which rightly recognize that breweries are a big draw for craft beer lovers. Having a trail uniting the ones in smaller towns between Austin and San Antonio could make them much more accessible — maybe even start establishing the Hill Country as a beer destination in its own right, the way it is with wine.
According to the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung, the decision to join the trail for many breweries in New Braunfels and elsewhere, including Blanco and Seguin, was a no-brainer. There are now nearly a dozen breweries involved, including Real Ale Brewing, Guadalupe Brewing and Pecan Street Brewing, that people can explore along the trail either by themselves or on a shuttle bus booked on the Hill Country Craft Beer Trail website.
New Braunfels, founded by German settlers, has a long history of craft brewing, ever since the original New Braunfels Brewing was built along the banks of the Comal River in 1847. Drawing attention to the ones in existence today (including one by the same name as that first brewery) is important, marketing guru Nathan Manlove of the Ammo Group said in the Herald-Zeitung article.
“Let’s have New Braunfels own beer,” he said in the article. The Ammo Group helped the CVB and the chamber of commerce form the trail.
The center of the Hill Country Craft Beer Trail is New Braunfels’ three breweries: the resurrected New Braunfels Brewing, Faust Brewing and Guadalupe Brewing. From there, buses — from two shuttle services, Rockin’ ‘R’ River Rides and OffRhodes Craft Beer Tours — can take participants to the other ones. One option is a full tour, which includes stops at eight Hill Country breweries, but other options focus on a smaller amount of them.
And if you’re thinking that so many breweries on the trail means you’ve got to make a weekend out of visiting them, the Hill Country Craft Beer Trail site has a list of places to stay and other things to do in New Braunfels. For more information, visit hillcountrycraftbeertrail.com.