Revolution Spirits, an Austin distillery that specializes in making everything from gin to far rarer products like Texas amaro and coffee liqueur, celebrates five years in business with four days of festivities this weekend.
Head to the Hill Country — far, far away from the hubbub of South by Southwest downtown — on any day from March 7-10 to enjoy cocktails, a mini golf course, local vendors, gift bag giveaways and more at the small, steadily growing distillery. For the team behind Revolution, reaching five years is a gratifying milestone they aim to commemorate with the people who have helped to make it a success.
"Making it to 5 years is amazing, and we all are a bit taken aback when we realize that it passed by so quickly," distiller Forrest Allen said.
He works alongside Brian Meola and John Henry on the distilling side of the business, while Aaron Day serves as co-founder and president. They have created a company known for its experimentation and collaboration with other local makers, joining forces with Jester King Brewery, Cuvee Coffee and others to produce liqueurs that could have only come from one place.
A memorable recent project was Phobos’ Companion, a neutral grain spirit, released last summer, that was infused with three different chilies, horseradish, black peppercorns, celery seed and arame (a type of seaweed). The spicy spirit is intended to combine with Jester King's Deimos’ Companion, a farmhouse ale brewed with papalo (a cilantro-like herb) and refermented with lime juice and zest, for the ultimate Austin michelada.
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Revolution also used the discarded fruit pulp from a few of Jester King's most beloved fruited sours, including Atrial Rubicite, to create a line of fruit liqueurs featuring raspberry, apricot and cherry. Finding ways to incorporate other Austin-based brands with their booze is par for the course for the distillers.
"We don't see any other way to make truly local products," Meola said. "There are hundreds of distilleries out there making a lot of the same types of products, and one of the ways we can really stand out is to highlight the ingredients and styles that are inspired by being in Austin. And for us that goes beyond just sourcing local ingredients. It's about actually bringing the producers of those ingredients into the fold and working alongside them to develop our spirits."
One of the Revolution team's personal favorite projects is the Noce Pecan, an amaro made using green, unripened pecans from Yegua Creek Farms near Elgin. Amaro is traditionally an Italian herbal liqueur with a sweetly bitter flavor, and not many American distillers have made a dive into the category. Now, Revolution Spirits has made two (the other being Amico Amaro, the first of its kind in this state).
The Noce Pecan is "totally unique and extremely Texan, while still being rooted in a traditional Italian spirit. If any product completely encapsulates Revolution Spirits, that's probably it," Allen said.
There will be four days of anniversary celebrations so that Revolution can include the many vendors — such as Lick Honest Ice Creams, Cuvee Coffee, Yegua Creek Farms and more — that have carried or used the distillery's products or have contributed ingredients to them. Thursday's party runs from 3 to 7 p.m., while the remaining three days of March 8-10 run from 1 to 7 p.m. Each one is at the Revolution Spirits tasting room at 12345 Pauls Valley Rd., Bldg. G.
For more information, visit revolutionspirits.com.