Just outside of Austin, Dripping Springs is becoming what you might call a mecca for breweries, wineries and distilleries. Many of them are destination spots with food, drinks and beautiful views of the surrounding Hill Country.
And all of them are worth a visit in May with the launch of the monthlong Dripping with Taste Trail, which offers free tastings for people who purchase a passport and check out the participating producers. Starting on May 1, 10 wineries, seven breweries and eight distilleries in the area will have complimentary flights or tastings for passport holders. (How much booze constitutes a tasting is up to each place).
Here's how it works: Head to the Dripping with Taste website to purchase a passport, which is $50 per person or $90 for two people. From May 1-31, the passport allows you to visit up to four participating locations per day for a free tasting. You can use the passport for as many days as you want in that time period, though you can only use it once at each place. Your passport will get stamped to mark where you've been.
It'll let you explore more of the Dripping Springs and Driftwood region that you may not have seen before, "from the gentle rolling hills dotted with old-growth vineyards, to quaint, downtown breweries on historic Mercer Street," according to the website.
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These are the participating breweries, wineries and distilleries. (It's worth noting the popular Barks for Beers program, benefiting Austin organization Divine Canines, also returns in May, and a couple of the breweries listed here are participating in that promotion. In other words, you'll have the opportunity for more than one free drink at these places. Drink responsibly.)
12 Fox Beer Co., 4700 W. Fitzhugh Rd.
Acopon Brewing, 211 W. Mercer St.
Family Business Beer Co., 19510 Hamilton Pool Rd.
Last Stand Brewing, 12345 Pauls Valley Rd.
Suds Monkey Brewing, 1032 Canyon Bend Dr.
Twisted X Brewing, 23455 RM Rd. 150
Vista Brewing, 13551 RM Rd. 150
Argus Cidery, 12345 Pauls Valley Rd.
Bell Springs Winery, 3700 Bell Springs Rd.
Driftwood Estate Winery, 4001 Elder Hill Rd.
Duchman Family Winery, 13308 RM Rd. 150
Fall Creek Vineyards at Driftwood, 18059 FM Rd. 1826
Hawk's Shadow Winery, 7500 McGregor Ln.
Sidecar Tasting Room, 501 Old Fitzhugh Rd.
Solaro Estate Winery, 13111 Silver Creek Rd.
Treaty Oak Winery, 16604 Fitzhugh Rd.
Westcave Cellars Winery, 25711 Hamilton Pool Rd.
Crowded Barrel Whiskey Co., 16221 Crystal Hills Dr.
Desert Door Texas Sotol, 211 Darden Hill Rd.
Dripping Springs Distilling, 5330 Bell Springs Rd.
Frog Pond Distillery, 261 Frog Pond Ln.
Goodnight Loving Vodka, 12440 Trail Driver No. 103
Revolution Spirits, 12345 Pauls Valley Rd.
Stinson Distilling, 18281 RM Rd. 150
Treaty Oak Distilling, 16604 Fitzhugh Rd.
The Dripping with Taste Trail returns in October with another passport providing access to all the participating places — with one addition — that of the upcoming Ghost Note Brewing.