Saturday, May 10, 2014

Road Trips and Breweries near Canyon Lake TX…

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Lake Pointe RV Resort here in Canyon Lake has been a great central location in which to tour a lot of really neat places. Only an hour to Austin and less than that to San Antonio there is a lot to see here. While we have mostly been visiting with our family in the area we have also slipped away to the nearby hill country for a few excursions.

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No visit to this area is complete without at least one stop at Luckenbach, Texas. A really very small and mostly unnoticeable area was made famous by the likes of Jerry Jeff Walker and of course Waylon, Willie and the gang when they recorded the song Luckenbach, Texas. It is often referred to as a place that is a "State of Mind" or the better known phrase “Everybody’s somebody” in Luckenbach. Still a hopping music scene Luckenbach is always worth a visit.

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Also nearby is the Guadelupe River where we found a must do scenic drive along the Old River Road just west of the German influenced town of New Braunfels. The Guadelupe River is lined with limestone bluffs and trees such as the bald cypress, pecan, elm tower along the river’s banks. This beautiful green river is a popular destination for “toobers.”  Toobers are those interested in floating the water water stretches of the river. The flow of the river is mostly controlled by water releases from the Canyon Lake thus the water is super clear and very chilly… excellent for tubing on during the hot summer days of Texas.

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We also took Katie over for a visit to San Antonio, Texas. We of course had to visit the Alamo and enjoyed  strolling along the oasis-like San Antonio Riverwalk. We parked at Providence High School, a downtown San Antonio Catholic school. The purpose of stopping there was to visit a daughter of some dear friends of ours. I played a lot of softball with her deceased father and she and our son grew up together when they were very young. Elise is now the athletic director for the school and since it was Teacher Appreciation day we took her out for lunch and a chat. It was really great getting to see Elise and we know her daddy would be very proud of her.

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After the lunch we walked nearly every mile the river walk had to offer…. taking in all the sights of San Antonio's unique architecture. As the time crept closer to “rush hour” we escaped the downtown area and headed north back toward Canyon Lake. On the edge of town we made a pit stop at the Freetail Brewing Company in north San Antonio to indulge in some nicely crafted beers. The crafted beer industry in Texas is still quite young and it is told in the complexities of day trips in central texas 038many of the beers that we have sampled in several of the breweries in this area. Katie was happy to collect some  complimentary stickers and coasters as memories of her visit.

We sampled crafted beers at many of the area’s breweries with two that were worth highlighting. The New Braunfels Brewing Company specializes in wheat beers. Now I am not a big wheat beer fan but they had some very interesting wheat beers. The owner and server were very personable so we imagefeel this place is definitely worth a trip to try their wheats and they have started experimenting with sour beers as well. Sours are another segment of beers that I am not overly fond of but I did sample one with nitro brewed in a whisky cask which was quite interesting.

However, I would be remiss in not pointing out another small and obscure brewery just south of  New Braunfels called the Guadelupe Brewing Company. We called to see if their tap room was open only to be told that it wasn’t but that the owner would love to give us a tour if we showed up about 4:45 pm. We pulled up to a small warehouse and weren’t sure we were in the right spot since there was no signage but one of the owners, Anna greeted us and invited us in for the tour. Jason poured us some samples and led our tour of the business.  He currently labels and bottles their beer one by one but can foresee automating the process in the near future as their business is growing by leaps and bounds.

Although this hidden gem has been in business about two years, this tiny imagebrewery has some of the best beers across the board that we have tasted since discovering crafted beer. We sampled all their beers and four of them were outstanding. Their porter, IPA and Honey Ale were superb but their Scottish Ale even outclassed these fine beers. If you love crafted beer you really must check out their products. We certainly plan to take along some of their bombers before leaving the area.


  1. Catherine loves a chocolate stout- we will have to give them a try.

  2. You are having too much fun there, enjoy the area.
    Love Luckenbach, have been there 3 times already, like you said a must see.

  3. We love the hill country. We need to pay a visit to Canyon Lake some time.

  4. We enjoyed Guadelupe Brewing last year while camped in NB. We didn't call. We just drove out there, kncocked on the door, and were warmly received for a tour and a tasting. We agree, they make some excellent craft beers.

    Freetail also had good brews, but for whatever reason I don't like giant electronic beer menu boards in a brewery -- chalk board seem more appropriate.

    For sour beers, try Jester King up by Austin. I am learning to like sours.

  5. That one toobing piclooks like where we went 40 years ago, Sharon. Love, from The Cotswolds, Gloucestershire, England.