I have been on a number of brewery, winery and distillery tours, but Garrison Brothers was my favorite so far. If I had to identify the major difference, it was that you never felt that the tour was scripted by a marketing firm or that you were being sold something. It was more friendly, personable and down home than the others. You were having the opportunity to meet some very engaged employees who all had pride and ownership in the product they produced.
The tour starts at “the office”, a small rustic cabin. There are signs that welcome you to Hye, TX and specifically to Garrison Bros. Additionally; there are instructions to make yourself comfortable and help yourself to any of the assortment of wine, beer, sodas and bottled water available in coolers on the front porch of the cabin. You are then greeted by the first of the several Garrison staff members you will encounter. After the greeter was satisfied that no more guests were going to arrive for the tour, we returned to our cars and caravanned the short drive to the distillery.
At the distillery you begin the tour moving from the grains, to the mash, to the distillation, to the bottling. Each segment of the tour is hosted by an expert in that phase of the process. This expert approach made the overviews far more engaging and informative because the person was passionate and knowledgeable about his/her piece of the process.
Finally, you are led to a barrel aging barn which has a small section in the back corner set-up as a tasting room and gift shop. Here you get to taste the fruit of their labors. And it is well worth the taste. Great tour. Great bourbon.
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