Love a brewery opening and this one was super, and so well-attended there was need for the over-fill car park. Vista is a beautiful 21-acre space in the Texas Hill Country with a clean-lined designer taproom contrasting with a rustic wood-chip beer garden with atmospheric Spanish Oaks and picnic benches in a large circle around a small purpose-built stage. The opening party featured a lively selection of local bands and they have continued to hold regular shows of a consistently high standard, showcasing local talent – we loved cosmic-Americana outfit The Lonesome Heroes. Vista has a super family-friendly vibe, but that hasn’t led to any compromise on the quality of the beer, setting you up for a great day out with your kids, dog and great aunt in tow. It was really nice to see a mixed crowd, which isn’t always the case at taprooms in Austin where I can sometimes stand out as the only non-white face, and added to the sense of inclusivity. Nice touches include the laid-back swing seats for grown-ups, complete with drinks holders, and of course there are small counterparts.
It was great to see how excited the staff were on opening day. Beer-pride is infectious – when your bartender is positively beaming as they describe their wares, you’re automatically psyched to taste them. That’s the atmosphere we visit breweries for. After the diffidence of the staff at Jester King (see related post), we were so encouraged to see such a positive attitude, which was compounded by an excellent selection of beers. At the opening party, and on subsequent visits, we’ve become increasingly impressed with the Vista oeuvre.
Highlights so far have included their fab collaboration with the brilliant Pink Boots Society, Zwickled Pink, a dry-hopped Zwickle Pilsner using a five-hop mix to create a radiant, sherberty and incredibly moreish beer that I simply had to have seconds of. Their Dreamweaver Braggot-Mead, a collaboration with local apiarists the Weaver Family uses treatment-free wildflower honey to make a mead-beer that’s sweetly decadent but light enough to be refreshing in the sun, despite (or because) of its 7% ABV. That said, all their beers have been an absolute delight, even their 2.5% table beer, which is made in the most environmentally friendly way – using leftover hops from the stronger beers. The full Vista package is exactly what we moved to Texas for, the glorious drive through the Hill Country arriving in a scenic beery oasis. Vista is open Thursday through Sunday, 11am-10pm with an 8pm close on Sundays. If you head to one out-of own brewery in the ATX area, this has to be one of the top spots.