Treaty Oak Brewing & Distilling Officially Unveils Beer Program

RealClear Staff


     Travel down south to Texas, and you’ll find Treaty Oak Ranch out in Hill Country. Their fairly new foam factory has had some beers on the menu for a bit, but nothing beyond the brewery itself—until now. Their patrons will be pleased to learn the brewmaster’s ready to relinquish three brews to local bars and restaurants.

[Treaty Oak Distiller & Ranch | Photo: Treaty Oak]

Their distillery, which has done business for about a dime now, underwent some alterations when owner Daniel Barnes decided to beef up the operation and move things out onto a 27-acre ranch. Chris Lamb, who was the head distiller, had to lay down some new skills in order for Treaty Oak to reach its potential.

“Daniel originally proposed the idea of a seven-barrel system but then goes off and orders a 30-barrel system. Totally different monster,” Lamb said. “Because we started on a 30-barrel system right away, we had to do lots of trial and error and experimenting to get things right.”

However, their efforts haven’t been too hard, as Treaty Oak’s team was already educated in fermentation, which is a primary process in distillation. To boot, Treat Oak’s pre-existing tasting room served as a testing area for their forthcoming foams. While they’d been kicking cocktails of rum, gin, whiskey and vodka to their customers, the ranch’s rickhouse was a great place for feedback. Customers wrote reviews on the Untapped app, and the bartenders relayed drinkers’ dislikes and likes to Lamb. Upon learning these tips, he’d alter...accordingly.

[Brewmaster Chris Lamb | Photo: Arianna Auber]

The information enabled the beer to meet Chris’s killer standards. Treaty Oak is now availing their line of craft casks including Bright Side Blonde Ale, the Lil’ Hop Session IPA and the Fitzhugh Ale (a British mild). Their ABVs may be low, but the brews are balanced between individual ingredients. The Mandarina hops, Chris’s Heaven he considers to be “a wonderful sun-kissed orange flavor bomb.”

“The goal with all of (the beers) was to be extremely sessionable, like the current trend, so they’re all between 3 ½ and 5 ½ percent ABV,” Lamb said.
In time, Treaty Oak’ll unload 27,500 cases of beer a year. And with two, incoming fermenters, there will probably be more mash.

Their first, three ales are only on draft now, but the brewery’s looking to can these casks in March. New batches are already in the works, but Lamb’s focused on solidifying the suds they have now.

“Once we get our feet underneath us, we will definitely do seasonals,” Lamb said. “Maybe a saison, maybe a maibock in the spring. It’s so early to say. But once we have details ironed out on the production side, I can slip away and do all these experimental things, which I really want to do.”

Visitors will experience a variety of experimentation—all the while spirits and brews are being aged in barrels. Be on the lookout for Treaty Oak taking over taps and meet-the-brewer events at area bars. The best thing about the whole shebang is prospective retailers already wanting to try out Treaty Oak, as they already established a spirited reputation.

“Having that name recognition in all the bars around the state, it’s like, ‘Oh, yeah, sure.’ A lot of accounts have signed up without even tasting it,” Lamb said.



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