Garrison Brothers Distillery, the first legal whiskey distillery in Texas, announced today its plans to celebrate Texas Independence Day in three big ways: The Bourbon Takeover of Texas – a two-week mixology event leading up to March 2 (Texas Independence Day); The Garrison Brothers Bourbon Brawl – a statewide bartender contest; and a 2020 vintage release of Small Batch Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey.

The Bourbon Takeover of Texas, now in its third year, quickly became an annual tradition for the Garrison Brothers team. A treat for whiskey lovers, the event consists of two weeks of 75+ distinguished bars and restaurants across the state featuring cocktail specials that include Garrison Brothers’ Small Batch Bourbon. These limited-time offerings will be available at select establishments in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio from Monday, February 17 through Friday, February 28.


Participating Austin restaurants, bars and mixologists include:

Better Half – Jason Endress

Cannon & Belle at Hilton Austin – Joshua Stock

The Cavalier – Kevin Rhodes

Chez Zee American Bistro – Diego Valenzuela

Fixe Southern House – Liam Connors

Goldie’s Sunken Bar at Austin Proper Hotel – Sarah Rahl

Here Nor There – Nikolas Zoylinos

La Condesa – Priscilla Aragon

Marker 10 Spirits and Cuisine at Hyatt Regency Austin – Lisa Ciesla

Marker 10 Spirits and Cuisine at Hyatt Regency Austin – Keeley McGlathery

Marker 10 Spirits and Cuisine at Hyatt Regency Austin – Nikolas Zoylinos

Olamaie – Sophia Massie

OTOKO + Watertrade – Ricky Cobia

The Pershing – Alex Walter

Prohibition Creamery – Francisco Sosa

Punch Bowl Social – Makenzie McClure

Sway | Rock Rose – Caitlin Hood

Sway | West Lake Hills – Bryan Reynolds

Vince Young Steakhouse – Kari Dybvig


The Garrison Brothers team will visit every participating location to taste, critique, examine, and enjoy each cocktail, considering its potential for advancement to the first round of The 2020 Bourbon Brawl presented by Garrison Brothers and Texas Monthly, a statewide, high-stakes bartender competition with a $10,000 prize.

“Our original intention was to cap participating locations at 75 but the interest from bartenders across the state was so overwhelming, we decided to open it up to a few more select individuals,” said Rob Cordes, director of marketing for Garrison Brothers Distillery.

From the 75+ locations participating in The Bourbon Takeover of Texas, 25 bartenders will be chosen to compete in the semi-final round of the bartender competition. However, their cocktails are not necessarily the key criteria for advancement; the bartender’s attitude, charm, camaraderie with customers, and concern for the well-being of their community and constituents are also factors under consideration.

The semi-final round will take place in five cities across Texas: Austin, Dallas, Ft. Worth, Houston, and San Antonio. A first place winner will be chosen at each semi-final, will advance to the finals, and the winner will take home $500. The final competition will be held in Austin on May 7th. Five bartenders will go head to head for the chance to be crowned the Bourbon Brawl 2020 Bartender of the Year and take home $10,000, their very own Single Barrel (for personal consumption only), and a complete Texas Luxury experience (details to be announced at a later date).


Bourbon Takeover of Texas

Feb 17th – Feb 28th

Houston Semi-Final

Thursday, March 26 |  Time: 6:30 – 10 pm

The Houston Event Venue | 3118 Harrisburg Blvd, Houston, TX 77003

San Antonio Semi-Final

Thursday, April 2 | Time: 6:30 – 10 pm

The Arcadian at Sunset Station | 1174 E Commerce St, San Antonio, TX 78205

Dallas Semi-Final 

Thursday, April 9 | Time: 6:30 – 10 pm

The Empire Room | 1225 N Riverfront Blvd, Dallas, TX 75207

Fort Worth Semi-Final

Thursday, April 16 | Time: 6:30 – 10 pm

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About The Author

Hayden Walker
Executive Editor | Co-Publisher

Hayden Walker is the Editor in Chief and Director of Operations for Austin Food Magazine

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