Award-winning brews, Hill Country views, and a local mindset make Vista Brewing a unique taste of Texas
Vista Brewing is a destination brewery in the beautiful Hill Country town of Driftwood, just southwest of Austin. The 21-acre ranch includes a brewery & Tasting Room, a farm-to-table restaurant, a 1-acre organic farm, an apiary, live music, and multiple private event spaces. Vista’s beer program celebrates traditional recipes using Hill Country ingredients, with a range of styles including easy-drinking beer garden brews, unique collaboration projects, and an award-winning wine barrel aging program. They strive to source all our base malt from Texas, which along with their own well water gives Vista brews a unique Texas terroir.
Karen and Kent Killough set their sights on building a destination where both locals and visitors can experience all the Texas Hill Country has to offer after falling in love with its rolling hills, beautiful trees & wildflowers and out-of-this-world sunsets. They created the Vista destination out of their mutual love for local craft culture, obsession with high-quality and sustainably-produced food and drink, and passion for the beautiful Texas Hill Country. They were influenced by their travels around the world, especially their time living abroad in the United Kingdom where they fell in love with the “country pub”. Kent and Karen strive to connect and collaborate with talented local partners and hope that Vista will connect guests in a deep and meaningful way to the world around them.
Karen oversees Vista Brewing’s marketing and is also the resident beekeeper. Karen is a member of the Austin chapter of the Pink Boots Society, the Austin chapter of Les Dames d’ Escoffier and sits on the Board of the Texas Craft Brewer’s Guild.
Kent Killough is a fourth-generation Texan who grew up in the Austin area. Kent’s responsibilities at Vista generally include thinking big thoughts and managing company finances and expansion. He’s also the number one taste tester. Problem-solving is an everyday thing for the co-founder, and so is protecting Vista’s 641 beautiful trees.
Kent sits on the Tourism Advisory Board for the Dripping Springs Visitors Bureau, the Legislative Committee of the Texas Craft Brewer’s Guild and is active with the Hays County Friends of the Night Sky.
When the Killoughs are not at Vista, the couple can be found spending time with their nine-year-old son and six-year-old twins, discovering new Austin restaurants, traveling to experience new cultures or spending Sunday afternoons in the Vista beer garden listening to live music.
Vista’s mission is to positively influence how their guests live their lives, seeking beauty and quality experiences every day through food, drink, education and nature. Local sourcing is a core tenant of their business across brewing, food, merchandise, and more. All of their brewing grain comes from a Texas-based craft malt house, and they work with local ranchers to repurpose spent grain to feed livestock. Their main rancher partner is just 5 miles down the road from their Driftwood home, and this beef in turn comes back to their restaurant – as one of the best burgers in the Texas Hill Country!
Their restaurant purchases from local, family-owned food purveyors such as ranchers, bakeries, cheesemakers, mushroom growers, and more while the majority of their vegetables come from their own onsite farm. Whenever there is an excess harvest, they offer fresh veggies for sale onsite & at the local farmer’s market and also donate excess produce to the Hays County Food Bank.
“We hope that by keeping the money in our local food economy, we are improving it,” Killough says. “We hope that by marketing and showing food sources on our menu, we are shifting the visitor’s mindset about where their food comes from.” The Killoughs seek to engage with the local community in their weekly participation in the Dripping Springs Farmer’s Market and by educating guests and school groups in tours of their farm & apiary. They also launched a monthly Farmer’s Happy Hour at Vista, piloting the first meeting of Dripping Springs area farmers & ranchers.
The thoughtfulness and care behind their products is strongly vetted by the community. Vista Brewing was named “Best New Brewpub in Austin” by the Austin Beer Guide in 2018, “Brewery of the Year” from CultureMap Austin in 2019, and Best of ATX by Austin Monthly in 2021. Vista won “Best Limited Release Beer” from the Austin Beer Guide for two years in a row for Rosanna (2018) and Stonewall (2019). Dark Skies carries a US Beer Open gold medal. Stonewall, Dark Skies, and Hive Mind were awarded the national Good Food Award, which takes into account local sourcing of ingredients and sustainable business operations.
For updates and news from Vista, follow them on social media @vistabrewing
They will be hosting Outside the City Limits music festival on 10/29, which will feature local artists, & guest vendors all in a family-friendly, dog-friendly, relaxed setting. Reserve your spot today at:
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