Lifestyle

Craft Distillery Opens in Fredericksburg

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All taken photos by Robert C Deming.

Fredericksburg, well known for its wineries, now has a distillery on Main Street. Todd Smajstrla, who opened Texas’ first wine bar, Lincoln Street, in 1996, and long time owner of House.Wine, has added a line of distilled liquors to the selection of fine wine which made their reputation.  The blending of a wine bar and a distillery was complicated from the regulatory point of view, but is now open at 327 West Main Street. A photo of the the original Elk Store, East of West, Texas, is in the background.

Elk Store Currently Offers 6 distinctive liquors

Elk Store Spirits

Current offerings include Charter, a prohibition-era whisky or moonshine; Platinum Rum, made from a combination of white and dark sugars, Gin, which includes 11 organic botanicals, and a unique Pecan Pie Moonshine.

Tony and Karen, regular visitors from Dallas.

Elk Store Couple

The business has had a big following among visitors and locals alike as House.Wine, but now spirits have been added to the wine selection. The original Elk Store was owned by Todd’s great-grandfather John Cyril, an immigrant from Czech speaking Moravia in 1895 who was well known for his line of liquors. Until prohibition, only men were allowed in bars. Prohibition-era speakeasies changed that, and women became regular bar patrons.

Check out the stills in the back, where all the liquor is made.

Elk Store Still

All liquors sold at the Elk Store are made in a still in the back. As a craft distillery, Todd chose the path of creating all of his liquors from scratch on the premises. These stills were custom built to create the specific liquors offered. Willie Nelson got his start playing music as a young person in a community very close to Elk, so Todd plays Willie Nelson music for the spirits as they are being crafted.

Mixologist Josh Durst serves an Old Fashioned.

Elk Store

The bar serves a wide variety of cocktails, including a popular cucumber martini and an Old Fashioned, all with prohibition era spirits.

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