Meet Your Local Breweries


Exploring Craft Breweries near Kyle, Texas

The Texas craft beer movement is spilling over to Hays County and we couldn’t be more grateful. As summer temperatures rise, what could be better than a crisp, locally-brewed beer to cool down? If you’re feeling adventurous, Plum Creek is only a short trip away from some of the most popular craft breweries in Central Texas, and there’s no better time than summertime to get to know your local breweries!

Independence Brewing Co.

Independence Brewing Co. has been brewing full-flavored, handcrafted beers for the people of Texas since 2004, and is a short 20 minute drive up I-35 from Plum Creek. Brewery tours happen on the first Saturday of each month from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets are $10 and include three beer samples and live music. In addition, the tasting room is open every Friday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Choice beer for summer? The White Rabbit White Ale is a medium-bodied brew that provides a crisp and slightly fruity finish. Subtle hints of orange zest make this beer the perfect refreshment for summertime heat.

Independence Brewery Co.
Photo courtesy of Independence Brewery Co.

(512) Brewing Company

Also 20 minutes up I-35 from Kyle and Plum Creek is the (512) Brewing Company. Its beers are made with Austin’s own mineral rich water, and the microbrewery strives to use as many local, domestic and organic ingredients as possible. One-hour brewery tours take place on Saturdays starting at 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 and include a (512) souvenir pint glass and beer tastings. RSVP online for a spot.

Choice beer for summer? The refreshingly light and crisp (512) Wit is easily enjoyed in the Texas heat. Look out for the (512) White IPA as well, a summer ale to be released in early July.

(512) Brewing Company

Photo courtesy of (512) Brewing Company

Thirsty Planet Brewing Company

Thirsty Planet is another South Austin brewery that believes in brewing with a purpose. They incorporate sustainable practices into their brewing process and support charities with a portion of their beer sales. Tours take place every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and food is available for purchase. Tours are free, but you need to reserve a spot online.

Choice beer for summer? The Yellow Armadillo is a light American-style wheat beer that is crisp, refreshing and perfect for hot summer days. Light notes of citrus add a clean finish to this Texas ale. And a portion of Thirsty Goat’s sales from Yellow Armadillo Wheat goes to a local cancer research and support foundation.

Thirsty Planet
Photo courtesy of Thirsty Planet Brewing

Bomber Brewery (Coming Soon!)

Bomber Brewery is the newest addition to the Hays County craft beer scene. The small, two barrel brewery will include the use of solar power, wind power and rainwater collection in the brewing process. It will be located just south of Kyle, Texas and is scheduled to open this July. Keep an eye out for upcoming tastings and other events!

Choice beer for summer? The Allies Irish Red Bomber is a refreshing, slightly hoppy ale that pairs well with warm weather.

Bomber Brewery
Photo courtesy of Bomber Brewery

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Labor Day Festivals and Events in Central Texas


Monday is Labor Day – meaning the end of the summer, the beginning of fall, and a three day weekend to help ease you into the season. For Central Texans, Labor Day is usually still a scorcher, but there are many things you can do to celebrate in Central Texas, either for the day or for the weekend.

About an hour and a half west of Kyle, the Kerrville Fall Music Fundraiser celebrates the spirit of songwriting and drink-making at the Quiet Valley Ranch, Friday August 30th, to Sunday September 1st. The three-day event features tastings and seminars from some of Central Texas’ premiere wineries and breweries, along with performances from a number of local and regional songwriters. Performances will take place during the days and at night; but the wine and beer booths will only be set up during the night performances, from wineries and breweries hailing from all over the state – including Fredericksburg’s Pedernales Brewing Company, Austin‘s Independence Brewing Company, Messina Hof Winery, and Becker Vineyards, among others.

Plum Creek, Kyle TX

Photo by Susan Roads, courtesy of KerrvilleMusic.com

East of Kyle, the Fayette County Fair takes place in La Grange Thursday through Sunday on the Fayette County Fairgrounds. In its 86th year, the annual festival is an iconic Central Texas event, featuring agriculture and livestock shows, live music, a beauty pageant, a BBQ cook off, carnival rides and more. Tickets to the fair are $15 and include access to everything but the carnival rides. The carnival is open every evening from 6:00 to close, and all-you-can-ride wristbands are $35. On Sunday, bring 4 canned goods for the AMEN food pantry and get $5 off the carnival wristband, too. The perfect family-friendly Labor Day activity, just a little over an hour away from Kyle.

Plum Creek, Kyle TX

Photo courtesy of The Katy News

For those who wish to stay in town this Labor Day, there are countless ways to celebrate at home, with the family and the neighbors. The Kyle Pool is open from 11-5 until Labor Day, after which it closes for the season, and, for Plum Creek residents, there is always Fergus and McNaughton Pools. Or you can have one final summer grill out with the neighbors.

 

 

Microbreweries and Brewpubs in Central Texas – For Those Hot Summer Days


Central Texas is fast becoming known for its craft and local beer scenes, and in the past decade many have cropped up in Austin and throughout the Hill Country. This summer, a nice cold locally-crafted beer offers the perfect way to cool off when the temperatures rise. And now that the Texas legislature has signed the Texas Craft Beer Bills into law, microbreweries can now sell beer on their premises to customers, as well as to wholesalers and beer distributors. This means that many microbreweries will start extending their hours, and there will be more opportunities to tour and taste craft beers from the source!

There are multiple resources for finding the best local and microbreweries around Central Texas including the Texas Craft Brewers Guild, which lists the names and locations of its members on its website, and the annual Texas Craft Brewers Festival, taking place September 28, 2013. The Austin event is the perfect opportunity to sample and try some of the best craft beers in Texas, but, until then, here are some local breweries, micropubs and other craft beer supporters in Central Texas in close proximity to Kyle.

Plum Creek, TX

Photo courtesy of Thrillist

Just outside of Wimberley, Middleton Brewing sells their own homebrewed Belgium and American style ales on Ranch Road 12. The brewpub is open seven days a week, and you can sample 5 beers in a beer flight there for only $6! They regularly host beer tasting groups, beer classes and other special events; and they’re huge supporters of the home brewing scene. In fact, they run a homebrew shop upstairs above the pub.

In San Marcos, Darkside Fermentation is a one-man nanobrewery located in the basement of the Root Cellar Café. It’s the only brewery / brewpub in San Marcos, and they specialize in Belgian-style, bottle-conditioned ales. Four beers are available there, including a gluten-free beer! The Root Cellar Café itself has robust lunch and dinner menus, and a rotating gallery of local art is featured on the walls of the restaurant!

Plum Creek, TX

Photo courtesy of Do512

A little further south, three microbreweries call New Braunfels home, the Faust Hotel & Brewing Company, the Guadalupe Brewing Company and the New Braunfels Brewing Company, while Austin and the area immediately north of Kyle is replete with places to grab a local beer. In South Austin, Jester King, Thirsty Planet, the South Austin Brewing Company and Independence Brewing Company are good options for Kyle-ites looking to trek north (but not too north) for a craft beer. Some of the breweries even have special events and tastings planned, like Groovy Sundays pictured above at the South Austin Brewing Company!

For more information about local and microbreweries in Central Texas, there are many articles and round-ups on the topic, and the aforementioned Texas Craft Brewers Festival in Austin is a great place to start as well. Tickets to the festival are now on sale online and General Admission is only $20! But remember, be safe when trekking around Central Texas in search for a good local beer. Responsible drinking is paramount. So once you’ve got your DD – cheers and happy drinking!

Plum Creek, TX

Photo courtesy of Texas Craft Brewers Festival

Rock the Porch Public Art Rocks Kyle


Plum Creek, TX

The Tertiary Man by Negley Elementary School’s Garden Club

After months of suspense on our part, and much creativity and hard work on the part of our participating artists, Plum Creek’s Rock the Porch public art initiative is now complete and out in the community!  As of early August, thirteen Kyle-made rocking chairs were placed in locations around Plum Creek and Kyle for people to look at, appreciate and enjoy. Each chair has its own unique personality, and we love the variety of people, concepts and artistic realizations the initiative brought along.

Plum Creek, TX

Pictures of each chair, along with information about each of the participating artists is available at the Plum Creek website: www.plumcreektx.com/rocktheporch. All of the chairs are out in the community, and they’re there for you to interact with and appreciate. So send us your pictures, and tell us what you think about the chairs when you come across them in Plum Creek or in Kyle. We’d love your feedback! We’re also currently sharing information about Rock the Porch on Plum Creek’s Facebook Page, so like us to learn more about the initiative!

Plum Creek TX

The S.S. Adventure by the City of Kyle’s Parks & Rec Adventure Summer Camp

 

Celebrate the Fourth of July, Central Texas Style


July 4th is around the corner. And various cities around Central Texas have some wonderfully patriotic events planned for the big day and the weekend afterward so you and yours can celebrate our country’s independence Central Texas style – with pet parades, rodeos, art exhibits, WWII reenactments, horse racing and more.

Plum Creek and the City of Kyle have some great activities planned for 4th of July itself including a firework display at the Plum Creek Golf Course. Before the official city activities begin, though, the Golf Course is hosting a 4-person scramble Fourth of July Tournament that will start at 3 p.m. Its $38 per person to play, but this includes the green fee, cart fee, prizes, celebratory finger food and an up-close-and-personal perspective of the fireworks. Teams can register by calling the Plum Creek Pro Shop at (512) 262-5555.

Plum Creek, TX

The official City of Kyle Fourth of July celebration takes place at the golf course as well, with live music from the April Hall Band as well as food and drinks from 6-9 p.m. The event itself is free and open to the public, but all proceeds from parking ($5) and the available food stuffs will benefit the Kyle Masonic Lodge. When it gets dark enough, around 9:30 p.m., the real show begins, with fireworks launching from the PCGC driving range.

Over the Fourth of July weekend, a variety of events are taking place throughout the Hill Country, including Wimberley’s annual VFW Pro Open Rodeo, which has occurred every Fourth of July weekend for the past 68 years, and was once the largest outdoor rodeo in the world! This year’s festivities fall on Thursday July 4th through Saturday July 6th with gates opening at 5:30, the first Mutton Bustin’ at 7:00 p.m. and the rodeo taking place at 8 p.m. Rodeo events include bull riding, bareback bronc riding, steer wrestling, team roping, women’s barrel racing and more. Food and vendors are available on the grounds, and there is a dance after Friday night’s show.

Plum Creek TX

Photo courtesy of the Hill Country Current

On Saturday, Bastrop has a number of family-friendly activities including their 8th annual Pet & Pal Parade and the Bastrop Patriotic Festival. The parade begins at 10:30 a.m. and takes off from the Bastrop County Courthouse. Pets of all shapes and sizes can strut their stuff, everything from goats on leashes to bearded dragons. Judging occurs in seven categories including: the most patriotic pet, most creative pet costume, most unusual pet, best trick, best decorated pet vehicle, best pet / owner look-alike, and the best overall pet. Proceeds benefit the Bastrop County Animal Shelter. Later in the day, the Patriotic Festival occurs in Fisherman’s Park, with music by the Bastrop Community Chorus and Band beginning at 6 p.m. followed by music from the Austin Symphonic Band. People can picnic and relax in the park during the festivities, and fireworks will begin at dusk. For more information about the Bastrop Independence Day festivities, click here.

Plum Creek TX

Photo courtesy of The Gloss

Fredericksburg, – a little further away from Kyle to the west – has a number of Fourth of July festivities occurring throughout the weekend as well. On Friday night nearly a dozen art galleries in the city will stay open until 8 p.m. for the city’s First Friday Art Walk, which will feature show opening receptions, artist demonstrations, meet and greets and more. Other events throughout the weekend include concerts by Roger Creager Friday night and Saturday, multiple performances of the Fredericksburg Theater Company’s rendition to “Oklahoma” and a USO style Hangar Dance that is 1940s themed and will feature big band music from Bill Smallwood and Lone Star Swing. Even more, they’ll have WWII reenactments and two days of live pari-mutuel quarter horse and thoroughbred horse racing. More information is available at the Visit Fredericksburg website.

With all this available, in town, and to the west and the east, there are endless opportunities for authentic Central Texas fun next week and weekend to celebrate the Fourth of July.

Water Spots in Central Texas + Ways to Keep Cool AND Have Fun This Summer


It’s getting hot, hot, hot. And even though the outside temperature is rising, your body temperature doesn’t have to, with these fun, water-based ways for you, your friends and the kids to keep cool in the out-of-doors.

Central Texas is one of the most water-replete areas of the state, and with all the rivers and lakes in and around the Hill Country, there are countless watering holes to explore. In Wimberley, Jacob’s Well is one of our favorites. One of the longest underwater caves in Texas and an artesian spring, Jacob’s Well has been a beloved swimming hole for generations, and is a source of water for recharging the Edwards Aquifer. The water stays at a constant 68 degrees throughout the year, so it’s a wonderful place to cool down in the summer, too. There isn’t too much room for wading or actual swimming, but there is a rock face on the side of the well that makes a great diving board. And the hole goes 30 feet deep, so there’s no chance of diving too far.

Plum Creek, TX

Photo courtesy of Visit Wimberley

Also in Wimberley is Blue Hole, a more traditional swimming hole with changing rooms and restrooms, stone walkways in and out of the pool, and ladders for the deeper areas. The hole is shaded by mature Cypress trees, and there is a nice, grassy area across from the water that is perfect for a family picnic or for drying off in the sun. There’s a $7 entry fee – but it’s well worth it. Both Jacob’s Well and Blue Hole are less than 20 minutes away from Kyle, making them a perfect afternoon excursion for cooling off with the family or friends.

Up north in Austin, there’s the Barton Creek Greenbelt, an urban oasis of trails for running or biking and great watering spots like Campbell’s Hole, Twin Falls and Sculpture Falls. They’re really popular places for Austinites to explore, and some of them are a bit of a hike, but they’re magical natural spaces, and are great for people watching. Here’s a PDF map of the Greenbelt with details about trails, water spots and access points, courtesy of the Austin Parks & Recreation Department.

Plum Creek, TX

Photo of Sculpture Falls courtesy of Flickr

For at-home water fun for the family, there’s a lot that can be done with sprinklers, ice and the outdoor hose. Games like water limbo, splash tag and musical sprinkler freeze are great games for a crew of kids, and there’s always a traditional water balloon or water gun fight. Here’s a pretty robust list of some great water-based outdoor games for summer parties or those afternoons where your house is the place to be.

You can also have your kids play outside with ice to keep cool in the summer. Freeze action figures in blocks of ice for an icy excavation game, or make an art craft out of ice by sprinkling salt in a block of ice to melt the cracks and tunnels. Then drip liquid watercolor paint into the tunnels and see the beautiful patterns that the salt created.

Plum Creek, TX

 

Then there’s always the traditional pool action. Plum Creek has two in the neighborhood – Fergus and McNaughton – each with their own distinct personalities, and the City of Kyle’s public pool is open throughout the summer. Plus they have fun programming going on this summer, too.

So whether you want to stay in the neighborhood, in the city, or do some exploring, there’s so much to do to keep cool this summer in Central Texas. For more watering holes in the area, check out some of our past posts here.

Summer Activities in the City of Kyle


Plum Creek TX

Ahhh summertime. Lightning bugs. Lemonade. Later and later sunsets. It’s the time of year for family reunions, having fun and enjoying the great outdoors (in a pool of nice, cold water that is). The last day of school for Hays CISD students is June 5th, and, for a couple months, kids in the community are free to expend their energies playing games, exploring and having fun instead of studying for those pesky spelling tests. To help keep you and your kiddos entertained this summer, the City of Kyle has a number of fun activities available for the whole family.

The Kyle Parks and Recreation Department is the master-mind behind many of the city’s summer activities. They have youth and teen day camps available throughout the summer, to help keep the kids away from the TV and the ever addicting video games. Instead, they’ll explore new places and ideas, and will engage with other Kyle area kids through physically and mentally exciting field trips and on-site activities. Field trip destinations include Blazer Tag, Aquarena Springs in San Marcos, rollerskating, bowling and more. Breakfast and lunch will be provided at the camp too, through the Hays CISD summer feeding program. Camps run from Monday to Friday each week of the summer, from June 10th to August 9th, with the exception of the week of the Fourth of July.

Plum Creek TX

Photo courtesy of Peter French

In addition to Parks & Rec summer camps, the department is also offering special programming at the Kyle Pool this summer. The pool is open daily from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day, offering times for free swim and swimming lessons. Special night swims occurring throughout the summer including Teen Night at the Pool June 7th, Family Night June 21st, the Dive in Movie at the Pool July 26th and a Back to School Swim and Supply Drive August 9th. Each of these events takes place from 8:30 – 10:30 p.m.

Another special summer feature from the Parks and Recreation Department is the city’s monthly Movie in the Park. Four times throughout the summer, the city will erect its 282” inflatable movie screen at Gregg-Clarke Park to show a G or PG-rated movie 30 minutes after sunset for the Kyle community. The 2013 schedule includes Here Comes the Boom June 14th, Madagascar 3 July 12th, Finding Nemo (at the Kyle Pool) July 26th and Jumanji on August 16th. The movies are free and open to the public, and attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, blankets and snacks.

Plum Creek TX

Photo courtesy of the City of Kyle

The Kyle Library is also offering summer activities, including their Summer Reading Program which will take place in June and July. Registration begins Monday, June 3rd. In addition to the traditional summer reading log, the Summer Reading Program features fun, family-friendly events and activities such as the Kay Cassidy Book Scavenger Hunt, Zombie Day, Science Rocks and more. More information is available on the Kyle Library website.

We can’t forget, of course, the City of Kyle’s annual Fourth of July Firework Show, taking place at the Plum Creek Golf Course in Plum Creek. The golf course will host a golf tournament after lunch on the big day, and from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. live music, hot dogs and snacks will be available at the golf course clubhouse before the firework display.

With all these activities at your disposal from the City of Kyle, plus all the things available in Plum Creek and Central Texas in general, there’s no limit to the fun you can have this summer. Enjoy it!