The must-have Texas bourbon story gets the documentary treatment | FILM REVIEW

It’s said everything is bigger in Texas, perhaps nowhere more so than in the incredible true story of Garrison Brothers, a bespoke whiskey distillery in the humble town of Hye whose Texas bourbon is now the toast of the Lone Star State.  

“Cowboy Bourbon” is an intriguing new documentary about Dan Garrison, a dreamer who believed that authentic bourbon need not come from Kentucky.  And while bourbon is now produced in many places outside of the Bluegrass State (to be considered “bourbon” it must be distilled from at least fifty-one percent corn and aged in virgin charred American white oak barrels), Garrison was out to shift not only the bourbon market but entire perceptions.

Not only could bourbon be made in Texas, Garrison’s elixir could be a gamechanger.  For not only was Garrison facing the upturned noses pointed his way from Louisville, the market for bourbon had soured somewhat when he first set the fires burning at his stillhouse.  Setting the bar even harder, the distiller was out to produce the world’s finest artisanal bourbon.

Did it work out?  If the opening scene of cars backed up outside the distillery house for miles awaiting a fresh batch is any indication, most certainly.  

This fascinating tale of American success comes to us from Emmy-winning directors Daniel Mecey and Chet Garner, the latter who hosts the Texas travel show “The Daytripper.”  “Cowboy Bourbon” recently played at the Hill Country Film Festival, where it was awarded “Best Texas Film.”  More screenings are upcoming at the Georgetown Film Festival as well.  (Go to for more information.)

After watching the documentary I was inspired to add a bottle to my home bar.  Sure, it set me back a pretty penny, but the story behind its extraordinary genesis is priceless. 

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