Drippin’ With Flavor in Dripping Springs

by Marika Flatt on November 5, 2021 in Food+Drink, Drink, Living Texas,

Fitzhugh Road Fits You

Once upon a time, the little town of Dripping Springs was quiet and seemed far away from Austin. Nowadays, it’s labeled itself “the wedding capital of Texas” and has hospitality written all over it. Along Fitzhugh Road, you’ll find loads of food and beverage gems to keep y’all busy all weekend, no matter what “fits you.”

Abby Jane Bakeshop

Abby Jane Bakeshop is a locally-owned bakery committed to the use of stone-milled, heritage flours in all their baked goods. Courtesy photo

Right down the dirt road from the well-known Treaty Oak Distillery sits a small bakery, full of charm and calories! Back in 2019, the property was purchased to install Barton Springs Mills. It only made sense for the owner of the mill to partner with a bakery that could utilize the 100% fresh stone-milled grains from right across the wall. It does not get fresher than that.

Abby Jane had made a name for herself as the pastry chef at a popular restaurant in Austin and developed quite the local network of foodies. Abby Jane Bakeshop opened its doors in January 2021, and has stayed quite busy since then. Only a five-minute drive from the heart of Dripping Springs, the bakery had a constant flow of traffic when we visited. Open Thursday to Sunday, they have clearly built up a following. Whether you want to enjoy something sweet or savory, you’ll find things to both fill your stomach now and items that you want to take home for later.

Think naturally leavened breads, flaky pastries, and seasonal desserts; think wood-fired pizzas, grain salads, coffee, tea, and local brews; think baking classes and a view straight into the mill room where the flour is ground — that is Abby Jane Bakeshop. Courtesy photo

If you’re feeling sweet, try the Queen P, croissant dough filled with a pecan frangipane and topped with a salted pecan caramel. We can also heartily recommend the SRSLY Chocolate Croissant, featuring hand piped SRSLY chocolate from Austin. They also offer other yummies like a cinnamon roll, sesame pomegranate cookies, seasonal sweet scones and a seasonal sweet danish which, when we were there, had honey and turmeric.

Big on farm-to-table, Abby Jane Bakeshop source their meat and ham from San Marcos and their cheese from Antonelli’s in Austin.

Texas AVA 

Randy Hester of C.L. Butaud and Rae Wilson of Wine For the People behind the bar at Texas AVA’s Dripping Springs tasting room.
Photo Heather Gallagher Photography

Two wineries have come together to form Texas AVA tasting room, Wine for the People and C.L. Butaud. (Named after his great-grandfather known for his French heritage, Butaud is pronounced ‘b y ü – tō’.) Wine for the People is exactly that, filled with a sense of place, casual like Austin, approachably-priced and accessible to all. Try their sparkling rosé called Dandy Bubbles or the Dandy Rosé. They also offer a Grower Project Sangiovese from Alta Loma vineyards in Terry County, and my favorite was their La Valentia Syrah blend from West Texas.

The sustainably produced, minimal intervention wines of C.L. Butaud are crafted by winemaker Randy Hester. Two of their most popular wines are referred to as Pa Pa Frenchy, named after his great grandfather. One of those is a white wine made from grapes from West Texas, and the other is a red wine blending grenache, cinsault and tempranillo, also from West Texas grapes. Their flagship wine, my favorite, is called Cease and Desist, which is a blend of Syrah and Tempranillo.

Texas AVA is a wine tasting room shared by C.L. Butaud and Wine For the People where you’ll sample a variety of 100% Texas wines. Pair your tasting with a gorgeous meat and cheese board from Casero. Photo courtesy Texas AVA

Enjoy a tasting flight for $25 or wines by the glass or bottle, and pair it with a gorgeous meat and cheese board from Casero, brought in from a woman-owned business out of Austin. Reserve these in advance if possible but they always have a few on hand for walk-ins.

Each wine presented at Texas AVA is a unique expression of farming and winemaking, and exhibits the shared conviction of minimal intervention in the process. Courtesy photo

Beerburg Brewing 

Head down Fitzhugh Road for the pinnacle for any beer drinker. Beerburg Brewing opened in February 2020, with Trevor Nearburg at the helm who, after a corporate career, decided to learn the craft of beer making firsthand. A graduate of Texas A&M University, his intricate research and passionate creativity is seen throughout the experience.

Beerburg Brewing is a family-owned and -operated brewpub tucked away in the Texas Hill Country, dedicated to improving the community through land conservation, responsible sourcing and thoughtful partnerships. Courtesy photo

A massive German beer hall is the centerpiece of the brewery. With eclectic artwork on the walls and open seating, it all adds to the authenticity of the experience, paying homage to Oktoberfest beer halls throughout Germany. Out back, an expansive beer garden sits under a canopy of trees, with a nearby play area for kids and a stage for live music.

Start with a flight (four beers for $12) so you can experience several beers and then pick your favorite. Year-round craft beers include an IPA, hazy IPA, pale ale, red ale, stout, pilsner, Mexican lager and their Burg light. If you’re not a beer purist like me and you’re feeling adventurous, try their Wildcraft series made from ingredients foraged from the 15-acre Beerburg and all around Texas. With his herbal training, Nearburg creates a sumac from foraged berries and other interesting beers. One such is a chocolate beer. They also source from Barton Creek Mills down the road. 

Beerburg Brewing’s year-round Hazy IPA was inspired by a recipe from the friend that first introduced Beerburg’s founder to craft beer. Courtesy photo

At Beerburg, you’ll also find wine and ciders, and housemade non-alcoholic beverages. Make sure you take the time to order from the scratch menu from Chef Ricardo Gutierrez. His in-house restaurant, La Violeta Taqueria, takes inspiration from his roots of Mexican street food. Four tacos are featured on the menu including Brisket, Cauliflower Chorizo, Smoked Ahi Tuna and Carnitas. Other delicious menu items include the Chicken Tinga Quesadillas, the Sikil P’ak (roasted pumpkin seed) and Black Bean Empanadas, Barbacoa Birria Tacos and Beef Flautas.

Inspired by Chef Ricardo Gutierrez’s roots, Taqueria La Violeta, much like Beerburg, draws from the land with sustainable practices in mind. Authentic and inspired, many of the recipes stem from Ricardo’s grandmother, who ran the kitchen at the family restaurant for over 40 years and informed his approach to cooking.
Photo courtesy Beerburg Brewing

Time for more? The area features loads of other stops for your Food and Beverage tour, including Jester King Brewery, Treaty Oaks Distillery and Last Stand Brewing Company. 

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Cover photo courtesy  Abby Jane Bakeshop

Marika Flatt, Outstanding Austin Communicator 2021, is the Travel Editor of Texas Lifestyle Magazine. She also writes the travel section of Austin Woman Magazine, can be seen on TV shows across Texas, offering travel tips, in addition to her long-running “Weekend Trip Tip” on NPR’s Texas Standard.