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Tickets for the 5th Annual Helado Borracho are now live!

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Our annual ice cream social is back!

Dorćol Distilling + Brewing Co. hosts its annual Kinsman-soaked ice cream desserts celebration featuring local pastry chefs and restaurants from across San Antonio. There will be two awards for the night: People’s Choice – voted on by guests at the event and Critic’s Choice – a panel of judges will decide who will be named this year’s Helado Borracho!

The winner of the Helado Borracho will also have the option to ‘pop-up’ at SA Cocktail Conference 2020 with an exclusive tasting for SACC attendees!

Who (so far): Liberty Bar, Maverick Texas Brasserie, Piatti, Hoppy Monk, Il Forno, Rosella Coffee Co., Bohanan’s Prime Seafood & Steakhouse. Stay tuned for more!

Admission, $10, includes samples from all participating restaurants. Click here for tickets!

A portion of proceeds of the event benefit Contemporary Art Month San Antonio, a 501(c) 3 non profit that presents the best our community has to offer at galleries, museums, performing arts spaces, schools, artist studios and various unconventional locations around the city each March.

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Homebrewing and Perfect Timing

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A lot had to happen before Dorćol Distilling + Brewing Co. became the fastest-growing craft brewery in Texas earlier this spring.

Namely, our brewer and owner Randy Ward, had to fall in love with beer, and for that story, we have to hop onto the way-back machine and take a trip to the early 90s.

A fresh graduate of Angelo State at the time, Randy was working for Amoco Oil in Houston, where he lived with his better half Stephanie. While attending church in H-town, Randy met a dude who made his own beer at home, and his curiosity was piqued.

“I had time. I was working 7:30 to 4:30 every day and was bored with that,” Randy said.

That Christmas, Stephanie gifted Randy his own rudimentary home brew kit complete with a 5-gallon bucket and a bottle capper from the only homebrew store in the state at the time. Randy started brewing using beer kits, but eventually graduated to an all-grain system. They eventually moved to Alvin, where Randy put together a decent homebrew operation, and formulated a porter recipe we currently call the HighWheel Porter. He started competing in homebrew competitions — and winning. He took home a Best in Show for his American pilsner in Clear Lake’s Lunar Rendezbrew Homebrew Competition.

But life happens. Son Zach was born in ‘96, Steph started her Ph.D. program at the University of Houston, and Randy started an MBA tract in 1997 at Rice University.

“Homebrewing was set on the back burner,” Randy said.

When laws began to change — allowing brewpubs to open — Randy considered leaving oil and gas to pursue his dreams of opening a brewery of his own.

Because of his relationships within Rice, Randy was able to sit down with another local brewer in the early 2000s. Brock Wagner, one of the founders of Saint Arnold, dissuaded that effort, for the best.

“It turned out to be fortuitous. My career blossomed…and every brewery that opened within a 5-year period of that time went out of business,” Randy said. At the time, legislation had caps on beer, food, and distribution made it difficult for small Texas breweries to succeed.

After 20 years in oil and gas, and having relocated to San Antonio for Stephanie’s work at St. Mary’s University, Randy still had the brewing bug. With retirement in sight, Randy dusted off the brewery idea.

“Laws had changed. It was more favorable. I went out and bought more equipment and converted part of our three-car garage in Fair Oaks into a legitimate brew system to see if I could brew quasi-commercially, and I could,” said Randy.

He hopped around the country gaining more knowledge, first at the Siebel Institute of Technology, then at breweries in Maine and California.

He decided to shoot his shot and start looking for commercial real estate, while also being a part of the first beverage cohort through Launch SA’s Break, Fast & Launch program. Each group ends in a show and tell where entrepreneurs pitch their ideas and companies to would-be investors. It was at the end of the first food cohort, where Randy met Boyan and Chris.

And the rest is history…




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What's Serbian for Ranch?

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Even if you’ve never made your way to West Texas, the chances you’ve heard of or tasted Ranch Water are pretty high.

Made popular by Gage Hotel and Marfa-goers, Ranch Water is a classic Highball that combines tequila, lime juice and soda water. These days, regulars and fans of Kinsman are ditching tequila in favor of a little apricot sweetness.

“One of my favorite drinks is Kinsman Rakia, Topo, and lime because it’s very refreshing and very drinkable on a hot day. It’s super approachable for someone that has never tried Rakia, but you can also clearly taste the flavor of the spirit,” said Kalyn Davidson.

While Kinsman can be found as far west as The Black Orchid in El Paso, there should be little stopping you from trying this tipple at home with your favorite un-aged apricot brandy. Grab a bottle from Twins, Spec’s, Pig Liquors or Alamo City Liquors and enjoy the rest of your summer!

What’s Serbian for Ranch? A Kinsman Highball.

Makes 1

1 1/2 ounces Kinsman Rakia

Juice of half a lime

Topo or your favorite soda water

Combine Kinsman, lime and ice in a shaking tin. Shake well. Pour into Collins glass and top with crushed ice. Top with soda water of choice and enjoy!

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Like us on Untappd!

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After three years of self-distributing HighWheel brews across San Antonio and beyond, beer drinkers can finally like our beers on Untappd!

In the platform, beer fans are able to check in and give us real-time feedback on our beers. That’s why we’re asking fans of HighWheel to jump on the bandwagon and give our venue (Dorćol Distilling + Brewing Co.) and our brewery (Dorćol Distilling + Brewing Co.) a follow!

We’ll keep you posted on all things HighWheel, including upcoming beers and releases and any other fun events we host at Dorćol Distilling + Brewing Co.

Make sure to rate us wherever you go, and keep those 5-star reviews coming! It helps folks find our beers and helps us keep making beers you love!

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The Rim Gets Ready to Rock (and Rye)

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The Rim Shopping Center has been an evolving project since its inception. And a new bar is looking to indoctrinate its denizen into the realm of world-class cocktails.

Bar veteran Don Marsh, most well-known for Southtown’s Bar 1919 at the Blue Star Art Complex, is heading straight up I-10 to open Rock and Rye, a new craft cocktail spot set for late 2019 named after the barroom staple that adds hard candy to young rye to mellow out the sting.

The plan was always to open another concept up north, said Don, who shared details of the new bar over a bowl of noodles at a neighboring restaurant. “I wanted to bring what's going on in Downtown and SouthTown up north, and always, always wanted to come up to The Rim,” said Don. “This is the new central part of San Antonio.”

Though Rock and Rye will rely on the magic that made Bar 1919 a great speakeasy — Don’s signature love of dark wood and old grandeur — bar-goers can also expect a sprawling patio to greet them for the night.

Inside, the 3,500-square-foot space will feature 10 four-top tables along the side wall, and three large community tables that will accommodate up to 10 guests each. In other words, get ready to make some new bar friends.

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Rock and Rye’s size will also allow for twice as many bottles and then some with Don hoping to eventually reach 3,000 on display, and this will, of course, include Kinsman Rakia. The pièce de résistance? A 12-foot backbar complete with sliding ladders. Classic cocktails from Bar 1919 will make the trek, as well as a 20-tap craft beer system with four HighWheel brews.

“I get that question a lot, “Do you support local?,” said Don. “ Yeah, if they're good.”

As to who will frequent Rock and Rye, Don says regulars will visit, but the built-in clientele afforded by The Rim and its neighboring apartment complexes will become the bulk of bar-goers looking for a new cocktail experience.

“There is so much traffic around here,” Don said. “Rock and Rye will be a grown-up’s playground!”

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Like Bar 1919 did with neighboring SouthTown bars, Rock and Rye will elevate the drinking scene when it hits the Rim this winter.

“I love analogies … when a bunch of dogs get together for the first time, they're stressed out, you know why? They don't know who the alpha is. Once they find out, “Cool, you're in charge, I’m good,” said Don. “We're the alpha. We're going to show guests what they're drinking.”

Get ready to Rock (and Rye) from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday this next shopping season.

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A Visit to the Hoppy Monk

Ricardo Ruiz and Brittany Dinhobl of Hoppy Monk

Ricardo Ruiz and Brittany Dinhobl of Hoppy Monk

It takes a certain kind of company to open a beer depot with locally sourced beers and foods, but that’s exactly what Hoppy Monk did when they first opened their doors in El Paso, and later replicated that same magic in a completely new city while still offering independent breweries a spot on their taps and offering the public a solid menu of high-quality bar snacks and more.

These days, the Hoppy Monk keeps the Northside’s thirst for quality craft beer sated with an enviable wall of beer taps, and food made with ingredients sourced from independent farmers. It’s that attention to detail that helped draw the staff to Dorćol.

When co-owner Joseph Valenzuela began exploring San Antonio, he was introduced to our little tasting room on South Flores by friends, and he shared his newfound spot with his staff. As manager Ricardo Ruiz recalls, “he turned us on to this little bar called Dorćol, it was when Nick was working there, and started going and really enjoying rakia. We were floored by the fact that there’s no other spirit there, and that y’all were making lots of cocktails.”

Ricardo and Joseph brought Kinsman onto their opening menu at Hoppy Monk, and since then, the spirit has remained a favorite.

Betty and the De Pêche Mode

Betty and the De Pêche Mode

And we’re not just saying that. The De Pêche Mode, a peachy concoction created by bartender and manager Brittany Dinhobl, is currently back on their Greatest Sips menu, a collection of fan-favorite cocktails. Brittany, who started at Hoppy Monk in 2015 and has served just about every position available since, combined the Kinsman with Aperol, lemon juice, and Pêche peach liqueur for a winning combination that’ll sneak up on you.

“It’s pretty popular with the ladies,” Brittany said.

It’s not just Kinsman that gets all the love. The Pale Horse cocktail features 2 ounces of Betty, Scotch, lemon and honey.

“Betty is always easy to talk about. It’s such a good, light beer,” Brittany said.

Randy often sits down with Pedro Longoria, part-owner of Hoppy Monk, whenever he’s got a new brew in the works. New menus are often collaborative efforts between staff members to try and get things right, and this extends to events, on and off-site.

Take for instance our annual Helado Borracho competition that tasks participating bars and restaurants with creating San Antonio’s official, Kinsman-infused ice cream. Hoppy Monk’s kitchen staff works closely with Britt and Ricardo to nail creative and creamy desserts. After winning People’s Choice and Critic’s Choice during the inaugural event, the Hoppy Monk is ready to bring the trophy back home.

Whether you’re looking for your new favorite sipper, or you’re hoping to try one of Dorćol Distilling + Brewing Co.’s latest brews, Hoppy Monk should be on your list.

“They picked Stone Oak because they wanted to put a stamp in this area especially with it being family-friendly out here. UTSA is not too far away so we have everything from frat kids, to people in their 70s out for date night,” Brittany said. “Whatever the case, we cater to everybody.”




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Meet Our Take on The Painkiller

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This April, we stretched our creative muscles behind the bar and added four limited-run cocktails that highlight the versatility of Kinsman Rakia.

We tackled strong and boozy with the Arsenic + New Lace, dabbled in herbaceous with a Bijou, and added froth with a Pink Lady, but the most popular tippler by far has been our Kinsman-based Painkiller.

We traded rum for nuanced Kinsman Rakia, while still keeping the traditional tiki vibes with fresh pineapple juice and orange juice, silky coconut cream and a light dusting of freshly grated nutmeg.

The Kinsman pairs exceedingly well with the citrus and tropical flavors making this a hard-to-beat patio pounder that transports you to the Virgin Islands without leaving SoFlo.

Come try one in our tasting room Thursday, Friday or Saturday starting at 5 p.m.

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A Summer Stout Release

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This past January, head brewer Randy Ward released our highest ABV beer yet with the Russian Imperial Stout, modeled after dark beers crafted by the English to export to Russia in the early 18th century. Story has it that once Empress Catherine II got a taste for the imported stout, which known for its durability and endurance as it made its way across the Baltic into Russia, the brew solidified its place in history.

And after several months in a port barrel, the RIS is back for more.

Flavor notes include chocolate, roast, and coffee, as well as fig, raisin, and prune contributed by the port. 

“It starts with a port like boozy nose, but finishes on the palate complex and balanced,” Randy said.

Try it for yourself this June! We’re releasing it in the taproom on June 14 so come by for a pour and a few surprises.

70 IBU, 9% ABV, 71 SRM.

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Summers at the Coast: Balkan Edition

Baby Boyan!

Baby Boyan!

Texan summers mean the occasional day-trip to the coast, or if you’re lucky, a whole week’s worth of frolicking in the sands of Port Aransas, Rockport or South Padre Island.

And for Boyan and brother Mirko, life wasn’t all that different growing up in bustling Belgrade.

Each summer, as the school year came to a close, the boys would often be pulled out of school early because of their excellent grades. They’d board an overnight train heading west to the coastal town of Šibenik. From there, they’d head to the small village of Gulin to a two-story home hand-built by their grandfather.

Texan childhoods might bring to mind ice chests on the beach and casual barbecues in the backyard, and again, this wasn’t that far removed.

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Boyan and Mirko, along with their cousins, would wake up to farm-fresh eggs followed by a day of adventuring. Whether it was digging holes to “make a swimming pool,” tending to the chickens out back, or helping great-grandma swat flies away from the fresh catch of the day using branches off the Kostela tree (otherwise known as a Mediterranean hackberry). Trips to the river would often include fishing for the next’s day’s lunch. When fishing didn’t pan out, a fishmonger would drive up to the house in his Renault 4 selling iced down srdela fish (similar to sardines) for that day’s lunch or dinner.

The months would go on to include trips into Šibenik proper to take in the rocky beaches, or drives down to Krka National Park where the family would set up day camps and swim in the Krka River.


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Though a black and white television did reside within the walls of the house, there was too much exploring to do and the occasional chores, as well, like fetching wine from the cellar to fill the table’s wine balloon, tending to the tomato garden for the day’s salad, or picking figs off the backyard’s fig tree.

It would all lead to summertime feasts of fresh tomato and cheese salads, homemade Dalmatian pršut (prosciutto), lepinja baked daily, and savory soups, followed by the main course: the catch of the day.

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Relationship-Building at Clementine

Courtesy of Clementine.

Courtesy of Clementine.

After making a splash in the San Antonio dining scene this past year, the staff at Clementine isn’t going to start resting on their laurels now.

That would be too easy.

Instead, owners John and Elise Russ leaned into the hustle of it all, adding a second baby girl to the mix, while still maintaining their place as one of San Antonio’s premier eateries.

For John, that includes making sure the guest experience is exactly what they wanted it to be since day one. That includes catering to a different audience than they might have initially expected, especially after John and Elise’s days on the San Antonio Riverwalk in dining rooms such as Lüke and Biga on the Banks.

Courtesy of Clementine.

Courtesy of Clementine.


Instead, the Castle Hills audience is a discerning one that wants to pair incredible wines with equally jaw-dropping dishes.

“My struggle as a chef has been not playing to that card, and remembering they came in here in the beginning for a reason,” John said.

It’s easy enough to build those connections. John and Elise are both stationed at the entrance of their open kitchen, which serves as both stage and prep area.

“A lot of it is listening to our guests, watching what they order, and seeing how much — if any — comes back to get thrown out or boxed up,” John said.

Listening to their audience also means knowing when to pull back. Initially, the couple and general manager Patrick Frasier carried bottled and canned beers from across the state, along with a few HighWheel brews. But when sales pointed to a wine-drinking audience, Betty stayed where others did not.

“I traveled to Germany in 2006 for a few months and gained a solid 30 pounds because I was drinking kölsch and eating donner kebab,” John said. “When kölsch beers started coming out in America, I never found one that tasted like what I had in Köln, where kölsch beers are from until I had the Betty.”

He credits Dorćol Distilling + Brewing’s commitment to “making something right” for why he stuck with Dorćol’s Betty, and some of her rotating beer cousins.

“It’s not an interpretation, you’re not trying to recreate the wheel. You’re trying to get something perfect.”

John also knows he can rely on Dorćol’s staff.

“I can call them and ask for a keg, and it doesn’t mean I’ll definitely get it that night, but I know they’ll do whatever they can to get it done,” John said. “It’s not about getting paid, but about the relationship you create where there is integrity, respect and loyalty.”

Those tenets are extended to the Castle Hills neighborhood where Clementine opened its doors that’s home to several faiths. This April, Clementine offered a unique Passover menu with gluten-free options, and included kosher wines to their varied wine list.

Courtesy of Clementine.

Courtesy of Clementine.


Respect, integrity and loyalty also play a part in both front and back-of-the-house staffs, which have seen little change in the past year — even with John and Elise’s kitchen rules.

“We demand a lot. We do all of our prep and that kitchen is not big,” John said. “With our servers and food runners, we try to remind them the difference between being hospitable and being gracious, and we always want to be both.”

CLEMENTINE

2195 NW Military Hwy., (210) 503-5121.

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HighWheel Coq Hardi Wins Bronze at L.A. Beer Competition

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The name is tongue in cheek, but this win certainly is not.

HighWheel Coq Hardi earned a bronze at this year’s Los Angeles International Commercial Beer Competition this April.

Of the 1,520 entries from 244 breweries hailing from across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, HighWheel Coq Hardi was only bested by the Beachwood BBQ-Long Beach’, Un Atout and the 2kids Brewing Company’s Rocket Powered Geese, which won gold and silver, respectively.

HighWheel Coq Hardi is one of Dorcol Distilling + Brewing’s year-round offerings, and was one of the original four beers made by head brewer and co-owner Randy Ward. Coq Hardi, named after the Walloon flag, is a traditional saison.  This food friendly beer is made with a strain of yeast from a well respected saison brewery in the Walloon region of Belgium.  

“The yeast strain, coupled with the simple malt bill and combination of two different hops, gives this beer a crisp flavor with notes of clove, pepper, and bubblegum,” said Ward.

Get a taste for this distinctive brew in our taproom at 1902 S. Flores St., Bar 1919 and SoHill Cafe.

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Meet Supper's Violeta

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Spring is here and so are the spring menus that come along with it. Supper, the American Eatery tucked away inside Hotel Emma at the Historic Pearl, created a new cocktail we can’t get enough of.

Created by the Supper staff, the Violeta combines Kinsman Rakia with Botanist gin, Creme de Violette, apricot and lemon for a refreshing patio cocktail that’s as awe-inspiring as it is delicious.

The cocktail also has a sweet connection to one of Supper’s bar members. Isaiah Lopez built the cocktail to honor his grandmother Violeta, who he says “always wore Violet perfume behind her ear lobes and loved gin cocktails late in the evenings while watching her soap-operas.”

“I wanted to include a nice, soft brandy (another of grandma's favorites) in my cocktail to cut the citric acid of the lemon, but yet bring out the floral notes of the Botanist gin. I chose Kinsman because I'm a huge fan of apricots and it really complimented the herbacious-ness of the cocktail, while adding a nice touch of sweet fruitiness,” Lopez said.

Enjoy a Violeta this spring.

Hotel Emma

Supper

136 E. Grayson St., (877) 524-0031

Breakfast: 7AM – 11AM

Lunch: 11AM – 3PM

Dinner: SUN-THURS 5PM – 10PM; FRI-SAT 5PM – 11PM

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Dorćol Distilling + Brewing Co. & Nina Hassele present Abstractions to Conclusions by Avi Avalos

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Opening Reception: Dorćol Distilling + Brewing Co.

Second Saturday, May 11, 2019 1902 South Flores St

7:00 pm – 10:00 pm San Antonio, TX 78204


Abstractions to Conclusions:

This work is a visual display of emotions and exploration expressed through colors line and form. The abstract with hints of impressions gradually evolve to a clear visual and literal conclusions. The work stands alone but gradually evolves into the literal and visual understanding of making art and making money.


Artist statement:

Avi Avalos is a multi disciplinary artist artist, From performance and creation of the beloved Mr Piñata San Antonio character, to pop art paintings sculptures and printmaking. He uses which ever media is most suitable to express his convictions and views. Consistently striving to answer the question of “what is the purpose of art in society” he purposefully makes his work to communicate and strives to have a positive impact on the viewer. Avi lives and works in San Antonio Texas and his work has been admired from the streets of NYC to Art Basel Miami and Mexico


Show Run:

May 11, 2019 - July 6, 2019

Dorćol Distilling + Brewing Co. hours:  

Thursday 5pm – 10pm

Friday 5pm – Midnight

Saturday 5pm  – 1am


For more information and private viewings contact Nina Hassele at (210) 630-0235

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Stop, Collaborate + Listen: Our Ranger Creek Collab!

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Brewers have to stick together. That’s why we invited our friends at Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling to join us for a collaboration brew this spring.

After a San Antonio Beer Week meeting at Ranger Creek, Randy and Ranger Creek brewer Holland Lawrence chatted about brews they wanted to try their hands on. Conversations on sours…well, soured, but they turned their attention to Belgium.

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Randy and Daniel teamed up with Holland and brewer’s assistant Zach Wolfe this past April to create the latest HighWheel Small Batch release, a Belgian Dubbel using a traditional Trappist strain of yeast and Belgian candy sugar. To put a twist on the classic abbey brew, Randy and Holland infused the beer with a mix of sweet and tart cherries.

Brew day involved an early morning start, breakfast tacos, lots of coffee, pizza, and “studiously watching the brew,” per Randy.

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The result is a rose-hued beer with notes of fig and cherry with a nice Belgian funk on the back end.

Find it at Dorćol Distilling + Brewing Co. and select tap rooms across San Antonio.

18 IBU, 7.9% ABV, 22 SRM

Make sure to check in on Untappd and give us a 5-star review!

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It Started with a Still

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When Boyan and Chris set out to open Dorćol Distilling Company (we weren’t brewing just yet), the first step was easy. The guys needed a still, and a coppersmith was practically extended family.

They connected with Nenad Poparić, a family friend and still maker based out of Novi Sad, Serbia, a city just an hour north of Boyan’s boyhood home in Belgrade. 

Nenad, a second generation coppersmith has been making stills all his life. He crafted similar still used by Boyan’s paternal grandfather (known as deka to the boys) and was commissioned the task of creating Dorćol’s hand-crafted, direct-heat copper still. 

Just as Dorćol Distilling was a family endeavor, so was crafting its still. Nenad made the 400-liter traditional European copper still alongside his son Igor, a third generation still maker. Dorćol’s still became the first of its kind to bare both still makers’ seals at its head. 

Tools of the trade found inside Nenad’s Novi Sad shop…

Tools of the trade found inside Nenad’s Novi Sad shop…

The still left Novi Sad in December of 2012 and made it to the port of Houston a month later in January 2013 with short stops along the way in the Croatian port city of Rijeka and Egypt. Since then, the still’s been responsible for distilling 17,000 liters of low-wine of our first product, the award-winning Kinsman rakia, a delicately balanced spirit filled with character and aroma. The small still is responsible for another 40,000-plus liters of grape-brandy and single-malt whiskey that’s yet to be put on the market. 

Given Kinsman’s popularity, and our passion for creating amazing spirits, a second still was commissioned to the Poparićs in April of 2017 and was completed in October of the same year. The 750-liter still No. 2 made it to the States in January of 2018, complete with a few custom design tweaks that accommodate our production process. 

Boyan, Nenad, Chris, Nick Kenna and Igor in Serbia, September 2017.

Boyan, Nenad, Chris, Nick Kenna and Igor in Serbia, September 2017.

This 2019, we’re banking on two stills being better than one!

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Sooner or Lager: We're making a Pils!

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Spring has sprung at the warehouse, but while we’re enjoying the mild temperatures, Randy’s thinking ahead to those sweltering South Texas days. As such, he created our first HighWheel lager, a golden yellow Czech-style number that’ll keep you cool as the temperatures keep climbing.

This time, Randy leaned into the pils, named after the Czech city of Plzen and known for its crisp, clean finish. Using traditional Czech hops, he delivered a 5.9 percent ABV pale lager with mild bitterness, that’ll rival Betty with its refreshing and easy-drinking quality. Come try one in the tasting room starting April 26!

IBU:  30, ABV: 5.9%, color: 3.8 SRM


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The Return of the Cucumber Collins

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Spring is ALMOST here, and we can already taste it. As such, the Cucumber Collins is making a menu comeback!

Crafted by Dorćol Distilling + Brewing Co.’s former bar creative Nick Kenna, the Cucumber Collins takes a spicy turn with the addition of a habanero simple syrup, while staying refreshing as ever with Kinsman Rakia, fresh cucumber juice and a splash of Topo Chico. It’s finished off with a light dusting of Trechas chile-sugar mix.

Come try one of these classics for yourself and stay tuned for more springtime cocktails in the coming weeks!

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On Transforming the Broadway Corridor: Jeret Pena, The Brooklynite's Future + More

Stephan Mendez, Jeret Pena and Rob Gourlay of The Boulevardier Group

Stephan Mendez, Jeret Pena and Rob Gourlay of The Boulevardier Group

One of the first barmen ever to test out Kinsman Rakia in cocktails in our very own taproom will open what is undoubtedly the city’s most anticipated new bar later this summer.

But this isn’t Jeret Pena’s first rodeo. After he helped open The Esquire Tavern in 2011, before moving on to open The Brooklynite in 2012, Pena has kept plenty busy and he’s learned a lot along the way. When the chance to lease a new space for the award-winning Brooklynite came up, he couldn’t pass it up. Not this time.

“Where The Brooklynite will be is where we wanted it to be from the beginning,” Pena said.

The appeal of opening his own craft cocktail bar superseded wanting to take on the higher rent of the Broadway corridor, which has seen enormous growth in the last five years. Pena and The Boulevardier Group leased the Brooklynite’s original location off Brooklyn Ave. and quickly turned it into a must-visit bar for the area, drawing plenty of national attention for their inventive cocktails, raucous Tiki Tuesdays and attention to detail.

Other bars would follow: Stay Golden Social House, The Last Word, The Old Main Assoc. (the latter would eventually close). Stay Golden, the casual patio bar with accessible porch-sippers, closed in 2017, only to open as Still Golden Social House, which Pena likens to an anarchist punk who grew up and went to college.

“It went off and got a degree, but it’s still kind of that punk kid. It’s a teenager that grew up,” Pena said.

Still Golden’s success, which he credits to its affordability and comfort level, have paid off enough to mean the barman can get back into cocktails.

“I didn’t want to let go of The Brooklynite. It (and Chris Hill at the Esquire) are what brought us here and put us on the map. We got tattoos of the damn thing!” Pena said.

After closing this past February, The Brooklynite will reopen behind Still Golden Social House at the intersection of Broadway and Grayson with a new look, and a re-imagined love of cocktails.

“It’s going to look timeless. The old Brooklynite looked like a period piece, a little doll house from the early 20th century,” Pena said. “We’re going with something more timeless you won’t be able to pin-point with Mid-century and splashes of art deco, Herringbone flooring, demascus wallpaper.”

Pena will lean on eau de vie, or unaged fruit brandies, for some of his creations.

“It’s a lot like math for me. If you can consolidate the strength of the spirit with its main flavor profile, like in Kinsman, you’re able to add modifiers and develop the complexity of the drink,” Pena said.

“That’s what I like about Kinsman — it’s a strong spirit and it puts that apricot flavor on center stage.”

Look for The Brooklynite to open with cocktails prices between $12-$18, for all to enjoy.

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FeBREWary Updates

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This January, we released our heftiest ale yet — our HighWheel Russian Imperial Stout.

For February, Randy took it down a notch with an American Brown Ale, released during our GroundDog Day celebration on February 2 (Groundhog Day, get it?). This was only the third-ever HighWheel American Brown Ale.

This malty beer with an American hop presence clocked in at 30 IBUs, 6.1 percent ABV , and 19 SRM. Ask for it at Piatti Eilan, all Big Hops locations, Stout House, Dignowity Meats, St. Joseph’s Hall, The Point Park & Eats and 502 Bar.

Or stop by Dorćol for a taste, and while you’re here, sample our core lineup (Betty Kölsch, Coq Hardi Saison, 56 IPA, Porter, Hefeweizen, Irish Red Ale and Extra Pale Ale), as well as our HighWheel Small Batch series (Russian Imperial Stout, and Black Kölsch).

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Mardi Paws Takes Over Dorćol Distilling + Brewing on February 23

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This February 23, we’re celebrating all things pets with our friends at 4 Paws Animal Hospital.

From noon to 4 p.m., we’re hosting a Mardi Paws Block Party and closing a portion of LaChapelle Street to welcome pet-supply vendors with treats, the latest in pooch and kitty fashions and pet-friendly services. Ten percent of the bar’s proceeds will benefit the Animal Defense League of Texas.

There will be treats aplenty for all the humans as well, as we welcome Third Coast Kitchens (the restaurant group behind The Cookhouse, NOLA Brunch, and Bud’s Rotisserie) for an authentic crawfish boil; fresh-fried beignets from market-favorite The Beignet Stand; and whimsical milkshakes from Honeysuckle.

Leashed and well-behaved pets are invited to don their best Nawlins-inspired ensembles for our pet parade, emceed by local fashion guru and former Express-News staff writer Michael Quintanilla.

Join us for Heritage Ranch pet food samples from our friends at H-E-B; giveaways from Rudy’s Feed Store; training demos by Stephanie Garza of Pup, Pup and Away; fun games from See Spot Run Pet Sitting, pet ambassadors from the Animal Defense League of Texas, Kinsman-filled FURRICANES, and more!

Noon-4pm, Saturday, February 23, Dorćol Distilling + Brewing Co., 1902 S. Flores St.

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