Saturday, December 11, 2021

Johnson County Distillery taps house beers in Cleburne

Johnson County Distillery is located at 1655 S. Main St. in Cleburne (All images © Brian Brown/Beer in Big D).

Johnson County Distillery is now home to a more diverse set of offerings, as the Cleburne-based business has begun brewing and serving its own beer and cider on site.

Owned by Todd Kauffman, the distillery opened in October 2017 just on the outskirts of Historic Downtown Cleburne. Since then, the firm's flagship has been Jacob Weldon, a blended bourbon whiskey named after Kauffman's grandfather.

Now, though, patrons can enjoy a pint of house-brewed beer or cider if they're looking something different beyond the distillery's selection of spirts and custom cocktails. Created on a four-barrel system by the team of Megan Trainham and Joseph Soule, upwards of six beer and cider options are available daily, those pouring from newly-installed taps set up along the distillery's back bar.

Dirty Leg (left) is one of five selections (three beers, two ciders) currently pouring from the taps at Johnson County Distillery.

Surveying the lineup, Mixed Berry and Passion Fruit Peach ciders are on tap, along with beers by the name of Carmel Toe, Dirty Leg and C.M.P. to start. The first two, Carmel Toe and Dirty Leg, feature a pilsner malt base with additions of caramel and chocolate malt, respectively, while C.M.P. is a caramel maple porter.

Going forward, these and other recipes will come and go based on visitor feedback. Short-term, the distillery intends to add a gingerbread stout, as well as a lighter beer reminiscent of Rolling Rock - though, indications are it'll be an extra pale ale as opposed to a lager. Then long term, as you might expect given the nature of the business, bourbon barrel beers will be part of the mix as well.

As for other amenities, house-made pizzas will be on the menu beginning as soon as next week, making Johnson County Distillery a sort of one-stop shop for anyone looking to get their food and beverage fix while visiting Cleburne, whether they be in the mood for noshes paired with beer, bourbon, cider or something else.

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