Written by Jessica T. Brown
Just outside of Austin City Limits, where the sides of the roads are lined with limestone and the trees are cascading Live Oaks, you’ll find Vista Brewing tucked away in their personal tree canopy.
When Ken and Karen Killough began to design their brewery, they looked over their historic land, full of large and lovely oak trees, and felt it was their duty to retain as many trees as possible during the breweries development. “There were originally 657 large oak, elm and juniper trees on the Vista property. They measured, marked and cataloged each and every one of them during the design process. After building a 5,000-square foot brewery, 2,500 square foot tasting room, 4,000 square foot restaurant and kitchen space, and all our roads and parking, there are still 641 of those original trees – including 22 heritage trees.” In total, there were only sixteen trees cut down during construction. “Eight elms were made into the benches in the tasting room, four live oaks were built into the family playscape, and every usable piece of the remaining wood was fashioned into serving boards, coasters, and planters around the Vista property.”
Not only have they fought to preserve their tree canopy, they continued to plant more trees to grow their urban forest. “One of those new plantings is a sapling descendent of the legendary Treaty Oak under which the “Father of Texas” Stephen F. Austin signed the boundary treaty with the Comanche in the 1830s that allowed Texas settlers to safely live south of the Colorado River”
Vista Brewing ‘s motives revolve around freshness and everything coming full circle. Their website states, “Vista’s onsite farm, apiary, orchard, foraged plants, and aquifer-fed water well enables our Brewmaster, Chef, and Farmer to work hand in hand to serve finely crafted beers, perfectly paired with seasonal menus that capture the freshest flavors of the Texas Hill Country.” During our tour through their brewery, we witnessed their words in their seemingly endless acres of trees. This year we celebrated Earth Day with Vista and we can’t wait to work together again for the future of our urban forests.
To learn more about Vista Brewing Company, visit: https://vistabrewingtx.com/