In the Beginning
As with any good story (or whiskey for that matter), it all began with beer. Tommy Erwin and Ty Phelps met while working at Real Ale Brewing Company. It didn’t take long for a friendship to form, and after several years of Tommy running the lab as the microbiologist and Ty brewing as a lead brewer, the two friends decided to take a leap of faith and open their own place – a whiskey distillery. With their combined backgrounds in brewing, chemistry, biology, culinary arts, and restaurant management (to name a few), Tommy and Ty took the plunge into the world of whiskey.
The Origin of our Name
While brainstorming possible names for the distillery, we came across some old papers that showed that the land where we were building, was once called Andalusia Ranches. The name hit us instantly. The rolling hills of the Texas Hill Country are a scene reminiscent of the southern region of Spain known as Andalucia. Andalusia Whiskey Company was born.
A Family Business
Andalusia Whiskey Company was built with all hands on deck and continues to be a family venture. While Tommy and Ty were laying tile, putting up walls, collecting reclaimed wood and building the entire tasting room by hand, their wives and children were right by their sides. Their parents were there too – Ericka’s dad hand-made the beautiful mesquite bar; Tommy’s dad donated many fixtures (antique tables, old tools, telephone) that decorate the tasting room. There are too many family members (and friends) to thank! We are so grateful for their on-going support.
Ericka Phelps, a volunteer at the Blanco Library, helped fill our bookshelves in the library with tons of books and on any given day, you will find her filling bottles in our bottling room.
Leslie Erwin helped to decorate and furnish the distillery and now she manages the office, among other things.
Tommy and Leslie’s two boys, Carter and Reese, were also little helpers during the building phase. They can often be found playing in the dirt pile behind the distillery or eating popsicles.
Our commitment to the environment
Whiskey takes water – a lot of water – and as one of our most precious resources here in Texas, we knew we wanted to make sustainable choices as a business. So we consciously made the decision to put in a 56,000 gallon rain water collection tank to help us conserve as much water as possible.
Furthermore, our production facility is a zero waste facility. We feed our spent grain (grain that is left over after the mashing process) to Ty’s livestock that surround the distillery. The sheep, cattle, chickens and our llama, Dolly, all benefit from this byproduct of the distilling process.