Wet your whistle in Llano County

Llano Craft Distillery in downtown Llano. Photo by Dakota Morrissiey/101HighlandLakes.com

Craft brews, cocktails, spirits, and wine

Unique Llano County watering holes feature spirits teasing flavors like pecan, vanilla, and citrus; locally made Texas wines; craftily concocted cocktails; and even an ale named after a Llano landmark: the Red Top Jail.

Here’s where to grab a drink in towns across Llano County:

LLANO

Llano Beer Co.

105 E. Main St. 

Open 4-8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, 2-9 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday

Llano Beer Co. on the square serves small-batch beers brewed in house, wines, meads, and an incredible selection of craft beers—over 110 with 52 on tap. Try the Red Top Jail ale if you visit. Entertainment includes weekly trivia nights, live music, and sports on TV. The brewpub has a warm, Texas Hill Country vibe. Bring the family and the dog; everyone is welcome at Llano Beer Co.  

Llano Craft Distillery

122 E. Main St. 

Open 1-8 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 1-9 p.m. Friday & Saturday; closed on Sunday

The downtown Llano distillery and tasting room takes pride in its distinctive, high-quality spirits. It also serves beautifully crafted cocktails. Entertainment includes weekly open mic nights and live music on the patio.

Joe’s Bar & Grill

107 W. Main St. 

Open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday

Enjoy the comfortable, fun atmosphere at this downtown fixture. Trivia nights, dart tournaments, and live music entertain tourists and regulars alike. Joe’s Bar & Grill has a full menu with a nice selection of food, beer, wine, and more.  

LTX Mercantile & Redneck Speakeasy

809 Berry St. 

Open 3-8 p.m. Wednesday & Thursday, noon to 10 p.m. Friday & Saturday; closed Sunday-Tuesday 

LTX in downtown Llano is proud of its redneck aesthetic. The self-proclaimed “worst” bar in Llano has a full drink selection and friendly atmosphere, which includes a backyard, live music, karaoke, pool, and more. 

The Falls

301 Bessemer Ave. 

Open 4-10 p.m. Monday & Thursday, 4-11 p.m. Friday, 2-11 p.m. Saturday, and 2-10 p.m. Sunday

The Falls is located just off the Llano River bridge and has a nice view of the water flowing over the dam from its backyard. The full bar features signature cocktails and a charming downhome atmosphere. Entertainment includes live music and sports on TV.

The Barrel House

101 E. Grayson St. 

Open 5-9 p.m. Wednesday & Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday & Saturday, and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday

Located in Llano’s Railyard District, the restaurant and full bar serves Southern cuisine and delicious cocktails, among other items. Weekly live music and warm hospitality keep people returning to The Barrel House.  

KINGSLAND

Hooper’s

1010 King Court  

Pub open 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday & Tuesday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Wednesday & Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday & Saturday, and 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday

Hooper’s in Kingsland. Photo by Dakota Morrissiey/101HighlandLakes.com

You might recognize the building for Hooper’s restaurant and pub as the house of horrors from the cult classic film “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.” It was relocated from its original site to Kingsland in 1998 and has served as an inn and restaurant. The pub has a scary-good selection of beers, wines, and cocktails, including a few with a nod to its horror movie past. 

The Spot at Wakepoint LBJ

14757 RR 1431 West

Open noon to 11 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday

The Spot is accessible by land or by lake (boat parking). It is a casual lakefront hangout with a fun, family-friendly atmosphere. The open-air patio bar serves it all. Entertainment includes everything from washers and cornhole tournaments to Bible fellowship. Live music performances take place down below on the large lawn by Lake LBJ.

Boat Town Burger Bar

151 Melodie Lane 

Open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday

The Lake LBJ bar and grill offers inside or outside seating and has watercraft slips for guests arriving by boat. Enjoy a full menu and bar. Entertainment includes live music. The casual, relaxed atmosphere is great for families.

BUCHANAN DAM

Pardners Night Club

15615 Texas 29 

Open 3-10 p.m. Tuesday & Sunday, 3 p.m. to midnight Wednesday & Thursday, and 3 p.m.-2 a.m. Friday & Saturday

The dancehall and bar features pool and dart tournaments, karaoke, and DJ music.

Reverend Jim’s Dam Pub

19605 Texas 29

Open noon to 8 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, noon to 9 p.m. Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday & Saturday, and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday

Expect a nice view of Lake Buchanan, icehouse vibes, and an eclectic clientele: bikers, regulars, families, and everyone in between is drawn to this laidback pub. Entertainment includes live music, pool, and shuffleboard.

HORSESHOE BAY/COTTONWOOD SHORES

J’s Restaurant & Bar

200 Hi Circle North, Horseshoe Bay 

Open 6:30 a.m.-10 p.m. daily

J’s Restaurant & Bar is located in the Tower at Horseshoe Bay Resort but is open to the public. The family-friendly establishment offers indoor and outdoor seating and a bar menu serving signature cocktails and domestic, premium, and draft beers. It even has a couple of zero-proof options.

Bay View Restaurant & Bar

4401 Cottonwood Drive, Cottonwood Shores

Open every day except Tuesday from 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Bay View is a great date night destination with seating inside and on the patio. The bar serves everything, including wines, cocktails, frozen drinks, and craft, imported, domestic, and tap beers.

Hiccups Sports Bar & Grill

4119 FM 2147, Cottonwood Shores

Open 11 a.m.-2 a.m. daily

Hiccups Sports Bar & Grill is a classic, casual sports bar with a fun atmosphere. Entertainment includes pool, pinball, air hockey, and multiple TV screens for sports watching. The bar serves liquors, beers, cocktails, wine, and non-alcoholic options.

CASTELL

Castell General Store

19522 Ranch Road 152 West

Open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday & Sunday and 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday & Saturday

The Castell General Store. Photo courtesy of 101HighlandLakes.com

This hidden, family-friendly gem is located in the tiny hamlet of Castell, just off of the Llano River. The cheery, bright yellow building reflects its vibe: warm, welcoming, and a little quirky. Entertainment includes occasional washer and cornhole tournaments, live music, and yearly events such as the Testicle Festival. Burgers and beer are what you’ll find here; barbecue is available on the weekends. The Castell General Store is worth the drive.

Find more places to eat and drink in Llano County.