Friday, November 8, 2019

2019 Best of New Braunfels

The 33rd annual Herald-Zeitung's Reader's Choice awards came up Gruene this year! 

Best Margarita

Frozen or rocked, a Cantina del Rio margarita is exactly what you want when you're craving a margarita. Don't believe me? The proof is in the pudding…I mean, tequila. It's been voted Best Margarita in New Braunfels every year since 2012! When you set the standard, you better bring it on…and these do!

Best Patio

Housed in the bones of an old cotton gin, the Gristmill River Restaurant & Bar is charmingly historic but the patio really takes the iconic restaurant over the top. Tucked in the trees on the bluff overlooking the Guadalupe River where thousands of tubers float by every summer, it's a breathtaking juxtaposition to be surrounded by nature but also "in" a restaurant. It's really something special, making it the Best Patio in New Braunfels.

Best Chicken Fried Steak

There's good chicken fried steak, then there's the BEST chicken fried steak. Voted the Best Chicken Fried Steak in New Braunfels, the Gristmill serves it up crispy on the outside, juicy and tender on the inside, flavor all around. The only thing you should be worried about is how much gravy you'll need!

Best Attraction

It isn't a big, flashy building. But, waiting at the end of the street, Gruene Hall will pull you in like a magnet. Whether you're looking for history (it's over 100 years old), music (that stage is a right of passage for many musicians) or just a cold beer (and signature sangria!), it is everything you think it should be…and more! With so much history, it's no wonder the oldest dance hall in Texas was voted Best Attraction in New Braunfels.

Best Live Music Venue

Cold beer? Check. Seasoned dance floor? Check. Legendary musicians? Check. The Gruene Hall stage has hosted everything from superstars to up-n-comers, from country to rock, from solo artists to full bands. Every spot in the house feels like the front row, creating a genuine intimacy between audience and performer. With a growing number of new music venues in the area, being voted Best Live Music Venue in New Braunfels is definitely a tip of the hat to the one that started it all.

Best Place to Dance

Is there any doubt? The floor boards at Gruene Hall are the same boards laid when the dance hall was built in 1878. With over 140 years of dancing and stomping, every shoe has left its mark. In the beautiful old wood, you can see all the soles, and all the soul. To dance on that floor really is something special.

Best Sliders

Have you ever had a hamburger so good, you wished you had another…and then maybe another? Mozie's knows! Order the Best Sliders in New Braunfels, and you get 3! Soft bun, juicy patty, melty cheese. Times 3.

Best Hill Country Day Trip

In a region so abundant in natural beauty, cultural richness, and day trip-worthy destinations, it's an honor for Gruene Historic District to be named Best Hill Country Day Trip out of them all! Whether you're looking for food, wine, shopping, music, or just plain "taking it easy" floating the river, there truly is something for everyone here.

Friday, November 1, 2019

Playlist: November on the Gruene Hall Stage

November is here and it brings a TON of great music to the Gruene Hall stage! Hear from favorites like Jason Boland & the Stragglers, Drive-By Truckers, Wade Bowen, Cory Morrow,  and more. View the full calendar and start planning!

For a mix of the November Shows at Gruene Hall, check out this playlist >>


12 Simple German Phrases for Wurstfest

    Wurstfest in New Braunfels started 58 years ago and continues to be an iconic celebration of German food, drink, music, and culture. Here in Gruene, we are proud of our German roots and love being so close to the festival happenings. If you are heading to Wurstfest, here are some easy German phrases to try out when you get there!

Explore the food and drink!

Ich habe Hunger!
(I am hungry!)

Möchtest du eine Wurst?
(Would you like a sausage?)

Ich habe Durst! 
(I am thirsty!)

Möchtest du ein Bier?
(Would you like a beer?)

Wo kann ich Essen kaufen?
(Where can I buy food?)

Ready to join in on the fun?

Ich liebe die Musik!
(I love the music!)

Willst du Tanzen 
(Want to dance?)

Gehen wir! 
(Let's go!)

Hast du eine gute Zeit?
(Are you having a good time?)


Time to go home?

Wo ist der Wurst Wagen? 
(Where is the Wurst Wagen?)

(Bye!) This is a casual goodbye for when you are among friends, and at Wurstfest that's exactly where you are! 

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Beer Guide for Wine Lovers

If you typically opt for a glass of wine over a bottle of ale, you might be surprised by just how much you actually would enjoy a cold beer! The trick is knowing what to look for and where to start. Use this handy guide to help you decide what beer you might like based on your wine preference.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Playlist: October on the Gruene Hall Stage

October is packed with great music at Gruene Hall! (Have you seen the calendar?!) No matter your taste, we'll have toe-tappers of every sort. Come hear everything from red dirt country of Stoney LaRue to the southern soul sound of Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears.

Check out this playlist from artists in the October lineup >>

Friday, September 27, 2019

Gruene Music & Wine Fest +Craft Beer Event: Sunday

Gruene Music & Wine Fest +Craft Beer Event: Sunday

The weekend isn't over yet! Sunday wraps up the festival with our +Craft Beer Event & Music Fest, giving new meaning to the phrase "Sunday Funday"! Here are the details:

  • The +Craft Beer Event & Music Fest is held on Sunday, October 13 on the Grapevine grounds and Gruene Hall.
  • There are 2 ticket options: Grapevine + Gruene Hall combo or Grapevine only.
  • Each ticket option includes:
    • Grapevine + Gruene Hall combo: access to 8 hours of music on two stages + 5 tasting tickets + access to "Le Cordon Gruene" Food Trucks + access to the Artisan Market
    • Grapevine only: access to the Grapevine stage + 5 tasting tickets + access to "Le Cordon Gruene" Food Trucks + access to the Artisan Market
  • Doors open at 1:00pm on the Grapevine Grounds. Combo ticket holders are also allowed admission to Gruene Hall starting at 2:00pm.
  • CLEAR BAGS ONLY. Bags will be restricted to clear bags smaller than 12" x 6" x 12". (More details here.)
  • Additional tasting tickets, as well as wine by the glass or bottle are also available for purchase.
  • Over 80+ craft beers for tasting.
  • Artists performing include Walt Wilkins & the Mystiqueros, Warren Hood Band, Zac Wilkerson Trio, Kody West, Mike & the Moonpies, Seth James Band, Jamie Lin Wilson, Bart Crow, Zack Walther Band, and more!
  • This is a 21+ event only— no one under the age of 21 will be admitted.
  • Don't miss the Gospel Brunch with a Texas Twist that morning, before the +Craft Beer Event kicks off!
Gruene Music & Wine Fest +Craft Beer Event: Sunday

Gruene Music & Wine Fest +Craft Beer Event: Sunday

Gruene Music & Wine Fest +Craft Beer Event: Sunday

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Garth Brooks Day in Gruene

Photo credit: Jessie Slaten

    It started as a quiet rumble. Garth Brooks was going on a Dive Bar Tour, playing small honky-tonks and bars across the country. Would he come to Gruene Hall? He certainly should! With strong roots in the old wooden floor boards of the Hall, he played here in the 80's before the wheels of his career really started rolling, like many others including George Strait. After much speculation, Garth finally announced that he WOULD be bringing his Dive Bar tour to the iconic Gruene Hall on September 23, 2019. And we were all in for a wild ride!

Garth Brooks at Gruene Hall
Photo credit: Jim Flynn

    The day of the show, Gruene Historic District evolved in phases, getting ready to host thousands of Garth Brooks fans on their way from all over the country. First, the streets were shut down at 10am. This is also when the most loyal ticket-winning fans showed up at the Hall to start the line for entry. Next came the 2 jumbotron screens set up in different locations. With the screens set, lawn chairs started popping up with non-ticket concertgoers ready to wait hours to have the best view of 10-feet worth of Garth'y goodness. Pop-up bars, snack tents, first aid headquarters, and port-o-potties were all set up nearby, too. All the amenities anyone might need were here. Now we just need the star of the show!

    Garth's crew started equipment set-up and soundcheck at 4pm that afternoon. By then, the street party crowd was growing. More chairs, more coolers, more Garth Brooks fans. The Gruene Hall doors opened to ticket winners at 5:30 and as they filed into the dance hall, the excitement grew. Showtime was scheduled for 8pm. Just a few minutes after 8, a shiny black car was seen driving slowly towards the Hall. And the crowd held their breath...

Garth Brooks at Gruene Hall
    Rolling down his window for a quick wave to the fans outside the Hall, then crawling through the Willie Door on the side of the building, Garth was here and ready to rock! After taking the stage, and looking out at the crowd, absorbing the moment, Brooks said, "To be here in Texas, it just feels so right." And we were off!

    The planned set list included 13 of his biggest hits, but Garth had moments of overwhelming nostalgia and asked his band to add a few spontaneous songs: "Amarillo by Morning" (which he prefaced by saying "Last time I was here, I wanted to be George Strait so bad. ...And today I'll still leave here wanting to be George Strait so bad!"), "Much Too Young" (which he played at Gruene Hall for a less enthusiastic crowd in the 80's), and "Beaches of Cheyenne."

    While the last crowd he played for at Gruene Hall didn't know every word to every song, this crowd made up for it in spades. At several points, Garth stepped away from the microphone with hat over heart, relishing the moment, letting the crowd continue the song without his help. "This is exactly the way I wanted it," he said. Us too, Garth, us too.

Full set list:
"All Day Long"
"Two of a Kind"
"Two Pina Coladas"
"The River"
"Dive Bar"
"Ain't Goin' Down (Til the Sun Comes Up)"
"Unanswered Prayers"
"Amarillo by Morning"
"That Summer"
"Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)"
"Callin' Baton Rouge"
"The Thunder Rolls"
"Beaches of Cheyenne"
"Friends in Low Places"
"The Dance"

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung