Monday, July 2, 2018

The Historic Gristmill River Restaurant and Bar

The Gristmill: Then & Now

Situated on a bluff overlooking the Guadalupe River, this spectacular restaurant nestled under the shade of towering oak trees has been the perfect getaway for a unique casual dining experience for over forty years.

Situated on the banks of the Guadalupe River in New Braunfels between Austin and San Antonio, the Gruene cotton gin processed crops raised by area farmers until the wooden structure burned to the ground in 1922 leaving only the brick boiler room. All that remains of the water-powered mill today is that three-story brick boiler room – now the Gristmill River Restaurant & Bar.

The cotton gin- Gruene, Texas

Located in the historic district of Gruene just beneath the famous Gruene water tower, The Gristmill opened in 1977, serving steaks and hamburgers from a tiny kitchen in the corner of the building. The multi-level restaurant features outdoor and indoor dining with sweeping views of the river, special dining rooms with native stone fireplaces, an indoor bar with waiting area and wood burning stove, a relaxing beer garden and a merchandise store.  The River Grove, added in 1998, is a refreshing open air, bricked patio nestled in a grove of trees overlooking the river.

Scenic Gristmill River Restaurant & Bar - Gruene, Texas

Today, while the menu still features thick steaks and large hamburgers, they also serve up popular South Texas Favorites like chicken fried steak, fried catfish, grilled chicken, enormous sandwiches, fresh fish and off menu daily specials. 

House specials at the Gristmill River Restaurant & Bar in Gruene, Texas

And if you’re not stuffed from your meal, or if you decide to save room, their desserts are AMAZING! Fudge pie, Texas-sized strawberry shortcake, German chocolate cake, and their signature Jack Daniel’s Pecan Pie are some of their most popular.

Jack Daniels Pecan Pie- Gristmill River Restaurant & Bar in Gruene, Texas

Not only do they have delicious food, they also offer a full bar complete with fresh margaritas and frozen sangria. Some of their most popular drinks including the Perfect Patron Margarita and Grizzly Sangria. They even have live music in the beer garden most weekends! Check out this month's lineup here.  

Specialty drinks- Gristmill River Restaurant & Bar in Gruene, Texas

In recent years The Gristmill has played host to many familiar faces including John Travolta, Robert Duvall, Rob van Winkle (aka Vanilla Ice), Tiffani Amber Thiessen of 90210 and Saved by the Bell, Erik McCormack of Will & Grace, Sherman Hemsley of The Jeffersons, Lou Diamond Phillips, Mary Lou Retton and Dan Rather.

The Gristmill has also served several notable politicians including former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, former Texas Governer Ann Richards, Texas Governor Rick Perry, U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison.

Notable sports figures include the San Antonio SPURS, former head coach of the 49ers Bill Walsh and former UT coach Darrell Royal, and the Gristmill provided food for the X Games at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

Last but not least, countless music artists have been guests at the Gristmill including George Strait, Rodney Crowell, Miranda Lambert, Evan Felker or Turnpike Troubadours, John Hiatt, Pat Green, Bruce Robison, Cody Canada, Robert Earl Keen, Aaron Neville, Joe Ely, Lyle Lovett, The Smashing Pumpkins, Evanescence, Kacey Musgraves, Midland and Maren Morris.

Next time you're in Gruene, you have to stop by and have dinner and drinks! It's the quintessential Texas Hill Country dining experience.

For more info and a full menu, visit

Draft Beer for All!

Wine Spotlight from New Braunfels Monthly
July 2018
By: Connor Brown

Draft beer at The Grapevine - Gruene, TexasThey say the intense heat and the mocking rays of the sun can make one act and feel strange. Some say this mixture can even cause people to see things that aren’t actually there, and as Texans, most of us have experienced something like this to a slight degree. I recall a particular time wandering around historic Gruene and feeling thirsty, nearly crying for a good beer. I found myself in shop after shop dismissing every taunting Bud Light sign and small refrigerator full of beer cans and bottles only to spot something in the distance. A small building with draft beer handles. “No way,” I thought to myself. “Seven different handles right in the middle of town! Is this a mirage? Did I just stumble upon some sort of beer oasis? Are those mostly Texas Craft beers?” I remained skeptical until I was offered free tastes of my desired brew, and I collapsed in pure joy and elation!

Okay, okay, so maybe I’m a bit dramatic (and full of it), but the tap handles don’t lie! There are now seven beers on tap at The Grapevine, featuring five Texas crafts and a couple staples for your less-hip uncle! However, with so many options it may get confusing, especially when affected by the Texas sun, so here are a couple suggestions to jumpstart your draft beer journey…

Try the Faust Ghostly Pale Ale! A wonderful ale with balanced malty and hoppy flavors. This beer has a semi-sweet caramel flavor on the front that finishes with an earthy airiness that’s just hoppy enough to give it the pale title, but light enough for drinkers who are inching into the pale ale or IPA scene. This beer also lacks the higher alcohol content which many pale ale or IPA’s tend to have, which will allow for a longer day walking around town, or jamming to some tunes in the garden.

Out of all seven beers featured this summer, a favorite despite the heat, is the Hops and Grains Porter Culture. Indeed, the darkest beer on draft is still a favorite Texas craft brew. For most of us, its hard to think of anyone enjoying a Porter in 100+ degree weather, but this one is special because it doesn’t feel like one on the palate. While only feeling a bit heavier than an amber, the flavor will please any seasoned stout or porter drinker with robust notes of malts and coffee, but you won’t be sweating halfway through the pint as the finish is more delicate and smooth. This beer is the perfect pre-game partner for a Gruene Hall concert as it packs a punch at 6.5% so it will keep you dancing all night without weighing you down!

So stop sweating and swing on by to find your favorite summer draft in the heart of Gruene. Let us be your beer guide as we beat the heat and inch closer to cooler days. Keep tasting, Texas!   …And don’t forget to hydrate with water when consuming alcohol.