Crafting the perfect sip-and-stay vacay in Lubbock
Did you know that around 80 percent of all grapes sourced by Texas wineries come from the High Plains AVA in West Texas? Or that Lubbock has its own signature cocktail? The city's craft beer scene has also exploded in the past five years.
All of this means that the West Texas city is now bubbling up with ideas for a refreshing getaway, whether you're a hophead, oenophile, or even a mocktail maven.
Curious to taste these bevvies for yourself? Here's what's brewing in Lubbock:
Cheers for beers
Two Docs Brewing Co.: The double doctors in the brewery's name are Dr. Eric Cunningham (a veterinarian) and Dr. Tyson Purdy (a family medicine practitioner), cousins who took their love of beer public in 2019. Located in the Cultural District, the environmentally-conscious brewery is known for its Buddy Hoppy IPA, Lubbock Light lager, and Two Docs Bock.
The Brewery LBK: USA Today crowned this newish brewery the Top Brewpub in the Nation, and it's a title head brewmaster Sally Taylor and general manager Mike Nghiem don't take lightly. The beers are a mix of classic profiles and inventive flavors, with plenty of seasonal rotations and nods to Hub City. Try the Low Hanging Fruit, made with Albarino grapes from the local Veesart Vineyards. Wine on the nose with flavors of bright citrus complement a wheat and barley backbone with farmhouse ale notes.
Good Line Beer Co.: What began as a true garage start-up is now a celebrated brewery in the historic Tech Terrace neighborhood, putting out brews with whimsical names like Catastrophe Girlfriend (a raspberry weisse), Range Life (a pilsner), and Bitter Buffalo (an IPA). Owners Chris Troutman and Shawn Phillips are heavy on community, with local artist Dirk Fowler creating the label designs.
Syrah is one of the key grape varieties grown here, alongside Tempranillo and Grenache — two other varieties known to perform well in warm, dry climates like the Texas High Plains AVA. White grapes are also grown, but to a much lesser extent, mostly from Viognier, Chenin Blanc, and Sauvignon Blanc..
Seek out your next favorite glass (or bottle!) at Bolen Winery Vineyards, Burklee Hill Vineyards, English Newsom Cellars, McPherson Cellars, La Diosa Cellars, and Llano Estacado Winery, the second-oldest winery in the state. Adelphos Cellars will also open soon, inviting Lubbock into the city's newest winery, tasting room, and event venue.
The famous Lubbock Chilton
Called "a cocktail as bright and pure as the West Texas sun" by Texas Monthly, the Chilton is a refreshing cocktail comprised of vodka, fresh lemon juice, bubbly water, and a salted rim. The story goes that years ago, a parched Dr. Chilton instructed a bartender at the Lubbock Country Club to mix these ingredients together, and a signature sip was born.
You'll spot the Chilton all around town, with variations that range from fruity to spicy and even as the inspiration for a few seasonal beers. Here's a primer if you're not sure where to start.
Alcohol isn't required for a great drink — just ask The West Table Kitchen and Bar and The Nicolett.
Everyone is included in the toast at The West Table with offerings such as the tropical Riki Tiki and "gin" rambler Baby Blue, among others. Each libation feels even more elegant thanks to the restaurant's location within the historic Pioneer Building in downtown Lubbock.
At The Nicolett, 2022 James Beard Semifinalist for Best Chef: Texas and owner of The Nicolett, Finn Walter incorporated several non-alcoholic beverages into his cocktail menu to serve a craft experience for all to savor. From the botanical Garden Gimlet to the sweet-tart I Love Yuzu, each showcases an alcohol alternative in the ingredients list.
Where to rest your head
Stow your suitcase at the newly opened Aloft hotel, or check into an Airbnb managed by Home on the Range LBK, which owns four beautifully decorated properties all near Texas Tech University.
In the coming months, Lubbock will see the debut of Milestones Park and a new Dave & Busters. Even if you've visited before, there's always more to discover in Hub City — plan your next visit now.