Andrew Braunberg

Austin, TX

Distiller, Spirits Historian and Author of Fires, Floods, Explosions and Bloodshed: The History of Texas Whiskey

Booking Info

Leslie Barrett

512-501-4399 x707



Pub Date: May 15, 2023
Genre: Spirits/Texas History
Publisher: Statehouse Press
Page Count: 140
Format: Paperback/eBook
ISBN: 978-1649670168/978-1649670175
Price: $16.95/$16.95

Suggested Interview Questions


There have been dozens of books written about the history of American whiskey and its place in our culture, yet there are still many stories about whiskey that haven’t been told. The history of Texas whiskey is one of those stories. It’s a fascinating and important topic that, for some reason, has never been documented, until now. 

As it happened, the Republic of Texas was founded during the zenith of drunkenness in North America. It’s no surprise that early Texans took to distilling as soon as they arrived, nor that whiskey soon became the spirit of choice.

The relationship between Texans and whiskey is a long and complicated one. Stephen F. Austin, the Father of Texas, wished for prohibition in his colony but took the pragmatic view that if Texans were going to drink, then it would be better if that booze was made in Texas.

The Lone Star State quickly had dozens of distilleries operating, several of which had grand aspirations that would rival those of any modern craft distillery. Many early Texas distillers hailed from other Southern states and brought with them a rich distilling tradition that was further honed on the frontier. Some were European immigrants who brought extensive knowledge of distilling and fermentation. But these early entrepreneurs had to deal with all manner of obstacles, including floods, fires, explosions, and occasional gun play. As the success of modern Texas distilleries demonstrates, there is a strong market for Texas-made whiskey. Today, whiskey culture encompasses not only distillers, but also farmers, mixologists, consumers, and, increasingly, chroniclers of the spirit’s proud history and resurgence.

Filled with fascinating stories of the pioneering spirit of Texas whiskey distillers, archival photos and newspaper clippings, figures of homemade and commercial whiskey stills, and even lists of Texas distilleries, Fires, Floods, Explosions and Bloodshed should be a staple in every whiskey lover’s bookshelf or bar.


Before catching the distilling bug, Andrew Braunberg was an industry analyst for several decades covering cybersecurity technologies. After moving to Texas in 2012, Andrew and his wife co-founded the first whiskey distillery in Austin, called Still Austin Whiskey Co. Andrew has spent the last couple years documenting the pre-prohibition history of making whiskey in Texas. He lives (mostly) in Austin with his wife and two dogs.


  • The difference between pass whiskey, white whiskey, and aged whiskey
  • Texas has become a mecca of craft spirits distilleries: the major players + Andrew’s favorites
  • How did Texas distillers exhibit a pragmatic approach to whiskey production and consumption?
  • After home distilling for many years, Andrew Braunberg (with partners) founded Still Austin Whiskey Co, the first whiskey distillery in Austin, in 2017. Andrew can discuss his experience, successes and failures with this new (mis)adventure.
  • Why Texas set a higher standard for Texas whiskey and said no to the standard set by the Pure Food and Drug Law
  • Prohibition and vice: two sides of the same Texas story
  • How to drink Texas whiskey (Can be a visual segment for TV)



  • D.E.A.R. Month (drop everything and read)
  • Austin Whiskey Riot - April 8 
  • Houston Whiskey Riot - April 15 
  • Texas Whiskey Festival (Austin) - April 22 
  • Tell a Story Day - April 27
  • Independent Bookstore Day- April 29 


  • Texas Writers Month
  • Mother’s Day - May 14 
  • World Whiskey Day- May 20
  • National Craft Distillery Day - May 22 


  • Father’s Day (gift guides)
  • National Moonshine Day - June 1 
  • National Craft Spirits Day - June 18 


"I’ve always wondered who the gamblers and raconteurs were who were doing it first and why there are so many roads in Texas called "distillery road" or "stillhouse road." Andrew Braunberg has opened my eyes. When we put our first sign out in front of Garrison Brothers Distillery in 2006, it read “The first legal bourbon distillery in Texas history.” Turns out I was wrong. Fortunately for me, the dead distillers can’t sue me for trademark infringement. And how interesting that the Revenuer who was killed in the 1800s by a licensed distiller was named Hyram Garrison. I thoroughly enjoyed this knowledgeable and well-researched trip through 4 centuries of distilling in Texas. The history of Texas Distilling is rich with colorful and brave swaggering entrepreneurs. Still is."
—Dan Garrison, Founder, Garrison Brothers Distillery

"We often focus on the promising future of Texas whiskey. But we rarely discuss our past. Until now. Braunberg has amassed a treasure trove of facts and stories in this book, and it's a must read for anyone with a passion for whiskey, history, or the great state of Texas." 
—Rob Arnold, PhD, Author of The Terroir of Whiskey


Pub Date: May 17, 2022
Genre: Memoir / Christian Inspirational
Publisher: She Writes Press
Page Count: 304
ISBN: 978-1647429003
Price: $15.99


In the age of social media, what does it mean to connect through a hand-written letter?


True Story: When Amy Daughters reconnected with her former friend from camp decades ago, Dana, via Facebook, she had no idea how it would change her life. Through social media, Amy learned Dana’s son Parker was at St. Jude battling cancer–devastating news, but what else do you do besides comment an “I’m so sorry,” nowadays? 


But more than a comment happened, Amy woke up in the middle of the night and felt called in a way she couldn’t fully explain to write handwritten letters to Dana–someone who through time and distance, had become nothing more than several hundred other faces on her Facebook account. 


When Parker died, Amy, not knowing what else to do, continued to write Dana. Eventually, Dana wrote back, and the two became pen pals, sharing things through the mail that they had never shared before. The richness of the experience left Amy wondering something: If my life could be so changed by someone I considered “just a Facebook friend,” what would happen if I wrote all my Facebook friends a letter?


A staggering 580 handwritten letters later Amy’s life would never be the same. As it turned out, there were actual individuals living very real lives behind each social media profile, and she was beautifully connected to each of those extraordinary, very real people.


A native Houstonian and a graduate of The Texas Tech University, Amy W. Daughters has been a freelance writer for more than a decade — mostly covering college football and sometimes talking about her feelings. Her debut novel, You Cannot Mess This Up: A True Story That Never Happened (She Writes Press, 2019), was selected as the Silver Winner for Humor in the 2019 Foreword INDIES and the Overall Winner for Humor/Comedy in the 2020 Next Generation Indie Awards. An amateur historian, hack golfer, charlatan fashion model, and regular on the ribbon dancing circuit, Amy — a proud former resident of Blackwell, England, and Dayton, Ohio currently lives in Tomball, Texas, a suburb of Houston. She is married to a foxy computer person, Willie, and is the lucky mother of two amazing sons, Will and Matthew.


  • Lost Art of Letter Writing – The deliberateness of a letter, honest, believable and genuine, more than Social Media could ever be. Bringing back the beautiful connection of a hand-written letter. 
  • How can we teach our younger generation to value a pen & stationery? 
  • The stages of grief and how to remain a constant and connected friend experiencing the grieving process.
  • The power of prayer and finding purpose.
  • The evolution of friendships and connections due to social media.
  • Work from home and the disconnect it creates–how letter writing can bring back more meaningful relationships.
  • Women in Sports – Amy is a decades long sportswriter–a position with its own trials and tribulations as a woman in a male-dominated field. 



  • Read a New Book Month
  • National Letter Writing Day – December 7
  • National Christmas Card Day – December 9


  • Self-Love Month
  • Universal Letter Writing Week – Jan 8-14
  • Hunt for Happiness Week – Jan 15-21


  • International Boost Self Esteem Month – February


  • Month of Hope; Day of Hope –  April 5
  • World Health Day – April 7
  • Tell a Story –  April 27
  • Trauma Awareness Month – May


“Dear Dana is an inspirational memoir about caring for friends near and far by reviving a lost art.” — Foreword Reviews


“. . . a captivating study regarding writing letters to friends and rethinking how people successfully bond in the modern world. An intriguing and inspiring exploration of different forms of communication.”— Kirkus Reviews


“This is a book for anyone who wonders about the differences between a Facebook friend and a Real-Life friend and who yearns to see a person’s real life behind their Facebook image. It is also about the power of prayer and the abundance of kindness in our world. But ultimately, it’s about connection and how we are all connected when we come from love.”    — Rivvy Neshama, author of Recipes for a Sacred Life: True Stories and a Few Miracles


“Captivating . . . I laughed and I cried as I followed the pleasures of real mail, and the lesson hit home: Whether written or spoken, our words matter. They have the power to illuminate someone’s darkest day.” — Laurie Buchanan, PhD, author of Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth and The Business of Being: Soul Purpose In and Out of the Workplace