AUSTIN, TEXAS — August 25, 2020 — In April 2020, Garrison Brothers Distillery launched Operation Crush COVID-19, a fundraising campaign to help American communities recover and rebuild from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The initiative raised $400K by pivoting and dedicating the release of their rarest, most exclusive, top-shelf bourbon called Laguna Madre. Fundraising came to a close on August 15, and recipients of the donations included 53 Texas bartenders, veteran-led disaster response organization Team Rubicon, Southern Smoke Foundation’s Emergency Relief Fund, and the Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation’s TX Restaurant Relief Fund.
“The mission of Good Bourbon for a Good Cause is to change the world through the power of good bourbon. The highly-anticipated Laguna Madre release provided us the best tool to raise the maximum amount of money, and I’m inspired by the coalescence of our community during these uncertain times,” said Dan Garrison, founder and proprietor of Garrison Brothers Distillery.
Laguna Madre is named after the beautiful blue waters along Texas’ Gulf Coast. The ultra-premium bourbon was first aged for four years in new white American oak barrels. It was then aged for four more years in barrels made of Limousin oak from France, which is prized for the vanilla flavor it bestows. Limousin oak imparts spirits with distinct flavors of vanilla, sweet candy, cacao, and thick, white chocolate that an experienced bourbon drinker won’t ever forget. Master distiller Donnis Todd describes Laguna Madre’s tasting notes like this:
“Intense A&W Root Beer meets Dublin Dr. Pepper. Vanilla bean. Hazelnut. Saltwater taffy. Hershey’s Kisses. Frosty white chocolate and “ADULTS ONLY” Almond Joy candy bar finish. Pucker up. 101 proof.”
As of today, 400 bottles of Laguna Madre remain. They are available for purchase for $299/each exclusively at the Garrison Brothers Distillery Gift Shop in Hye, Texas. Additional donations to Good Bourbon for a Good Cause are strongly encouraged at point of purchase.
ABOUT GARRISON BROTHERS DISTILLERY
Garrison Brothers Distillery is a small farm and ranch located in the beautiful Texas Hill Country that authentically produces straight bourbon whiskey and only straight bourbon whiskey. Garrison Brothers introduced the first bourbon whiskey legally made in Texas in 2010 and has since developed a rabid fan base. They currently have a waitlist of more than 17,000 people hoping to land a spot on bottling days, and their Cowboy Bourbon™ normally sells out within hours of its release. Garrison Brothers is the first legal bourbon distillery in Texas history and is one of the first distilleries in America outside of Kentucky to produce authentic, handmade bourbon whiskey. The business was founded in 2006, though rumor has it they may have started production a little earlier.
Every expression of Garrison Brothers bourbon is made from a sweet mash bill and barrel-aged in the intense Texas climate. The extreme heat creates multiple aging seasons in a year, resulting in a darker, richer, and fuller bourbon; bolder than almost any other bourbon on the market.
At the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2020, the Garrison Brothers team was awarded a double gold medal for its Balmorhea Double-Barreled Bourbon, a silver medal for its Single Barrel Bourbon, and a bronze medal for its Small Batch Bourbon. Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible named Garrison Brothers Cowboy Bourbon™ “American Micro Whisky of the Year” in 2014 and again in 2017. The Whisky Bible also awarded the same distinction to Balmorhea Double-Barreled Bourbon in 2019 and 2020. Garrison Brothers was voted Best Craft Whiskey Distillery in America by readers of USA Today in 2017.
Garrison Brothers is a proud and active member of the communities of Blanco, Fredericksburg, Hye, Johnson City, and Stonewall. The distillery and its barrel barns are open to the public for tours in Hye, Texas. Anyone interested in learning more about Garrison Brothers Bourbon or in taking a tour of the distillery should visit garrisonbros.com or follow @garrisonbros on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
ABOUT GOOD BOURBON FOR A GOOD CAUSE
In association with the distilled spirits community, GOOD BOURBON FOR A GOOD CAUSE is the beneficiary of marketing and promotional events conducted for philanthropic purposes. Funds of GOOD BOURBON FOR A GOOD CAUSE are distributed to charitable organizations in Blanco and Gillespie counties of Texas and also to charitable organizations that serve current and former American military personnel nationwide. The types of charitable causes that are supported include, but are not limited to:
- Organizations that help current or former American military veterans and their families
- Organizations that help former American military personnel get back to leading a rewarding life
- Organizations that help American veterans recover from debilitating medical, mental health or psychological challenges
- Organizations dedicated to conserving and preserving nature, wildlife, green spaces, or historical landmarks and historical sites
- Other charitable organizations that the board of directors determine to be within the intent and spirit of the formation of this corporation
To date, the nonprofit organization has raised and contributed over to $500,000.
ABOUT SOUTHERN SMOKE
Chris Shepherd launched Southern Smoke in 2015 after learning his friend and former sommelier Antonio Gianola was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Since then, Southern Smoke has donated $763,000 to the MS Society, making it the largest third-party fundraiser in a five-state area.
In 2017, Southern Smoke shifted its focus to provide assistance to people in the food and beverage industry affected by Hurricane Harvey and distributed $501,000 to 139 people in need. Recognizing a need, the Southern Smoke Foundation created an Emergency Relief Fund for people in the food and beverage industry in crisis. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, the Southern Smoke Emergency Relief Fund has distributed $1,392,973 to 785 people (as of May 8, 2020).
To date, Southern Smoke has distributed more than $3 million—both directly to people in need via the Emergency Relief Fund and to organizations that represent the needs of people in our industry. As Chris says, Southern Smoke was created to “take care of our own.”
ABOUT TEAM RUBICON
Team Rubicon serves communities by mobilizing veterans to continue their service, leveraging their skills and experience to help people prepare, respond, and recover from disasters and humanitarian crises. Built to serve, Team Rubicon has launched the nationwide #NeighborsHelpingNeighbors initiative in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, providing assistance such as delivery service for food-insecure populations, coordination and logistics support for those in temporary quarantine, as well as individual volunteers inspired by action to help their neighbors leveraging the safety guidance. To date during the COVID-19 pandemic, Team Rubicon has helped local, state and federal partners deliver food, water and shelter; run testing sites; staff call centers; and transport cruise ship passengers who have completed their mandatory quarantine at home. https://teamrubiconusa.org/
ABOUT TEXAS RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION EDUCATION FOUNDATION
Established in 1994 by the Texas Restaurant Association (TRA), the Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation (TRAEF) is a 501(c)3 not for profit organization focused on providing the necessary resources to help restaurateurs confront educational and labor challenges with the latest innovations in education, technology, and training. It is the workforce development arm of the TRA.
The Foundation’s mission is to provide educational opportunities to build and maintain a strong professional foodservice workforce in Texas. The organization’s flagship program is Texas ProStart, an industry-based, two-year high school culinary arts and restaurant management curriculum. Texas ProStart is currently in more than 150 Texas high schools, reaching more than 15,000 students annually. The Foundation has partnered with KidsFit to bring students real-world culinary experience and encourage restaurants to offer an expanded menu with options that are child-friendly yet healthy. In collaboration with Feeding Texas, the TRAEF is working to expand training preparation for a variety of populations to find a career in the restaurant industry.