SAN ANTONIO – Devils River Whiskey has been available at bars and liquor stores since 2017, but the president of the Dallas-based distillery is getting ready to open his first tasting room in San Antonio.
When Mike Cameron was creating his business, he wanted to name it after an iconic Texas location that might be synonymous with whiskey.
Cameron landed on a place he had visited years ago that he never forgot.
"I went to the Devils River back in college and just thought it was a beautiful, really neat place," Cameron said.
Devils River is south of Sonora, where the Hill Country meets West Texas and has been deemed by Texas Parks and Wildlife as one of the most pristine rivers in the state.
"To make good whiskey requires good water," Cameron said. "It's got to be limestone-filtered, it's got to be free of iron, and it's got to be rich in calcium and minerals. And the water from that region, it's the purest water in Texas, and it meets those requirements.
The first product Devils River Whisky produced was a bourbon, followed by a rye.
Cameron says he's been working on the project for more than two years and decided to open up a showroom to introduce people to the brand in a more intimate way.
San Antonio's growth and tourism made the Alamo City a good choice.
"There's a lot of revitalization going on in downtown, and we wanted to be a part of that for the simple fact that there's over 3 million tourists a year that come to the downtown area," Cameron said. "We felt like it's a great way to expose our brand to people from other cities, other states, other countries."
Cameron was drawn to downtown in part because of the revitalization in the area and the historic Burns Building on Houston Street.
"So we found this building and just immediately fell in love with it," he said. "You just don't see construction like this anymore. To see the accents on the beams and just everywhere you look, it kind of captures the history."
Cameron said he's happy to now be a part of the downtown revival.
"Houston Street at one time was the busiest street in San Antonio. It's great to see it come back to life again," he said.
A percentage of the sale of each bottle of whiskey goes towards conserving the Devils River.
The Burns Building tasting room is set to open next summer.