Portrait of Samuel Maverick. Courtesy of Maverick Whiskey.
“This is the neatest place you’re gonna visit,” says Ande “Red” McBay, General Manager at Maverick Whiskey. The establishment is the brainchild of Samuel Maverick’s great-great-great- grandson Dr. Ken Maverick and his wife Dr. Amy Maverick. With secret menus, intriguing family history, and surprise speakeasy pop-ups, Maverick Whiskey is the new downtown distillery for those in the know.
“This is the neatest place you’re
Tasting Room Manager Ray Guevara and General Manager & Event Coordinator Ande McBay taking a much deserved selfie break. Courtesy of Maverick Whiskey.
First things first: Tips and tricks. It’s important to follow Maverick on social media. You never know when they’ll throw a speakeasy pop-up or a “National Bald Is Beautiful Day” special (legit- Ande teased that one.) If you stay at the St. Anthony Hotel, they can provide you a wooden nickel that unlocks a secret menu. It’s centered around peach flavors in honor of the Maverick peach orchards that used to inhabit the area around Travis Park. Book a five course tasting in the Republic room and unlock not one but two secret menus. The secret menus are never written down and are only communicated verbally. “Everything I’ve ever wanted to do in management, I’ve gotten to do here,” says Ande. And it’s not just the menu and programming the staff puts thought into. They make sure to source ingredients from local vendors. They work with small, family-owned and veteran-owned businesses to make sure their impact positively affects the local community. Their chefs are specialized in South Texas Cuisine. The distiller has two double gold medals in distillery. Their coffee and tea are sourced from local purveyors Pulp and Blum.
Patrons enjoying the bar top, which includes ADA accessible features. Matt Sirgo / Centro San Antonio
The building itself is ADA accessible. According to Ande, she is one of if not the only legally deaf general managers in the State of Texas. She brought with her a perspective of inclusivity. She made sure there were ramps, elevators, audio aids, and even a bar that accommodated those in wheelchairs. A recent disabled patron of their speakeasy pop-ups had never before experienced a bar top that was ADA accessible. The thoughtfulness touched him.
Head Distiller Rikk Munroe and Assistant Distiller Tyler Goggans on the Maverick Distillery floor. Courtesy of Maverick Whiskey.
Ande stresses the importance of inclusivity and diversity in the Maverick Whiskey staff. Their management team has people of varying gender, ethnicity, ability, and sexual orientation. This helps them better represent and serve a diverse urban district. And if that’s not how things are always done, that’s alright by her. “Instead of managers, we have Mavericks,” Ande explains. The inside joke is a reference to their namesake, Samuel Maverick, who did not like to brand his cows like other cattle owners. The Maverick name became synonymous with someone who doesn’t follow the herd and plays by their own rules.
“Instead of managers, we
The same is true for his great-great-great grandson, Dr. Ken Maverick, and Ken’s wife Dr. Amy Maverick. Ken has always been a history buff, which ended up saving the Maverick family legacy. And what a legacy it is.
Drs. Ken and Amy Maverick during construction of Maverick Whiskey. Courtesy of Maverick Whiskey.
It’s rumored that Sam Maverick, the lone survivor of The Alamo, left a barrel of his whiskey at the famed mission when he rode to Washington-on-the-Brazos to sign the Texas Declaration of Independence. His family had brewed the whiskey in his native South Carolina before it took a 2-year journey to Texas.
After the War of Texas Independence, Sam bought land that would become the city of San Antonio, including a plot that housed what would become Lockwood National Bank, founded in 1918. The bank building was the first place to print Republic of Texas money and the first place in Texas where women could make financial transactions.
US Military personnel enjoying a rare break in the Maverick Tasting Room with the Whiskey Dog. Courtesy of Maverick Whiskey.
101 years after the founding of Lockwood National Bank, the building now houses Maverick Whiskey. Incredibly, Ken Maverick found his family’s 200-year-old whiskey recipe in the journals of his great-great-great grandmother, Mary Maverick. Upon finding it, he knew that he had to make it. He gave it a shot using his bathtub. “Apparently, it smelled awful,” laughs Ande. Amy Maverick told her husband to find a new place to experiment with his family’s recipe. He took that to mean to start his own distillery. Which brings us to today.
“What isn’t unique about
Throughout the twists and turns of this family legend, it’s easy to pose the question, as Ande does, “What isn’t unique about Maverick Whiskey?”