Branson’s Best Spots for “Grown Up” Beverages!

by  |  Attractions & Activities, Restaurants & Dining
   
Branson’s Best Spots for “Grown Up” Beverages!

Branson hangs its hat on being famous for family fun, and for good reason - it’s the most family-friendly place you’ll ever visit!  Yet, every once in a while, moms and dads, empty nesters, a group of friends travelling together, or a few buddies from a military reunion want to relax and enjoy a tasty adult beverage, or maybe pick up a case of local wine to take back to the room or maybe home to St. Louis.  Where to go? Well, it just so happens that Branson is quickly becoming a destination known for places focused on local and Missouri-made wine, whiskey, rum, beer, and even good ol’ moonshine! For years, there was literally only one winery in town, and very few establishments designed for the night life, or just a couple of drinks after dinner.  Now, Branson is home to several wineries and distilleries, with many of them located close together, making it easy to develop an itinerary built around beverages for grown ups!

Branson continues to be the favorite family destination you know and love, while also developing an industry aimed at promoting the wonderful beverages produced from Missouri-grown grapes, and those distilled right on site using the mountain-fresh water of the Ozarks. You’ll discover several local spots that invite you to taste the unique products being produced in Branson, and purchase their tasty beverages by the bottle or case to enjoy later.  You’ll find three popular wineries within about a two-block area bordered by Highway 76, Highway 165, and Green Mountain Drive: St. James Winery & Restaurant, Curling Vine Winery, and Mt. Pleasant Winery are just a stone’s throw from one another! You’ll also enjoy a brief, but beautiful, drive to Missouri Ridge Distillery, Copper Run Distillery, and Lindwedel Winery.

You’ll find additional information on St. James Winery & Restaurant, and the other places listed here in an earlier Travel Guide post: “The Grown-Up Side of Branson - Wineries, Distilleries, and Dining!

Now that Branson has enough places to plan an entire visit around wineries and distilleries, here is the list of places to include in your itinerary:

Wineries

St. James Winery & Restaurant:  Branson’s newest winery has quickly become one of its favorite spots for eats, drinks, and lots of being merry!  Well-stocked with their many award-winning wines, St. James is also the only Branson winery with a full-service restaurant.  Guests can enjoy tastings, peruse the nice gift shop, have lunch or dinner in the casual elegance of the restaurant, or relax in the pretty courtyard area in the back, where they can play bocce ball or other yard games, and enjoy live music on select evenings. Menu favorites include the brick-oven Artisan Pizza, Chicken Parmesan, and the Prime Rib (weekends only.) This location is the multi-award-winning winery’s first venture outside their home in St. James, Missouri, and it’s already a huge success!

Location:  Highway 165, less than a block from Branson’s famous Strip - Highway 76

Schedule:  Open year-round - hours may vary by day and season

Lindwedel Winery:  Boasting a gorgeous view of the Ozarks countryside, Lindwedel has been delighting Branson area guests for more than 10 years with their flavorful wines and excellent hospitality. They offer free wine tastings and have a nice gathering space for small weddings, reunions, and other events. Although they don’t have a full service restaurant, there are snacks available. They also create gift baskets and have regularly scheduled live music.  

Location:  Highway 265 - look for the water tower that’s nearby

Schedule:  March through December - hours vary by day of the week and month

Curling Vine Winery:  Once upon a time, Branson’s first winery was known as Stone Hill, and it’s still supplied by the Missouri vineyards that serve Stone Hill Winery in Hermann. They offer tours that include showing you how spumate is made and have a nice array of wine-related food and souvenir items in their spacious gift shop.  They also offer an interesting display of the stills that once made good ol’ mountain moonshine, including some that once distilled the strong stuff right here in the Ozarks!

Location:  Highway 165 at Green Mountain Drive  

Schedule:  Open year-round - hours may vary by day and season

Mt. Pleasant Winery:  Just around the corner from St. James and Curling Vine you’ll discover Mt. Pleasant, offering a plethora of wines and a very nice gift shop. They hold private tasting sessions, group tours, and even the opportunity to bottle your own dessert wine!  They also have a Wine 101 class, teaching newcomers to the world of wine the five s’s of tasting - see, swirl, sniff, sip, and savor.

Location:  Green Mountain Drive, near the intersection with Highway 165

Schedule:  Open year-round - days open and hours may vary by season

Distilleries

Missouri Ridge Distillery:  A curvy, scenic drive out Highway 248 will find you at this elegantly rustic property with a nice view of the hills, and flavorful whiskey just waiting to be tasted!  Led by Master Distiller M. Gregory Pope, this family-owned, artisan distillery produces high quality spirits in small batches. Using the incredible water flowing through the deep limestone base of the Ozark Mountains, Missouri Ridge turns out award-winning Corn Whiskey, Single Barrel Bourbon, Howlin’ Hounds Moonshine, and American Single Malt Whiskey.

Location:  Highway 248 - just minutes from Branson’s city limits

Schedule:  Open Tuesday through Saturday

Copper Run Distillery:  The first spirit-lovin’ spot to pop up in the Branson area - billed as the first legal distillery in the Ozark Mountains since the end of Prohibition in 1933 - Copper Run has earned a reputation for being a low-key hangout favorite for locals and visitors alike.  They create their spirits in small, handcrafted batches - some offerings are seasonal, but Bourbon, Ozark Mountain Moonshine, Overproof Ozark Mountain Moonshine, Small Batch Whiskey, Overproof White Rum, Spiced Rum, and The “Hopped” Wheat Whiskey are typically found on their menu. You can also enjoy live music on select dates, as well as special events and other happenings!

Location:  Just south of Branson off Highway 65 - it’s a beautiful winding drive down Day Road in Walnut Shade.

Schedule: Wednesday through Sunday

Smith Creek Distillery:  This fun spot at Branson Landing offers both several flavors of moonshine and handcrafted, stuffed hamburgers.  Moonshine flavors range from classics like Peach and Apple Pie, to more unusual, like Sweet Tea, Butter Cake, and Ginger Snap, and there’s a tasting bar available so you can try before you buy!  Burger offerings are also diverse, including a Greek, stuffed with feta cheese, and burgers made from Elk and Bison. Smith Creek also has a gift shop where you’ll find bottled “shines,” jams, sauces, apparel, and more.

Location:  Branson Landing

Schedule: Open year-round, 7 days a week

Crown Valley Distillery:  Crown Valley offers several different tastings and distills whiskey on-site in a spacious and cheery atmosphere.  In addition to the Branson-made whiskey, you can taste their ciders, wines, beers, and other spirits, all made in Missouri. Tastings range from $4 to $10 per guest.  You’ll also find Missouri-sourced meats, including hot dogs, sausage, and pastrami made from bison raised in Crown Valley’s homebase city of St. Genevieve. Tours are available, and include a look at their automated still; it was handmade in the Netherlands by a professional educated in the science of distilling.

Location:  Highway 76 - Branson’s famous Strip, where it intersects with Fall Creek Road

Schedule:  Varies by season

In addition to this impressive list of wineries and distilleries, other popular places for finding an adult beverage or two include hangouts like the Outback Pub on Highway 76, Waxy O’Shea’s Irish Pub at Branson Landing, and Draft’s Sports Bar & Grill in the Shepherd of the Hills District.  For a great selection of spirits, beers, wines, and more to take with, there’s a Macadoodles store on Branson Landing Boulevard.

Now that you’ve discovered the “grown up” Branson, add some of our world-famous live shows to your itinerary and you’re ready for the best time of your life!