Spirit, local history, and the genealogy of the most famous family name in Texas all meet at the new Maverick Whiskey distillery downtown.

Ken Maverick, descendant of Texas pioneers Samuel and Mary Maverick, celebrated the 216th birthday of his great-great-great-grandfather with the official grand opening of his family distillery Tuesday evening.

The Maverick Whiskey tasting room offers two varieties of its namesake spirit, the one-day aged Alamo Whiskey and a Light Whiskey that might appeal to vodka drinkers, Maverick said.

A Texas Dry Gin is made from locally grown ingredients, including rosemary grown on the distillery roof and grapefruit cultivated in the Rio Grande Valley. A full South Texas cuisine menu also features ingredients sourced from local businesses, including Green Bexar Farms and Groomer’s Seafood market.

Spirits are available to take home in bottles from the distillery retail shop, open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.

The distillery is located in the refurbished Lockwood National Bank Building at 115 Broadway, which sat empty for a decade prior to Maverick and his wife, Amy, purchasing the building in 2017.

The spirits at the heart of specially designed cocktails like the Maverick Mule and Gin & Cuke derive from 200-year-old family recipes found in the elder Maverick couple’s meticulously kept diaries. When Samuel Maverick left the original Maverick family plantation in South Carolina, he brought with him the recipes and an interest in viticulture and cultivation of fruits like figs, pomegranates, and peaches, which he continued when he and his wife settled in San Antonio.

The fruit-growing tradition will also appear in the distillery’s offerings, including special peach-based cocktails honoring the original Maverick peach orchard that once stood on what is now Travis Park.

Samuel and Mary Maverick donated acres of land to the new and growing city of San Antonio in order to help establish a public park system, and Ken hopes to continue that side of the family legacy.

“Reading their diaries, they just did so much,” he said. “They donated most of the public parks. They really just changed the landscape of how San Antonio was formed, and truly loved the city. I feel the same way, and we’re hoping to do the same thing to the 100 block of Broadway, which needed a little love.”

Though the local distillery market is already occupied by Rebecca Creek, Devils River, Alamo Distilling Co., Seersucker, and Dorçol Distilling, Maverick believes the family history sets his brand apart. “We think our story is unique,” he said. “We’re trying to carry some of the meaning and symbolism of San Antonio, and infuse the spirit of Maverick into the spirits.”

Samuel Maverick also purchased acres of land in what would become the city of San Antonio and sealed his deals with the family whiskey, Ken Maverick said. Two hundred years ago, when an unstable, young United States of America was still finding its legs, whiskey sometimes functioned not only as a drink, but as currency.

“It held value. It never went bad, and it only got better with time,” Maverick said. Today, Maverick hopes his investment will age just as well, creating a new family legacy for the most famous name in Texas.

Senior Reporter Nicholas Frank moved from Milwaukee to San Antonio following a 2017 Artpace residency. Prior to that he taught college fine arts, curated a university contemporary art program, toured with...