Dripping Springs, TX (July 10, 2018) – Treaty Oak Distilling, a vanguard distillery on the leading-edge of the small spirits movement, has hired Jamie Biel, as its Director of Science and Sustainability, a newly created position. Named the 2017 Secondary Teacher of the Year, Biel taught biology and environmental science at both Lake Travis ISD and Dripping Springs ISD during the past 10 years. She joins a team of distillers, sommeliers, botanists and architects, which draw inspiration from the past, but also the world around them.

Founded in 2006 by Daniel Barnes, and located in Dripping Springs, Texas (approximately 25 miles outside of Austin), the 28-acre ranch houses the distillery, which produces an award-winning portfolio of whiskies and gin, as well as Ghost Hill Restaurant, a full kitchen and bar; The Cocktail Lab, where science meets the art of cocktailing; Rick House Bar, and a visitor center. Biel will assess each individual functional unit on the ranch and design a master plan to most efficiently and effectively maintain the highest quality products while respectfully using local resources in such a way to allow them to naturally regenerate.

Two immediate priorities will be water and waste. As a water-intensive industry, Treaty Oak feels a responsibility to increase efficiency of use and mimic the natural water cycle as much as possible. The company wants to show the spirits industry that if used sustainably, water can be preserved and purified. Treaty Oak is also making strides to reduce its waste stream and offset its carbon footprint. For example, they currently divert 100% of spent grain. Two local farms take their waste as organic feed for their animals. In return, Treaty Oak features their fresh organic eggs, honey, beef, chicken, and pork at Ghost Hill Restaurant. They are moving to establish an anaerobic digestion system on site to compost all food waste and harness the methane to produce electricity, which will significantly reduce the amount of fossil-fuel generated energy associated with their operations.

When possible, the team use local resources, including limestone filtered Texas spring water and sources corn, wheat, and malted barley from Barton Springs Mill, where 90% of grains are grown by Texas farmers using sustainable organic practices. Biel will help to close the materials lifecycle loop while reducing Treaty Oak’s carbon footprint, emphasizing local, sustainable, organic ingredients, responsible resource use, and community connection.

“There is so much potential to respectfully integrate our processes into those nature has established in terms of water, energy, and waste,” said Biel. “We plan to demonstrate that it is possible to blend economy with ecology in the pursuit of the curious.”

“As we strive for full transparency at Treaty Oak, we want to represent change in every aspect of our industry - be it innovation, equality, making a difference in our local community, or lessening our burden on the environment,” said Daniel Barnes, founder of Treaty Oak Distilling. “The opportunity to bring someone on as talented and driven as Jamie was a no brainer. She represents an incredibly valuable and important part of the puzzle as we push ourselves to the best version of Treaty Oak possible.”

Biel earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Botany, with a minor in Chemistry, from Texas State University. She lives in Dripping Springs and has two kids. In her free time, she enjoys reading, kayaking, hiking.

For more information, about Treaty Oak and its whiskey portfolio, visit For more information about Waterloo Gin, visit

About Treaty Oak Distilling

Treaty Oak Distilling is a collective of distillers, sommeliers, botanists and architects based in Dripping Springs, Texas who are in pursuit of making the best spirits. They look to film, music, cultural exchange and beyond to push and fuel a path forward. Inspired by the world around them, they have crafted an unbound lineup of spirits: Ghost Hill Texas Bourbon, Red Handed Bourbon, Red Handed Rye Whiskey, Waterloo No.9 Gin, Waterloo Antique Gin and Waterloo Old Yaupon Gin. Connect with Treaty Oak Distilling on Facebook and Instagram. Drink responsibly.

Gabriel Phelan