On a typical Saturday evening in the early 1940s, the sidewalks along Center Avenue in the heart of downtown Brownwood filled with folks walking to one of the half-dozen movie theaters to watch films like Casablanca and Paris After Dark. Many of the moviegoers were Army trainees at nearby Camp Bowie. The end of World War II brought much of Brownwood’s activity to a halt as the population of almost 80,000 began its precipitous drop; today the population is around 18,600. And while the town may not return to its 1940s population levels, many new businesses are bringing vibrancy to Brownwood’s downtown streets once again.

A Toast to Country Life: The Spirit of Texas Winery features a tasting room built from a repurposed barn, animal pen, and woodshed. Owners Brian and Moira McCue moved from the Austin area in 2016 to open a winery. “We found our place,” Moira says about discovering the property. If the weather is nice, you can take your glass of wine outside to play some patio games, including checkers and giant Jenga.

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