If you are a fan of small batch bourbon, whiskey, gin and vodka then you should be in high spirits. Acre Distilling, Black Eyed Distilling, Firestone & Robertson Distilling Company, Blackland Distillery and Trinity River Distillery are producing superlative varietals of liquor. And all are locally-owned businesses giving Fort Worth a distinctive niche in the craft spirits world.
The Foundry District is home to Fort Worth’s newest distillery, Blackland Distilling. Founder Markus Kypreos has a background in law and the wine industry and has noted the name “Blackland” refers to the natural prairie that Fort Worth resides upon. To ensure that all his spirits were infused with the natural flavors of the land, “terroir” as it’s known, Kypreos uses grains that are exclusively grown and malted in North Texas. His craft vodkas, gins and whiskeys are made with significant portions of wheat. The grain adds unique flavors and a more robust mouthfeel.
Beyond the hi-tech distilling equipment imported from Europe and top-notch spirits, the warm and sophisticated tasting room is not be missed. The space, open Wednesday thru Sunday 5 p.m. to midnight, is dimly lit without being dark and it's bereft of any televisions or distractions. It’s the kind of environment that makes for good conversations and contemplative drinking. Small bites are available from nearby Meyer and Sage, and free streetside parking is never an issue. Sundays are reserved for public tours and tastings.
Signature Cocktail: Hemingway Gin & Tonic (Gin, aromatics, tonic water, lime, coconut and bitters)
BLK EYE VODKA
Black Eyed Distilling Co. opened two years ago in the budding South Main Village of the Near Southside in which the distillery and taproom cohabit a fire station. The ground floor is filled with large metal fermentors and copper columns that reached toward the ceiling like large golden flutes.
A trip up the winding, metal staircase leads visitors to a cozy bar and lounge area to sip on one of the few grain-to-glass vodkas in Texas. Black-eyed peas and corn used to make the vodka are grown then milled in Texas, which create a “unique flavor" often described as boasting a live nose (nutty, vanilla, sake), silky mouthfeel and smooth profile. Over the past two years, Black Eyed Distilling Co. has won numerous awards, including double gold at the 2019 Proof Awards and double gold at the 2017 Global Spirit Awards. Visit for a Saturday tour or a themed game night.
Signature Cocktail: BLK EYE BLOODY (BLK EYE Vodka, lime juice, Cholula Chili Lime, Worcestershire sauce and Zing Zang Bloody Mary Mix — all garnished with pickled okra, Tabasco Spicy Green Bean or a jalapeno-stuffed olive)
Since opening more than three years ago, Acre Distillery has set a high standard for what locally-made craft liquor can offer. Recognized as “one of the top 9 craft distillery tasting rooms” in the United States by Vinepair.com, Acre Distillery is the latest venture of Tony Formby. The Canadian native became a part of Fort Worth lore when he invested in Rahr & Sons Brewing Company in 2006 and helped the craft beer brewery expand. The Rahr connection doesn’t end there. JB Flowers, the former award-winning brewer at Rahr, oversees distilling operations.
With its downtown location in what was once the rough and tumble Hell’s Half Acre, Acre Distillery is a favorite spot to meet friends for a cocktail and dinner. The warm environs make generous use of handcrafted and restored wood. The full-service bar always has something to perk you up, and the chorizo flatbread pizza is a winner. Distillery tours offer tastings of six spirits, a discussion on the distilling process and a history lesson on Hell’s Half Acre.
Signature Cocktail: The Acre Distilling Vesper (Acre Distilling Black Halo vodka, Acre Distilling Two Minnies gin, Texas honey, lemon juice and orange bitters)
FIRESTONE AND ROBERTSON DISTILLING COMPANY
Firestone and Robertson Distilling Company made history when it produced Fort Worth’s first straight bourbon. The distillery was already famous for its TX Whiskey. Both prized products are sold at specialty shops and liquor stores across Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and beyond. Local bars have caught on to the craze, including The Whiskey Garden, which makes the TX Whiskey Smash (TX blended whiskey, fresh mint and lemon juice).
The sprawling Firestone and Robertson Distilling Company campus provides a welcome respite from the bustle of nearby downtown Fort Worth. A large parking lot near the distillery offers free parking. The distillery holds public tours three days a week, Thursday - Saturday. Special events include Whiskey Wednesday and a summer concert series. Follow their Facebook page for the latest events.
Signature Cocktail: TX Whiskey Smash (TX blended whiskey, fresh mint and lemon juice)
TRINITY RIVER DISTILLERY
The historic Ranch Style Beans Plant, built in 1913, is where Trinity River Distillery proudly calls home. The large facility was fitted with an elaborate rain harvesting system that all Trinity River spirits are sourced from. In addition to making premium spirits (Texas Silver Star Honey, Texas Silver Star Whiskey and Texas Silver Star Vodka) the distillery puts on fun tours Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Tours cost $10 and include a tasting at the conclusion of the walk-through.
Signature Cocktail: Cranberry Cooler (Texas Silver Star Whiskey, cranberry juice, Triple Sec, sweet n’ sour and lemon wedge)