Where to Drink
Sipping locally made spirits is easy to do these days, thanks to the growing number of distilleries popping up around Fort Worth. Not only whiskey, but vodka, rum, and some mighty fine gin is now produced within the city limits. Tasting rooms offer cocktails, flights, and, in some cases, bites, in attractive settings that are now competing with bars and restaurants as favorite hot spots. Here are five places to drink local, literally.
High-tech hardware and computerized stills are used to distill the spirits at this modern and sophisticated distillery, which opened March 20 in The Foundry District. Former lawyer-turned-distiller Markus Kypreos says he wanted to be close to the West Seventh Street nightlife, but not in the middle of it. Patrons will find a classy retreat reminiscent of the Art Deco era, with club chairs, booths, chandeliers, and a stone horseshoe-shaped bar. Kypreos and his team are distilling four spirits right now: vodka, gin, rye whiskey, and bourbon. They use reverse osmosis water (meaning water that is very filtrated) and high-quality wheat from Texas farms. Gin lovers, take note — Blackland’s version features 12 different aromatic botanicals and is lovely to sip on its own. Also try the cocktail on tap, currently an Old Fashioned served over a giant cube of ice and garnished with a fragrant orange peel. The tasting room is open Wednesday through Sunday, 5 pm to midnight.
Whiskey Ranch at Firestone & Robertson Distilling Co.
The 112-acre whiskey wonderland is the largest distillery west of the Mississippi River, and its mystique is amplified by its very limited tasting room hours. Patrons can only pop in on Thursday and Friday from 4 to 6 pm, but call ahead to check that the space isn’t reserved for a private event. Once inside, whiskey sips and cocktails can be found at the TX Tavern, a Western-inspired bar and tasting room with a rustic-chic vibe. Try TX Whiskey or TX Straight Bourbon straight, or cocktails like the TX Smash, made with lemon juice and mint, and the pecan old fashioned, which uses molasses vanilla syrup.
Acre Distilling Co.
With the most robust list of spirits of any Fort Worth distillery, Acre Distilling Co. gets creative with its offerings. Gin, flavored vodkas, rum, and limoncello are created and served here, along with straight bourbon whiskey and single barrel select bourbon whisky. The downtown distillery — named for its location once known as Hell’s Half Acre — doubles as a coffeehouse and café, attracting tourists, locals, and folks looking to sit and sip somewhere with Wi-Fi. The spacious tasting room, with its cushy seats and wooden tables, has a view right into the distilling area, where tours take place Thursday through Sunday. Try out-of-the-box whiskey cocktails like The All Nighter with honey syrup, cold-brew coffee, and egg whites; and the Up in Smoke made with peach whiskey, simple syrup, and orange bitters. The tasting room is open Tuesday through Thursday, 10 am to 10 pm; Friday, 10 am to 11 pm; Saturday, 11 am to 11 pm; and Sunday, 1-4 pm.
Black Eyed Distilling Co.
Operating out of an historic fire station in Fort Worth’s South Side, Black Eyed Distilling Co. is home to the world’s first vodka distilled from black-eyed peas. The idea originated from a farmer in Muleshoe, Texas, who took his drought-stricken black-eyed pea crop and decided to try his hand at making vodka. Today the spirit is a national award-winner, having taken home several gold and silver medals at various competitions. Charcoal filtration reduces the burn found with other vodkas, and there’s surprisingly flavorful finish. Try it on its own or in one of the tasting room’s featured cocktails, including the Cowtown Cosmo, grapefruit and ginger mule; or perhaps the most popular, the lime-heavy Bloody Mary. The tasting room is open Friday, 5-9 pm and Saturday, 2-9 pm.
Trinity River Distillery
Filtered rainwater is used to make the spirits at this southeast downtown distillery, which is located inside the historic Ranch Style Beans plant. The distillery’s flagship spirit is Silver Star Whiskey, but the lineup also includes honey liqueur and vodka. The spacious bar and flagstone-paved patio offers TVs both inside and out, so the place is popular for game-day watch parties. Try the Silver Star Stargarita, the distillery’s version of a fresh lime margarita made with whiskey instead of tequila. The tasting room is open Thursday, 4-9 pm; Friday, 4-10 pm; and Saturday, noon to 10 pm.