Whiskey on the Way
Newest North Texas distiller builds on family legacy for small-batch spirits
The number of North Texas microbrewers and small-batch distillers has exploded in recent years, and the newest among them is Rifle Distillery in Grapevine. Owned by brothers Jason and Justin Jackson, and Justin's wife, Allie, it's projected to open this fall, at 541 Industrial Blvd., Ste. C.
Rifle Distillery will focus on vodka and whiskey, with an emphasis on using Texas grains. The distillery seeks to cook, age, and bottle all of their own spirits, making it a notable place to visit.
Originally from Arkansas, the Jacksons spent their childhood in West Texas. Justin has lived in Dallas for the last 10 years with his wife, who grew up in North Texas. "I love Texas, so to me there was no better choice than to open up here," Justin says.
However, this isn't the Jacksons' first foray in the distillery business. Jason also co-owns and is the head distiller for the award-winning Axe and the Oak Distillery in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where he currently resides.
When Jason opened up Axe and the Oak Distillery in 2013, Justin, who was a sales rep in the bicycle industry, started to help his brother. "I simply loved his direction, and it was inspiring," Justin says. "So, I started working with him and came up with the idea down here in Texas."
Aside from a passion for quality spirits, the two brothers have always had a knack for making things themselves. According to Justin, the two brothers go by the mantra, "Why buy it if you can make it?" And that includes the tables and chairs in the distillery's reception area and tasting room, which Justin made.
The Jacksons' ties to spirits go back further than the two brothers. "Our great-uncle was a moonshiner in Tennessee," Justin says.
Must run in the family.
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