July 18, 2013 – Chip Tate and his team built the original stills and equipment for his Balcones Distillery in Waco, Texas by hand, and opened the distillery in an old welding shop under a freeway overpass in 2008. Five years later, Tate’s whiskies are winning worldwide acclaim, and Balcones has outgrown the capacity of those hand-made stills. Tate and his investors broke ground Thursday for a new distillery to be built in a historic Waco building five blocks from the original distillery.
The new Balcones distillery will be housed in a 65,000 square foot building originally constructed in 1923 as a fireproof storage building. It survived the 1953 tornado that leveled much of downtown Waco, and will be renovated to serve as a distillery between now and its scheduled opening in 2015. Tate has added a new team of investors to help fund the project, along with a temporary expansion of the current distillery to increase production capacity while the new distillery is being built.
This time, Tate and his team will only build some of the equipment for the current distillery. Forsyths of Scotland will build the stills and tanks for the new distillery.
For more on this story, listen to this weekend’s episode of WhiskyCast.
For an interview with Chip Tate on the development of the original Balcones Distillery, listen to Episode 319 of WhiskyCast.
Links: Balcones Distilling