A small crowd of whiskey enthusiasts recently gathered in northern Plano for an intimate tasting event at German liquor importer Vom Fass.
Vom Fass executive Ben Meinen led the crowd through a tasting menu of whiskeys and bourbons, carefully explaining the history and distillation process behind each potent cup.
This event would have been impossible for Plano residents a few years ago -- the city banned liquor sales until 2013.
Now Plano has 61 liquor retailers and has taken in more than $4 million in tax revenue from liquor sales, according to Steve Stoler, Plano's director of media relations. Plano also benefits from liquor store bans in neighboring cities like Frisco, which is only a few blocks from Vom Fass' Village 121 location.
The first foray into D-FW
Vom Fass is a luxury liquor seller with hundreds of stores across the world.
Mike and Denise Burkey recently opened the first Vom Fass locations in North Texas -- both in Plano -- with plans to open quickly open six locations across the Dallas area.
In addition to selling spirits, Vom Fass also has imported oils, vinegars and spices. All of the store's imports are directly sourced and come in hand-labeled bottles. This has made the stores popular among both liquor connoisseurs and those who love buying customized gifts.
Try it before you buy it
Buying high-end alcohol and oils can be stressful if you're not an expert.
It's a common experience for many of us: You walk into a shop with hundreds of glass bottles from brands that you've never heard of. You eventually make a choice, but you find out that you don't like it when you get home, so the bottle collects dust in the back of your liquor cabinet.
Vom Fass, which is German for "from the tap," alleviates the stress of poor liquor-buying choices by allowing you to sample their spirits before you buy.
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission allows Vom Fass to sample up to 20 of its liquors every day, so it is easy to find something you'll like. The selection at Vom Fass also changes frequently because many of the liquors are from small batch distilleries.
When eyeing future Vom Fass locations, the Burkey family has to navigate a confusing array of alcohol laws that sometimes don't fit neatly with the store's liquor sampling model. That is why Vom Fass' Village 121 location is located just outside of Frisco, which has a hard stance against alcohol sales.
Several D-FW liquor store owners have expressed interest adopting Vom Fass' sampling model but haven't made the move yet. So for now, Plano is the place to go if you want to try high-end liquor before you buy.