It's a good time to be a spirits drinker in North Texas. With more than 10 local distilleries (and several more on the way), residents now have their pick of whiskey, gin, rum, vodka and more made here in Dallas-Fort Worth.
Here are five distilleries where you visit, tour and sample the local flavor. (Pro tip: Texas alcohol laws also allow drinkers to buy a bottle from the distillery to take home.)
Located in Old Town Lewisville, Witherspoon Distillery is a testament to the growing thirst for locally-made spirits in D-FW. Opened in 2011, the business quickly outgrew its space and moved to a 19,000-square-foot facility in fall 2015. In addition to an expanded production area, the new distillery has a large cocktail bar and outdoor patio where patrons can order drinks made with one of the many spirits Witherspoon offers or a flight to try them all. The distillery is best known for its Bonfire cinnamon rum (consider it an alternative to Fireball), but it also makes a bourbon, a rum and a single-malt whiskey.
Visit: Witherspoon Distillery is open Friday 3 to 10 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and by appointment only the rest of the week. Tours cost $10 and include a tasting. Take one on Friday at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., or Saturday at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Acre Distilling Co.
You don't have to be in the mood for an alcoholic beverage to stop by Acre Distilling Co. in Fort Worth. The business, which sits on the edge of downtown near the convention center, also serves coffee, tea and light bites, such as flatbread pizzas and charcuterie. That's why it's not unusual to see students posted up here working on their laptops. But once happy hour rolls around, feel free to indulge in Acre's myriad of spirits, including rum, gin, whiskey and limoncello. Vodka comes in a several flavors, too, including blackberry-sage and peach tea.
Visit: Acre Distilling Co. is open Monday through Wednesday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. It is closed on Sunday. Tours cost $20 and include a tasting of six spirits, plus 15 percent off cocktails at the bar. Take one on Thursday at 6 p.m., Friday at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Saturday every hour beginning at 1 p.m. and running until 7 p.m.
Firestone and Robertson Distilling Co.
Before you even enter Firestone and Robertson Distilling Co. you'll be able to smell the whiskey. This distillery in Fort Worth is locally renown for its TX Blended Whiskey, which comes in a bottle emblazoned with the initials of the Lone Star State and topped with a leather cap made of scraps from Justin Boot Outlet down the road. More recently, the company launched a bourbon it describes as "wheated" because, in addition to corn, distillers use wheat instead of rye for the recipe. Each spirits uses Firestone and Robertson's proprietary yeast strain.
Visit: Firestone and Robertson Distilling Co. operates a retail shop Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Stop by between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. to try complimentary samples of the blended whiskey and bourbon. Tours, which run two hours, cost $15 and include a tasting. Take one on select Saturdays at 2 p.m.
Western Son Distillery
At 20 miles north of Denton, Pilot Point may seem like a long way for a couple drinks. But those make the trek will be rewarded with a variety of spirits from Western Son Distillery (and if you're in the mood, craft brews from the neighboring Whistle Post Brewing Co.). The distillery is so-named for its line of house vodkas, which come in flavors such as grapefruit, peach, prickly pear, and blueberry. Those can be sampled straight or mixed into $5 cocktails, which rotate on a seasonal basis. Western Son also makes a whiskey. Stop by on a weekend to enjoy live music on the outdoor stage.
Visit: Western Son Distillery operates a retail shop Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Saturday, it opens at noon for patrons to enjoy a cocktail or tour. Tours take place at 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m., and include a tasting. It costs $10 to indulge in the vodkas and $15 for the whiskey.
Black Eyed Distilling Co.
Vodka is the only spirit at Black Eyed Distilling Co. in Fort Worth, but it's unlike many you've likely tried before. The namesake BLK EYE Vodka is made from black-eyed peas, which possess the necessary starches to make alcohol. As the story goes, mother-and-son duo Deborah and Trey Nickels owned a farm in Muleshoe, Texas where they grew black-eyed peas. A failed crop, however, forced them to get creative with the remains. Drinkers can sample BLK EYE Vodka at the distillery's tasting room or try it in a cocktail.
Visit: Black Eyed Distilling Co. is open Thursday and Friday 5 to 9 p.m. and Saturday 2 to 9 p.m. Tours cost $20 and include a tasting. Take one on Saturday at 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.
CORRECTION, 12:49 p.m., April 5, 2017: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the distance between Denton and Pilot Point.