After months of careful preparation, Firestone & Robertson Distilling Company is just about ready to debut what will be the largest whiskey distillery west of the Mississippi River in Fort Worth.
Located on the grounds of the former Glen Garden Country Club, the new whiskey wonderland in Fort Worth is an expansion of the original distillery founded by Troy Robertson and Leonard Firestone. One year after opening in 2012, the duo quickly came to realize that its original location at 901 West Vickery wasn’t going to be big enough to accommodate the demand for its wildly popular TX Whiskey.
Originally though, not all residents of the nearby neighborhoods were thrilled about the boozy new addition. “We have two and a half miles of property line,” says Robertson. “There was a miscommunication that we were going to open a very large liquor store.” Residents showed up in droves when the distillery petitioned the city for a zoning change, but have mostly settled down after the project was fully explained. “There will always be people with a bee in their bonnet,” Firestone says. “But as people saw what we were building, the sentiment has changed.”
After acquiring the Glen Garden property, Robertson and Firestone set to work alongside head distiller Rob Arnold. The new location provides Firestone & Robertson with an opportunity to increase its production, but to showcase the Texas-based at the forefront of high end whiskey distilling, and earn a coveted spot as a stop along the American Whiskey Trail. Like the touristy distilleries in Kentucky and Tennessee, the new Firestone & Robertson boasts its own gift shop, and an immersive experience that provides a close-up look inside the process of making whiskey.
Inside the stillhouse, where the magic happens, a sea of shimmering stainless steel and piping off of the holding and mash tanks focuses on the beating heart of the building, the 50-foot-tall condensing column. Made of solid copper, with thick glass viewing ports, the massive machine will be able to crank out more whiskey than ever before. Guests will be able to view the inside of the Stillhouse, and be allowed to walk up the two flanking staircases to get the full picture of the operation.
Set off the side of the gift shop is a hallway leading to the rest of the rooms that is meant to imitate a rackhouse, where whiskey is aged. Walking through the smell of charred wood and sawdust, guests can hit The Tavern for bourbon tastings, or host events in bright, cheery Oak Room. Guests will also be able to explore off many of the porches and seating areas outside that are dotted with fireplaces, fire pits, and outlooks onto the green or the skyline of Fort Worth.
When it arrives in the coming weeks — no opening date has been set just yet, but all signs point to a November debut — Firestone & Robertson’s Whiskey Ranch will bring a real-deal distillery to Fort Worth. Stay tuned for more details on an official opening date.
In the meantime, take a virtual walk around the property courtesy of Eater photographer Kathy Tran.