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Balcones Expansion

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Balcones Breaks Ground on New Distillery

(July 17, 2013) Waco, TX—After many months of searching for the right partners, Balcones Distilling is breaking ground on what will be one of the most innovative and significant craft whisky distilleries in the world. Custom-built equipment designed by the head distiller, Chip Tate, will allow the distillery to grow distribution to reach markets across the world.

Currently operating out of a 2000 square foot converted welding shop, Balcones will be installing a new distillery in a 1923 landmark Waco building just five blocks from the current production site. Originally built as a fireproof storage building, the 65,000 square foot structure is only one a few to have survived the 1953 tornado that gutted Waco's city center. "This vault of a building is a jewel that has been preserved from Waco's heyday. Now, we hope it will be a part of downtown's rebirth. It's exciting to be able to help transform part of Waco's history into a part of it's future," said Chip Tate, President and Head Distiller.

Greg Allen heads the new investor group who together with Austin-based Michael Rockafellow are making the expansion possible. Mark Allen, Paul Allen, Rob McLaughlin, Noell Michaels and Pat Donehue are also part of the new team. "Balcones has been fortunate enough to have a number of investment partners interested in working with us. But we've held out for partners that share our commitment to quality over quick return and who are interested in growing a business that we can pass on to our children. Many investors see that approach as old-fashioned, but we've taken time to find a group we're proud to call partners," said Tate.

"For the first time ever, we will be able to dictate our production levels based on what we want to make rather than how much we can make," says Tate. Demand for Balcones' whiskies have quadrupled over the last year making it difficult to find bottles on the shelf. "It's a wonderful problem to have, having so much enthusiasm for what we make. At the same time, it's frustrating for us as well as consumers that it is so hard to find Balcones in stores. We'll never compromise quality for quantity, but this expansion will allow us to grow both. It will also be exciting to be able to try our hand at a few new recipes."

Half of the equipment for the expansion will be built in-house by the distillers while the larger stills and tanks will be built by fourth generation still makers, Forsyths of Scotland. The Balcones team hopes to have the new distillery running by early 2015 with additional production increases in the current distillery coming online by end of summer 2013. The eventual build out will allow for 6 sets of stills similar in size to those used by artisan distilleries in Scotland.

"The new investment in Balcones' future coincides with our fifth anniversary," say Tate. "We have a special collection of individual casks that will be released over the course of the year in celebration. It's wonderful to know that we will finally have the production capacity to not only get bottles of our standard line back on shelves, but also continue to produce more special release and experimental casks like these."

About Balcones Distilling

Within the US craft whisky industry, Balcones has become synonymous with expertise, innovation and precision, having produced some of the most highly acclaimed artisanal whiskies to come out of the US over the last five years since it's founding in 2008. Chip and his crew built Balcones from scratch. From metal sheeting and copper, to old stainless steel vessels bought on eBay, the team of three built the Texan distillery from the bottom up. Since then, Balcones has gone on to the first distillery to have been awarded Whisky Magazine's Icons of Whisky - Craft Whiskey Distillery of the Year as well as Wizards of Whisky's Global Distillery of the Year and US Craft Distillery of the Year awards, all in 2012. To date, Balcones has collected over five-dozen medals and awards for their range of spirits.

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