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The Distillery

Past, Present and Future

The rehabilitation of our building was an intensive process. When we started the work we really didn't know how it would all come together. We had an incredible general contractor from Cleburne, Robin Sanders, and he led a remarkable group of local tradesmen. We decided not to use an interior designer so Troy and Leonard had to dig deep to find their inner fung shui! In the end, the process was very organic as we just kept taking what the building gave us, which has produced an extraordinary atmosphere we now enjoy. We were fortunate to have a couple really talented photographers document the process in a fairly artistic way. We thought you might enjoy seeing some of their work so we assembled a number of shots for our gallery.

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901 Sign

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Reclaimed Wall Thumb

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At F&R, we believe in preserving history – from our 1920s building and classic all-copper pot stills to our traditional 53-gallon bourbon barrels. We’re also committed to supporting our community, donating our spent grain mash to local farmers to use as a high-protein additive for cattle feed.

When you enter our distillery at 901 West Vickery – we lovingly refer to it as 901 – you may feel like you were just transported back in time. 901 was built in 1927, and it’s a clear example of the old adage, “they don’t build ‘em like this anymore.” Although we had to do a fair amount of work to bring the mechanical, electrical and plumbing up to code, it was otherwise in exceptional condition. From the original old-growth timber used for the exposed roof, columns and beams, to the old Chicago Fire Brick used to construct our 13” thick walls, every inch of the building exudes craftsmanship and attention to detail.

In refurbishing the building, we made countless discoveries – for a while it seemed like we were finding long-forgotten items on a daily basis. We became so enthralled with these materials that we decided to find ways to bring them back to life. Now we proudly showcase several pieces resurrected from their prohibition-era slumber.

Vintage design – There are many interesting features in the building to look at and ponder their purpose and craftsmanship. Amongst the numerous original pieces we preserved, are the building’s original steel frame windows and office doors from the 1920’s (engraved in a door handle we use every day is “July 17, 1900”!). A large 1930’s scale was built into the floor near our entrance, and it actually still works! And, concrete floors that we scraped down to an interesting patina reveal a story of the building’s use decades ago.

The loft – We use the building’s original mezzanine, braced by 15” x 4” old growth timber, to store our aging bourbon. This space is neither heated nor air-conditioned, which provides the perfect home for our barrels to interact with the extreme North Texas temperature fluctuations encouraging the bourbon to seep in and out of the newly charred American white oak, absorbing more flavor at each pass.

Firewood wall – We thought it would take a couple weekends, but turned into a 4 month project! Troy, Leonard, Rob and some family members built this grand wall in our entrance by hand. We discovered it was a puzzle like no other! Three cords of wood and countless hours at the miter saw produced this truly remarkable feature we are proud of.

Reclaimed wood walls – During our demolition, we stored every piece of material and hardware we found. We didn’t necessarily have a plan for the items, but we just knew we needed to keep them until we were inspired by an idea. This large wall of reclaimed wood was just that, an inspiration. Every piece of wood on this wall came from the building, and we could tell by the wood grain patterns and patina that the wood was at least 80 years old. We think this unique collage, creatively produced by one of our talented finish carpenter’s, displays woods of rich reds, browns and tans that fits perfectly into the building’s original character.

Furniture – Throughout the building, you will see book-shelves, street lights and conference tables that we designed and built from old steel pallet racks, salvaged sprinkler pipe, reclaimed wood and barn roll-doors that were left behind. We use an old dolly as a coffee table in our reception area, and circa 1940 packaging tables are being used to display distillery items. Even the chairs in Leonard and Troy's offices are made from whiskey barrels.

Wall art – We repurposed several items in the building for cool historic wall art, including a collage made out of old shipping and storage tickets

Bank vault – An incredible 13’ x 14’ old safe with the original vault door serves as a special meeting and merchandise room.

The F&R team designed and constructed all these items. We’re proud we were able to reuse these artifacts, and we certainly appreciate coming to work in such a cool environment.

The distillery is just south of downtown Fort Worth (in the Near Southside District) and very easy to get to. If you’re interested in seeing the building and learning about what we do, please sign up for a tour.