True to form, Chip Tate is doing nothing the easy way as he turns an old contractor’s barn into Tate & Co. Distillery.

On a sweltering July afternoon last week, he was blasting a giant sheet of copper with a wand of blue flame to soften it so he could hammer it into a still.

Then he doffed his heavy leather jacket, wiped the sweat off his brow, took a sip of whiskey and gave a quick tour of the distillery he is building by hand at 7324 Steinbeck Bend Road.

He hopes late this year or early next year to be distilling a variety of liquors, starting with Texas brandies and adding whiskey next spring. And he plans to keep building stills to sell for the burgeoning craft distillery market.

Building a distillery from scratch is nothing new for Tate, nor is his attitude of DIY perfectionism. In 2008, he turned an old shed under a Waco bridge into Balcones Distilling Co., which quickly won international awards and publicity.

Waco Tribune-Herald