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Texas Goes Big on Craft Spirits

“The Lone Star State, the largest in terms of square mileage in the continental U.S. as well as one of its most populous, encompasses a wide range of home-grown spirits. In other words, don’t mess with Texas.

Its pioneering attitude and diverse population means a sometimes unconventional approach. From Austin to Waco and beyond, there’s plenty of whiskey, an iconic vodka brand and surprise detours through rakiasotol and more.

Wine Enthusiast October 2020

Texas Monthly: The Great Texas Whiskey Boom

“[…] At the time, the industry was more rivalrous than friendly and was dominated by the big, swaggering personalities of Garrison Brothers founder Dan Garrison and Balcones founder Chip Tate, each of whom had ambitions to conquer the world with his products, not someone else’s. Tate wrote about wanting to create whiskeys that captured Texas’s ‘maverick tendencies, its climate, its restrictions and its freedoms, and its fierce notions of independence,’ and he was lionized as a visionary in the whiskey press, which compared him to Steve Jobs and Michelangelo.”

Texas Monthly, October 2019


Whiskycast: Chip Tate Gets Federal Distillery Permit, Tate & Co. Distillery Plans Moving Forward

The often-delayed debut of maverick distiller Chip Tate’s second act in the whisky business is a step closer to fruition, now that Tate & Company has received its Distilled Spirits Plant permit from the Treasury Department’s Alcohol & Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau. The “DSP” is the basic federal permit required for operating a distillery, and requires an extensive list of disclosures from would-be distillers along with a background check and site review in a process that averages around six months.

Whiskycast – July 5, 2017

Balcones founder Tate building 2nd distillery from scratch

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

Chip Tate: The Phoenix of Distilling, Re-Emerges

“Tate & Company Distillery is the next incarnation of Tate’s dream: A new crew, a better facility and more capacity all offer opportunity for growth. With a stable financial foundation, along with a bounty of hard-won wisdom, forward motion is easier than looking back. Having a solid reputation and a network of supporters in the spirits industry also helps.”

Distiller Magazine, July 2016

The South’s Best Distilleries

“Master distiller Charles “Chip” Tate started a spirited new chapter from scratch in 2015. After converting an 11,000-square-foot old barn into a distillery from the ground up, Chip focuses on crafting Texas brandies using locally sourced ingredients. Stay tuned for corn and malt whiskeys, including what Tate describes as “several new styles of whisky,” in the spring of 2016.”

Southern Living

WhiskyCast, Episode 577

Chip Tate is about to get back into the whisky business… We’ll talk with Chip Tate about his enforced hiatus from whisky-making, what he learned from the experience, and what he plans to do as soon as he can start firing up his new hand-made stills.

Whiskycast – February 20, 2016

Brandy’s Southern Return

“Strictly speaking, you can make brandy by distilling any kind of fermented fruit juice. But most of the time, when people say brandy they mean grape brandy—i.e., distilled wine. And therein lies another reason Southern brandy makes a whole lot of sense. An explosion in Southern wine production—the region today boasts 864 wineries—means there are plenty of grapes to go around. And the hot climate often produces grapes that are heavy with sugar, which can make for an overly sweet wine but is perfect for distilling. “Sugar isn’t a problem in Texas,” says Chip Tate, the founder and former owner of Balcones Distilling, who is developing a brandy for his new venture, the Waco-based Tate & Company Distillery.”

Garden & Gun; February/March 2016 Issue

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