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Ex-Balcones Chief to Make Brandy, Whisky at New Distillery

on 04/01/15 at 4:28 pm

Booze News

indexChip Tate is wasting no time getting back into the artisan spirits game after a bitter breakup with the whisky company he founded. And this time, he’s determined to play the game his way.

After severing ties with Balcones Distilling Co. under a buyout settlement in December, Tate is preparing this year to build a new distillery that will produce brandy and ultimately whisky.

The name of his new firm, Tate & Co. LLC, reflects his determination to have full control over the company’s direction, though with an emphasis on collaboration with other businesses.

“I will definitely be focused on finding the right partners to work with,” Tate said. “There’s so much demand out there. If you focus on the right things, focus on relationships and integrity, it tends to work itself out in the market.”

Tate has an 11,000-square-foot building under contract on Steinbeck Bend Road near Waco Regional Airport and said he will begin distilling brandy there this year. As he did with Balcones, he will build everything by hand, including six copper pot stills of up to 2,500 gallons a piece.

He even plans to create a small side business in manufacturing stills for other businesses.