Austin proper will get its second whiskey distillery with Fierce Whiskers Distillery, which is set to start producing ryes and bourbons sometime in 2019 on 5333 Fleming Court, south of East Ben White Boulevard. The space will include a tasting room and courtyard.
Fierce Whiskers’ whiskey process is about very tight cuts, which means a focus on the middle phase (aka the heart) of the distilling process, and disregarding the heads and tails (the beginning and end products).
The name stems from a quote by America’s 19th president Rutherford B. Hayes about Austin:
Austin is an inconsiderable village with large expectations [...] full of discharged ‘Rangers’ [...] costumes of every variety [...] Fierce whiskers, gaming, and drinking very abounding in all quarters.
Founders Tri Vo and Tim Penney, both of who worked in energy previously, have been developing Fierce Whiskers since 2015. They roped in Jim Beam whiskey vet Randy Allender, who will oversee the whiskey production. They’ve yet to hire a head distiller.
Fierce Whiskers will consist of two buildings, a four-story rickhouse and a whiskey-aging warehouse with the tasting room. It’s being designed by architecture firm Overland Partners.
Construction on the space is pegged to finish up in January 2019. After that, Fierce Whiskers will focus on producing whiskeys. The first one will be its straight rye, which will be released in 2020, and then the four-year straight bourbon in 2022.
Just three miles east is Still Austin Whiskey, the city’s first whiskey distillery since Prohibition which opened in September 2017. It focuses on grain-to-grass distilling methods, making use of Texas corn and wheat.