Austin proper has a new whiskey distillery with Fierce Whiskers Distillery, which opened in September on 5333 Fleming Court, south of East Ben White Boulevard. The space includes a tasting room, courtyard, and yakitori food truck, Char ATX.
Fierce Whiskers focuses on rye and bourbon, but will also distill gin, rum, and agave spirits in-house for use in cocktails. Whiskey bottles will be available for sale starting in 2023.
Fierce Whiskers is also the home to Char ATX, a mobile izakaya focused on yakitori from chef Chris Burnett. It serves char-grilled meats like pork belly, ribeye, and chicken thigh, along with rice cakes, oyster mushrooms, and more.
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 the energy industry previously, have been developing Fierce Whiskers since 2015. Because of their backgrounds, they’ve taken several steps to reduce Fierce Whiskers’s environmental impact. Most of the grains are sourced near Amarillo, and spent grain is donated for use as livestock feed. The barrels also come from a company that uses the entire sustainably harvested log to build the barrel, and the building has solar panels.
Fierce Whiskers will consist of two buildings, a four-story rickhouse and a whiskey-aging warehouse with a tasting room. It was designed by architecture firm Overland and Brand Bureau.
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.
Update, October 12, 2021: This article, originally published on February 21, 2018, has been updated to reflect Fireces Whiskers’s opening status and details.