The first craft bourbon and whiskey distillery in North Texas.
Leonard Firestone and Troy Robertson founded the Firestone & Robertson Distilling Co., the first craft bourbon and whiskey distillery in North Texas.
They love everything about the world of whiskey: the history, the people, the techniques, the art, the science, the equipment and the satisfaction of sharing an incredible bottle with friends. But they didn’t always know that they shared the same passion – or that they both wanted to leave the corporate world to act on the same entrepreneurial instinct.
Troy & Leonard became friends a few years ago, because their kids were in the same playgroup, but neither had any idea of the other’s distillation dreams – until they both independently made plans to visit the same craft distillery to learn more about the trade.
Troy got there first, and while chatting with the owner, discovered that “another Fort Worth guy” had scheduled a visit the following week. Imagine Troy’s surprise when he found out it was Leonard.
“I hear you want to get into the whiskey business?” Troy said when he called Leonard later.
Leonard, who’d told no one but his wife about his plans, was floored. The then got together for lunch the next day and quickly discovered they shared the same vision for creating truly Texas whiskeys, and the same obsession with old-fashioned craftsmanship. Both Leonard & Troy had extensive experience with startup companies, and immediately realized that together they had the passion and know-how to make their whiskey dreams a reality.
They first set out to find a suitable building for their distillery, and finally found the perfect location – a reclaimed prohibition-era warehouse just south of downtown Fort Worth. The warehouse was completely renovated, using materials found in the building. Then they added two brand new copper pot-column hybrid stills, custom built to their specifications by Vendome Copper & Brass Works, Inc., the top still manufacturer in the United States
Every bottle cap has a story
Troy designed the caps himself in his wood shop at home. This was no easy feat: four elements in each top have to accommodate varying thicknesses of leather and be replicated on a large scale. We all thought the prototypes were incredibly cool, and we soon partnered with boot-making friends in the community to establish this five-step creation process:
First, we select the leather. In the beginning, most of our leathers were re-purposed from boots donated by some of our friends in the community and by visitors to the distillery. Now we primarily use leather pieces from the best boot and saddle makers. We acquire exotic skins and different colors of leather from those extra pieces that the boot and saddle makers can no longer use.
Next, we use unique tools to punch out a circle of leather. We then measure the thickness of the leather to determine which cork size to use.
Then we hammer a custom-made wood ring over the leather to secure it to the cork. Finally, we add very small pins for reinforcement.
Every resulting bottle cap is a unique example of fine Western craftsmanship – just like our whiskey. Stop by the distillery and swap stories with us – maybe even bring your own boots for topping off a bottle of F&R spirits; we’d love to make you a part of our history.