Author Topic: Drama at Balcones  (Read 415 times)

Offline Stevie

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6746
    • View Profile
Drama at Balcones
« on: January 04, 2015, 05:41:11 AM »
I'm sure more than a few of you have a barrel from these guys. Partnerships sure can get messy. Their whisky has been near impossible to find around DFW lately, I wonder if this has anything to do with it. The "whisky guy" at a local Total Wine was telling me a large amount of their product was being sent over seas to Asia. I guess whisky is making a big surge over there.

http://www.dallasnews.com/business/headlines/20150103-waco-whiskey-venture-hits-sour-patch.ece
« Last Edit: January 04, 2015, 05:49:49 AM by Steve in TX »

Offline majorvices

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 9463
  • Polka. If its too loud you're too young.
    • View Profile
    • Yellowhammer Brewing Company
Re: Drama at Balcones
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2015, 01:52:01 PM »
Ugggg. what a disaster. Choose your partners wisely. Even then, it's a tightrope walk.

Offline hopfenundmalz

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 8650
  • Milford, MI
    • View Profile
Re: Drama at Balcones
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2015, 02:07:36 PM »
This one came out a while back. Similar stories are told in the Craft beer industry.
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/28/business/how-dreams-and-money-didnt-mix-at-a-texas-distillery.html?_r=0

Edit - same article.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2015, 02:09:13 PM by hopfenundmalz »
Jeff Rankert
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild
AHA Governing Committee
BJCP National
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline mchrispen

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 632
    • View Profile
    • Accidentalis Brewing Blog
Re: Drama at Balcones
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2015, 05:21:23 PM »

Offline Stevie

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6746
    • View Profile
Re: Drama at Balcones
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2015, 05:43:47 PM »
Is it good news? I'm not saying it is entirely his fault, but it sounds like he mismanaged the hell out of balcones in regards to the expansion.

Offline mchrispen

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 632
    • View Profile
    • Accidentalis Brewing Blog
Re: Drama at Balcones
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2015, 06:16:33 PM »
Good point, and hard to say. There are always two sides to the story. I have only heard second hand stories about this - and the frankly dramatic versions in the reporting. I suspect some PR from Balcones and investors to prevent brand problems.


Texas is better for having Chip Tate prove that small distilleries can succeed. His unique/crazy approach probably doesn't scale up that well, and even Garrison is having issues meeting demands. They seem to be moving much more deliberately however with the new still and moving to full size barrels... while maintaining a fairly consistent product. Balcones can take his processes and scale them, and leverage a successful brand... but to what success is to be seen.


Tate is known for his passion for quality and wacky personality but is a very good distiller. I hope his new venture is successful. As you point out, that may not contain an ounce of good common business sense. Still (pun intended) - I would count Balcones a success contributed to Tate to this point, and a good chance he will succeed in this next venture.

Offline Stevie

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6746
    • View Profile
Re: Drama at Balcones
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2015, 06:33:04 PM »
I don't disagree. Chip made Balcones what it is. What I doubt is that it could become a powerhouse brand. I think the appeal in the brand is the craft/boutique ideals that he brought to it as well as the great product.

With the new owners, it's just a name IMO. Not unlike Apple in the 80's when they fired Jobs.