Experimental and non-traditional. Unbridled creativity. Community driven. Located in south Austin on the enchanting grounds of Wizard Academy, Crowded Barrel is the world’s first crowd-sourced whiskey distillery. Founded by Rex Williams and Daniel Whittington, the co-hosts of the popular YouTube channel Whiskey Vault, the distillery’s experimental concept engages patrons from their worldwide social media group of whiskey enthusiasts, Whiskey Tribe. Sample their unique handcrafted cocktails, neat pours, and custom made cigars on the patio at Fang and Feather, the distillery’s tasting room.
Decision points at each step of the grain selection, distilling and aging process are discussed and voted on by the community, which informs the direction of each run of whiskey crafted by head distiller Deb Niemeyer. In addition to this novel approach to whiskey production, they are also doing creative experiments in barrel selection, blending, and cask finishing – partnering with other local distilleries and wineries to expand the horizons of Texas whiskey.
In addition to the hand selected whiskey sourced from other distilleries, cask finishing projects and collaborations, the pilot batches of new make whiskeys and moonshine are currently underway. Experimental distillations of local beers have yielded promising results, and a peated single malt whiskey will soon make its way to their new barrel warehouse to begin slowly maturing in the Texas climate. With a combination of knowledge, expertise, and a experimental spirit, Crowded Barrel is poised to craft some of the most unique and interesting Texas whiskies ever created.