Acre Distilling aims to be the first distillery in Texas to run on 100 percent solar power. Images courtesy of Acre Distilling.

June 26, 2020

A Fort Worth distillery located in a historic district where the Sundance Kid once holed up will soon be drawing all of its power from the sun.

Acre Distilling was founded in 2015 by Canadian native Tony Formby, on the south end of downtown Fort Worth. The company takes its name from the district once known as Hell’s Half Acre in the city's Old West days. A former red-light district known for its rowdy bars and brothels, the neighborhood is where Butch Cassidy's crew laid low and near where a local photographer snapped the famous portrait of the Hole in the Wall gang.

Tony Formby, owner of Acre DistilleryTony Formby, owner of Acre Distillery.

Today on the same spot, Formby’s award-winning distillery creates more than 20 different libations, including single malt whisky, bourbon, gin, vodka, rum, liqueurs, and cordials.

By the end of the summer, those spirits will made using 100 percent solar.

Formby said he was pleased with his business’ success but had growing concerns about his environmental footprint.

“Throughout my career, I’ve had the unique opportunity to work in several industries – tech, renewable energy and the beverage industries. As we have experienced the impact of climate change over the past two decades, I felt that it was my responsibility to take my experience and do something that other businesses might follow,” said Formby.

That’s when the idea for “greening” Acre Distilling was born. 

He developed the plan with Circle L Solar Vice President Kevin Warren, when Warren was an Acre bartender.

Acre Distilling's solar panels in parking lotInstallation of solar panels is underway and expected to be completed mid-July. Courtesy of Acre Distilling.

Founded in 2005, Circle L Solar works with clients to develop and deliver custom solar energy solutions.

Together, Formby and Warren, an electrical engineer, sketched preliminary plans to revamp Acre’s parking lot with more 350 solar panels.

“What sets Circle L Solar apart is our dedication to evaluating customer’s energy needs from top to bottom. We complete a thorough evaluation of their energy usage to curate a customized strategy that will ultimately alleviate their energy concerns,” said Deke Welling, Co-founder of Circle L Solar.

Circle L Solar contracted the construction of the carports with USA Eagle Carports, a Haltom City company founded in 1999. The solar company sourced electric car charging stations from the Fort Worth-based company, Revitalize Charging Solutions.

The project they're callng Green Acre Initiative has already broken ground and construction is currently underway with an expected project completion of mid-July. Acre will have new parking lot structures and two electric car charging stations.

In addition to solar-powered energy, Acre Distilling is replacing all single-use plastic with their biodegradable equivalent; introducing a bottle recycling program with a discount for a future purchase; and will provide a space for environment-friendly community events.


Co-ops making it easier for Texans to go solar

Want to go solar? Local experts say 'go for it'

Does Toyota’s massive rooftop solar signal dawn of new sun-powered era in North Texas?

McKinney brewery offers ‘green’ beer year-round

Stay up to date on everything green in North Texas, including the latest news and events! Sign up for the weekly Green Source DFW Newsletter! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Also check out our new podcast The Texas Green Report, available on your favorite podcast app.

Main category: