Over the years—and over a glass of whiskey—countless plots have been hatched in Fort Worth’s historic Hell’s Half Acre. For Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, it probably centered around which bank had the most loot. But for Acre Distilling founder, Tony Formby, it’s not about taking from the community. It’s about saving it.
A Canadian native, Tony Formby invested in and operated Rahr Brewing from 2006 – 2010. He opened Acre Distilling in 2015. The award-winning distillery has earned national acclaim due to its meticulously crafted liquors and spirits. However, Formby wanted to make an even greater impact that would extend past the high-quality libations.
“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… other businesses might follow,” said Formby.
Thus, the Green Acre Initiative was born. Formby first developed the idea with Circle L Solar Vice President Kevin Warren, when Warren was an Acre bartender. Sipping whiskey, Formby and Warren, an electrical engineer, sketched up preliminary plans reimaging Acre’s parking lot with over 350 solar panels.
Founded in 2005, Circle L Solar works with clients to develop and deliver custom solar energy solutions.
“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 and sourced electric car charging stations from the Fort Worth-based company, Revitalize Charging Solutions.
The Green Acre Initiative has broken ground and construction is currently underway with an expected project completion of mid-July. Acre will have new parking lot structures, plus a new back patio for customers to enjoy year-round.
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.