Denison community welcomes distillery to town

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DENISON, TX -- There were high spirits in the city of Denison Thursday, as the community welcomed a business that's the first of its kind in Texoma.

Texoma is already home to several wineries and a new brewery, but now a distillery is taking a shot at success in Denison and hoping to bring jobs and tourist dollars to the area.

This is Ironroot Republic Distillery. It's the first of its kind here in Texoma, and Denison Mayor Jared Johnson hopes once the alcohol starts flowing -- tourists and revenue will start pouring in as well.

"They're two sharp young professionals that have a great vision and a great business plan, and they're going to have their success in Denison," Johnson said.

The city of Denison officially welcomed the new business to town Thursday, and the owners gave us a first look inside.

Jonathan and Robert Likarish decided to set up shop at Highway 75 and Loy Lake Road in the 15,000 square foot building.

The brothers say the first question people ask them is 'why Texoma?' But for them, the answer's easy.

"The community here has been ridiculously helpful, very very supportive, which is something we didn't get in a lot of places when we went and were looking in different towns in Texas," Robert Likarish said.

And Denison's rich wine history attracted them as well. They plan to use local products when producing their whiskeys, brandys, gins and vodka.

"Using the local botanicals, the local grains, local flavors to get something that's a little bit different than you find in the rest of the parts of the country," Jonathan Likarish said.

"We're gonna have five different stills, all completely different from each other. So, it really gives us the flexibility to create whatever our hearts desire," Robert said.

When Ironroot Republic opens this spring, visitors will be able to take tours and see first-hand how everything is made.

And the brothers say, thanks to new state liquor laws, they're no longer limited to selling their products to vendors -- visitors will be able to taste and buy bottles in-house.

"It's manufacturing, it's retail and it's also tourism driven. So, they're going to be able to market their product and create jobs for multiple facets of the economy here in Denison," Johnson said.

"We're just ready and raring to get going and it should happen before too long," Jonathan said.

Besides selling their products in at the distillery, you will also be able to find them in local restaurants.

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