Leaders from Heaven Hill Distillery break ground on the company’s new $135 million state-of-the-art distillery in Bardstown.
The 211,000-square-foot operation will be located on 61 acres at 1015 Old Bloomfield Pike in Bardstown. Once operational, company leaders anticipate a production capacity of 10 million proof gallons annually, or 150,000 barrels, with the potential to reach 30 million proof gallons in the future.
The project returns distilling of Heaven Hill whiskey to Nelson County for the first time since 1996 when a major fire resulted in a total loss of the company’s distillery, seven rickhouses and nearly 100,000 barrels of whiskey.
The new facility will be named Heaven Hill Springs Distillery in honor of the previous Bardstown operation. Since 1999, Heaven Hill bourbon and spirits have been distilled at the historic Bernheim Distillery in Louisville, while bottling, aging and other functions remained in Nelson County. The Louisville operation will continue to operate at full capacity upon completion of the new distillery, which is expected to open in 2024.
“Heaven Hill is bullish on the success of the commonwealth’s signature industry and growth in the heart of the bourbon capital of the world,” said Max L. Shapira, Heaven Hill president. “Our new distillery will honor our long-time Bardstown roots while applying state-of-the-art equipment and processes to produce the highest quality American whiskey and build upon our meaningful partnership with Bardstown and Kentucky.”
Headquartered in Bardstown since 1935, Heaven Hill maintains over 1.9 million barrels of whiskey aging in more than 60 warehouses throughout Nelson and Jefferson counties. To date, the family-owned company has filled more than 9.5 million barrels. Recognizable Heaven Hill American whiskey brands include Elijah Craig Bourbon, Larceny Bourbon, Evan Williams Bourbon, Pikesville Rye Whiskey, Rittenhouse Rye Whisky and Parker’s Heritage Collection.
The new distillery contributes to Heaven Hill’s 2030 Environmental Sustainability Strategy, which includes reduced carbon emissions, increased water efficiency, reduced waste and conservation of resources. The new operation will minimize water use, preserve existing vegetation, including the installation of a wastewater pretreatment system and feature energy creation and recovery.
Kentucky’s bourbon sector is a nearly $9 billion signature industry in Kentucky, generating more than 22,500 jobs with an annual payroll topping $1.23 billion. Since the start of the Beshear administration, more than 50 bourbon and spirits-related announcements have contributed to over $1.1 billion in new investments and more than 900 jobs for Kentucky residents. Gov. Beshear also worked with U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo to remove harmful bourbon tariffs on trade with the United Kingdom and European Union, ensuring continuing strength in the export market.
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