New Riff Distilling is beginning a $3 million renovation of the distillery’s public areas, including the first-floor gift shop space and the third-floor event space, which will become the new home for The Aquifer, the distillery’s tasting and cocktail bar. The distillery will remain open for visitors throughout the project.
“We’ve always been focused on providing visitors an engaging way to learn about New Riff and our award-winning spirits,” said Hannah Lowen, vice president of operations. “As New Riff’s popularity has grown, people are looking to share in the experience, whether through our tours, tastings, unique events or by having a drink at The Aquifer, which we’ve long outgrown. This renovation will create comfortable, inviting spaces for conversation, education, or simply enjoying the product we all love.”
Guests will immediately see a difference as they walk in the front door, with an all-new welcome station, a pre-tour waiting area, and the gift and bottle shop. While it is a great place to pick up a bottle of New Riff — including etched bottles for special occasions — the distillery is also known for its curated collection of barware, home goods and other carefully selected finds.
The Aquifer, previously nestled in the first-floor space, will move up to the spacious third floor with its expansive rooftop patio and views of the Cincinnati skyline — creating the perfect place for a neat pour or cocktail. A new reservable private room will be available for community gatherings.
“Our library of whiskeys and other spirits has grown substantially since we opened in 2014,” Lowen said, “and along with some recent legislative changes, we’re excited to use this new space to share some unique and rare expressions that have been hiding away in our warehouse. We’re looking forward to having a bit more room to introduce new enthusiasts to our products and geek out with the most knowledgeable fans.”
Renovations begin in April, but the distillery will remain open for tours and tastings. The Aquifer will relocate to the existing third-floor space for the summer and fall until renovations begin there in July. While subject to change, first-floor renovations are expected to be completed in late summer and the third floor by year’s end.
The distillery is working with Schumacher Dugan as the general contractor and Platte Architecture + Design, Luminaut, HAWA Inc, KLH Engineers, Goodfire Design and Durham Studios.