Brown-Forman Corporation tells BourbonBlog.com that they will open a distillery and bourbon experience for its founding brand, Old Forester, in two historic buildings on Main Street in Louisville, Kentucky.
The Old Forester Distillery will include fermentation, distilling, barrel making, filling and dumping, and bottling. The new distillery will allow the company to double its current production of Old Forester.
The historic properties at 117 and 119 Main Street, where the Old Forester Distillery will be located, were built around 1857 and used for warehousing barrels of whiskey produced at numerous distilleries in the areas. At least nineteen distillers, wholesalers, and other whiskey-related businesses called this block of West Main Street home.
By the mid-1870s, this stretch of Main Street was known as “Whiskey Row.”
The opening of the Old Forester Distillery is currently scheduled for the fall of 2016 and will house a distilling operation and tourist destination to showcases the craftsmanship and authenticity of Old Forester. The company anticipates investing approximately $30 million in this project.
With the purchase of these two buildings, Brown-Forman owns five buildings on Louisville’s revitalized Main Street. Brown-Forman will potentially receive a total of $1.3M in various Kentucky tax incentives.
The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) has preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $900,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment (KBI) program. KEDFA also approved Brown-Forman for tax benefits of $400,000 through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA).
“As demand for high quality bourbon continues to increase, the Old Forester Distillery will enable us to share not only one of the greatest tasting and most historic bourbons with more of the world, but share the story of one of Kentucky’s bourbon icons and celebrate the Brown family’s continuous ownership of Brown-Forman and their long-term support for nearly 150 years,” says Paul Varga, CEO of Brown-Forman Corporation.
History of Old Forester
Old Forester is Brown-Forman’s founding brand and often referred to as”the first bottled bourbon.” Founded in 1870 by George Garvin Brown. Brown believed Old Forester was so pure and consistent that he sealed it, signed it, and pledged “There is nothing better in the market.” The Old Forester Distillery will celebrate Brown’s innovative spirit and his commitment to making the highest quality
“Between 1900 and 1919, Brown-Forman occupied 117 Main Street on Louisville’s Whiskey Row. We’re returning to our roots with this distillery, just another wonderful example Brown-Forman’s commitment to historic preservation and downtown development in Louisville,” said G. Garvin Brown IV, a 5th generation descendant of the company’s founder and the company’s current board chairman.