LOUISVILLE, Ky. (June 14, 2018) — Returning to the same building it once called home, Old Forester Distilling Co. opened to the public Thursday at 119 West Main Street in Louisville, Ky. The $45 million, 70,000-s.f. distillery will guide guests through the brand’s rich history and bourbon-making process of Old Forester, a brand sealed in history as America’s first bottled bourbon.
“Over the last 148 years, Old Forester has had its share of memorable moments and enduring accomplishments. Today marks yet another chapter to a story that has survived Prohibition, world wars and the changing palates and tastes of consumers across the globe,” said Campbell Brown, Old Forester president and fifth generation Brown family member. “We are delighted to now welcome friends old and new into our new, old home.”
The distillery is the culmination of a nearly 150-year legacy that began in 1870 when George Garvin Brown, a young pharmaceutical sales rep, changed the spirits industry forever when he sealed whisky in a glass bottle. He signed his name – as a guarantee of consistency and quality, declaring “there is nothing better in the market.” It was an innovative approach at a time when whisky was commonly sold by the barrel. He set up shop on Louisville’s Main Street – dubbed Whiskey Row – the hub of the bourbon business in Kentucky.
Old Forester Distilling Co. will add production capacity of approximately 100,000 proof gallons annually. Visitors will follow the bourbon-making process in an immersive experience that leads them from fermentation and distillation, to the on-site cooperage where handcrafted barrels will be raised and fired, then aged in an on-site maturation warehouse before bottling and shipment across the globe.
“As Brown Forman’s founding brand, Old Forester has stood the most difficult test of all … the test of time,” said Paul Varga, CEO, Brown-Forman Corp. “We are thrilled to open our doors today on Louisville’s historic Whiskey Row, inviting the world to a unique experience in urban distilling, brand and company history, and Bourbon hospitality.”