Home » Newport approves $7.5M New Riff Distilling Whiskey Campus

Newport approves $7.5M New Riff Distilling Whiskey Campus

Includes construction of 15-barrel high building

NEWPORT, Ky. (Aug. 22, 2016) — The City of Newport on Monday approved a development agreement to bring the $7.5 million New Riff Distilling Whiskey Campus to the city’s west side. Construction is expected to begin later this month or in early September.

The project includes restoration of two historic buildings and construction of a 15-barrel high building that will be used to store bourbon and rye whiskey being distilled by the New Riff distillery on the Newport-Bellevue city line. The new Route 9 is credited with playing a major role in attracting the project.

“We are very excited to be the first major development to be announced along the rebuilt Route 9 on Newport’s west side,” said New Riff Distilling owner and founder Ken Lewis. “This is a beachhead project, the kind of project that will stimulate the right kind and mix of economic development that could ultimately include light manufacturing, technology, restaurants, retail and housing.”

The Whiskey Campus will be developed at 1104 Lowell St. just south of the 11th Street Bridge over the Licking River and will feature:  

  • Construction of a new, 15-barrell high, 17,300-square-foot Rickhouse that will house the filled bourbon barrels. 
  • Restoration of a 32,100 square foot building that will be used as a distribution center, office space, bottling and storage of raw materials. 
  • Restoration of 10,600-square-foot building that will also be used as a Rickhouse.

Lewis, who founded The Party Source in Bellevue, said the buildings being restored are more than 100 years ago and housed the Greenline trolley and bus system that served Northern Kentucky until 1972.

The Whiskey campus will feature a brew pub, tap room and restaurant with the relocated Ei8ht Ball Brewery specializing in virgin or first use bourbon barrel aged beer. It will also feature decks overlooking the Licking River and providing scenic views of the Downtown Cincinnati skyline.

Planned for the north side of the 11th Street Bridge, Lewis said he is continuing to secure financing and state tourism tax credits for the project and a start date has not been announced.