Old Forester is opening a new distillery in Louisville, making the return to a building that it once called its home on “Whiskey Row.” The city’s main street was once home to 89 different bourbon companies, but now Old Forester will be the only one, signifying a return to roots of sorts for the 148-year-old company.
“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 survived Prohibition, world wars, and the changing palates and tastes of consumers across the globe,” Old Forester president and fifth-generation Brown family member Campbell Brown said in a statement. “We are delighted to now welcome friends old and new into our new, old home.”
Old Forester was originally started by Brown’s ancestor, George Garvin Brown, in 1870. The new distillery, which is the site of its original headquarters (it vacated the space in 1922), will have a production capacity of 100,000-proof gallons, as well as an on-site cooperage where barrels will be made, and a maturation warehouse where those filled barrels will be aged before the whiskey is bottled and shipped. The 70,000-square-foot facility took three years and $45 million to construct.
“There’s a tremendous amount of pride — as a member of the Brown Family and a Louisvillian — in the fact that we’re able to return to this building and bring added life to a block that was once destined for the wrecking ball. It’s a true homecoming for this hometown Bourbon, which is entirely produced in the confines of Louisville,” said Brown.
The distillery will officially open its doors to the public on June 15. Tours, which take guests through the distilling process, will be offered seven days a week, and production will happen in the distillery Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.