Four Roses Distillery employees participate in Salt River Cleanup Day

Published: Sep. 28, 2021 at 5:01 PM EDT
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ANDERSON COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - Kentucky’s natural water resources play an important role in the bourbon industry, which is why employees at Four Roses Distillery in Anderson County participated in a Salt River Cleanup Day.

The Four Roses Salt River Cleanup has been a part of the distillery’s volunteer service day for five years now. Their goal is to clean up along the riverbanks, as well as the surrounding roadways to keep the river clean of debris and other trash.

And while they do this to help beautify the area, the river also plays a big role in their bourbon production as it runs right alongside their property.

“If you look at the fermentation, the distillation, this is all whether it’s the steam or the water that’s actually used in the mash, all that water comes directly from the river and we also have cooling water that’s a big part of the process,” said Brent Elliott, Four Roses master distiller.

While they’ve been doing this for five years, they said there’s always more work to be done because during flooding other high-water events, the Salt River continues to bring down more trash.

“It’s almost to the point where it’s too much to weigh because the team that comes out, there are dozens of us out here and we’re cleaning up for several hours,” Elliott said. “We always get 20 to 30 to 40 bags full bags of trash.”

And even though the Salt River flows for roughly 150 miles, Elliott said by cleaning up their small portion of the river, they hope to inspire others to do their part as well.

“People will start to pay more attention to not only what you can see in the environment, but fundamental areas that we really have to pay attention to keep the environment clean,” Elliott said.

While employees cleaned up the Salt River today, bourbon production at Four Roses was still able to be completed as Elliott says their operation is 24/7.

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