Heaven Hill breaks ground for $135 million Bardstown distillery 26 years after devastating fire

Gov. Beshear, Heaven Hill Break Ground on New $135 Million Bardstown Distillery, Creating 38...
Gov. Beshear, Heaven Hill Break Ground on New $135 Million Bardstown Distillery, Creating 38 Full-Time Jobs.(WAVE 3)
Published: Jun. 6, 2022 at 11:30 AM EDT
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BARDSTOWN, Ky. (WAVE) - A ceremonial groundbreaking and bourbon toast Monday marked Heaven Hill’s ambitious plan to build a new distillery in Bardstown.

Heaven Hill President Max Shapira announced a massive expansion that could eventually double the company’s production of bourbon and American whiskeys.

“We’re really bullish on bourbon,” Shapira said. “Not just today, not just in the short term and not just in the medium term, but in the long term.”

Named Heaven Hill Springs Distillery, it will be located at 1015 Old Bloomfield Pike, off KY 245 in Bardstown and is scheduled to be open by the end of 2024.

Shapira said the market conditions support the company’s $135 million investment in the project.

At capacity, the distillery would produce 450,000 barrels of whiskeys a year.

”The industry today is in a very robust position where sales are increasing interest by consumers around the United States and most importantly around the world,” Shapira said. “There is a long-term horizon for growth in the industry based upon that. And we are looking forward to participating then in a very big way.”

The Heaven Hill expansion comes after the Biden Administration negotiated an end to Trump-era bourbon tariffs imposed by the European Union.

Governor Andy Beshear said the potential for growth has returned to the state’s signature product. The Heaven Hill project is called “Phoenix.”

“Having these overseas markets without being at a competitive disadvantage, we’re seeing more investment than ever before,” Beshear said.

The distillery will rise from the ashes of the company’s original Bardstown distillery destroyed by fire in 1996. Also destroyed in the fire were seven rickhouses and almost 100 thousand barrels of whiskey.

Heaven Hill’s distilling operations eventually moved to the Bernheim Distillery in Louisville.

The company says that the distillery is operating at capacity and will continue to do so.

Heaven Hill produces several bourbon brands, including Evan Williams and Elijah Craig.

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