BARDSTOWN, KY. — Heaven Hill, a family-owned spirits company overseeing brands such as Evan Williams and Deep Eddy Vodka, has broken ground on a $135 million distillery in Bardstown, approximately 40 miles south of Louisville.
The project, known as Heaven Hill Springs Distillery, is located at 1015 Old Bloomfield Pike, which was the site of the former Old Heaven Hill Springs Distillery. The former distillery opened in 1935, but was destroyed in a fire in 1996 that engulfed the distillery, seven rickhouses for barrel aging and about 100,000 barrels of whiskey. After the fire, Heaven Hill moved its distillery operations to the historic Bernheim Distillery in downtown Louisville, where the company still operates today.
“We’re honored to celebrate this homecoming with a return to distilling in Bardstown to augment our overall bourbon-making capacity, as well as continue to make an impact in the Bardstown community,” says Max Shapira, president of Heaven Hill.
Heaven Hill Springs Distillery is scheduled to open by the end of 2024. Heaven Hill anticipates the distillery will handle 150,000 barrels of spirits annually at first and ramp up production to 450,000 barrels annually over time, which mirrors the production at its Louisville distillery.
Bardstown, which has been dubbed “the bourbon capital of the world,” is situated along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, which is a cluster of more than 35 distilleries spread across 70 miles. The new distillery will add at least 38 jobs to the company’s 381 employees already working in Bardstown at Heaven Hill’s Loretto Road bottling, aging and tourism facilities.
In line with Heaven Hill’s sustainability goals, the new distillery is designed to minimize water use to below industry benchmarks and reuse certain water streams. The site will use native plants and natural systems to manage stormwater runoff. Heaven Hill also plans to utilize energy creation and recovery, lessening the distillery’s demand on the city’s electrical grid.
“The return of distilling operations to Nelson County is a return to the company’s roots, and the investment highlights the continued growth of bourbon and spirits in the commonwealth,” says Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear. “I am incredibly happy for the residents of Bardstown and the surrounding area, and I want to thank the leaders at Heaven Hill for this commitment to create new job opportunities and build the company’s presence in our state.”
— John Nelson