Bardstown Bourbon Company located in The Bourbon Capital of the World, Bardstown, Kentucky was founded in 2014, started bourbon production in 2016 and has never looked back. The companies oft heard motto is “Never Stand Still” and they are once again on the move. The company operates one of the most sophisticated distilleries in the country, with a focus on transparency — all open spaces and clear glass — putting the science and craft of whiskey-making front and center for all to see.
As of today, Bardstown Bourbon Company has been acquired by Pritzker Private Capital – PPC. PPC is investing alongside members of the Bardstown Bourbon management team and current investors. Mark Erwin, President and CEO, and Bardstown Bourbon’s current management will continue to lead the business.
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Bardstown Bourbon is in fact a company that never stands still. Since bourbon and rye whiskey production began in 2016 it’s never stopped and it’s never stopped expanding operations. Since its start production capacity has quadrupled and they now distill more than 50 unique mash-bills for more than 30 premium spirits brands. The distillery produces more than seven million proof gallons annually, placing it among the top 10 U.S.-based whiskey distillers by volume and making it the largest custom distiller in America. PPC owns no other distilled spirits brands.
In 2019, Bardstown Bourbon launched its own branded product line of Kentucky straight bourbons and blended whiskies now available in 20 markets nationwide. Combining distilling, culinary and beverage expertise, Bardstown Bourbon’s campus is the first Napa Valley style destination on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and welcomes more than 75,000 guests annually.
What is the Napa-fication of Kentucky?
“Bardstown Bourbon is redefining the bourbon industry,” said Colonel (Retired), President and CEO Mark Erwin. “Our devotion to quality, custom distillation and innovations in blending, combined with a unique, modern Kentucky Bourbon Trail experience, have built a leading position in this high-growth category. We are thrilled to partner with Pritzker Private Capital to grow this company’s distilling, bottling and brand capacity to its greatest potential. The PPC team shares our commitment to a culture focused on innovation and teamwork. Together we will build on the legacy of our founder Peter Loftin and take this great company to the next level.”
“Bardstown Bourbon has quickly established itself as a distilling leader for premium bourbon brands,” said Chris Trick, Investment Partner at PPC. “This partnership is an excellent fit with our experience and focus on investing in innovative food and beverage producers that combine state-of-the-art production capabilities and strong partnerships with leading brands. With its innovative co-manufacturing strategy and experiential approach at its Bourbon Trail location, Bardstown Bourbon is poised for growth and expansion in the attractive premium spirits category. We are pleased to partner with Bardstown
Bourbon’s talented leadership team to support the company’s exciting next chapter.
Tony Pritzker, Chairman and CEO at PPC, added, “At Pritzker Private Capital, we are proud of our history of building long-lasting partnerships with growth-oriented businesses that share our core values. We are focused on connecting family capital with family-owned companies, and we have had the pleasure of
getting to know Mark and the Bardstown team over the last few years. We are honored that they approached PPC as an ideal partner who brought both an understanding of the company’s family tradition and the resources to support its next phase of growth.”
How Much Did Bardstown Bourbon Company Sell for?
As is often the case for these type of private equity deals the financial terms were not disclosed. We’ll update the story if the information is shared.
Cover Image: The man with the hard hat is Bardstown Bourbon Company Master Distiller and Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Famer Steve Nally.