Koetter Construction - K-RAX Barrel Storage System Donated to the James B. Beam Institute for Kentucky Spirits

The James B. Beam Institute for Kentucky Spirits is a collaboration between the UK Colleges of Agriculture, Food and Environment; Arts and Sciences; Business and Economics; and Engineering. Its vision is to educate the next generation of distillers through a curriculum that develops skills for undergraduates, graduate students and professionals to succeed in the distilled spirits industry.

James B. Beam Distilling Institute for Kentucky Spirits - Rendering of Distillery on the University of Kentucky Campus
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A rendering of the James B. Beam Distilling Institute for Kentucky Spirits on the University of Kentucky campus.

Through many generous donations from various distilleries and product and service providers in the distilled spirits industry the school is building a state of the art craft spirits distillery on the University of Kentucky campus.

Koetter Construction has donated a cutting-edge barrel racking system prioritizing safety and efficiency every step of a barrels journey from new fill to full maturation. The new K-RAK System will be installed inside the Independent Stave Company – Boswell Family Barrel Warehouse where students and scientists will be learning together about a brand new barrel storage system for the first time in the industry. The completed barrel racking system will hold up to 600 53 gallon barrels of distilled spirits.

Koetter Construction - K-RAX Barrel Storage System, Premium Rickhouse
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Koetter Construction K-RAX Barrel Storage System.

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“For years now, our team has been working with Beam Suntory and other distilleries to help improve safety not only for the employees, but also for the product,” said Bob Koetter Jr., President of Koetter Construction. “We hope our donation makes an impact on the growth and development as well as the future education and safety of one of the largest industries in the world.

“We could not be more excited to work with the University, Seth DeBolt and the James B. Beam Institute as well as Joseph & Joseph + Bravura Architects on this project to provide the barrel storage system for their rickhouse.”

James B. Beam Institute for Kentucky Spirits - University of Kentucky
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“We are incredibly grateful for the generous contribution that Koetter Construction have made to the Beam Institute and Boswell Family Independent Stave Company maturation facility,” said Seth DeBolt, Director of UK’s James B. Beam Institute for Kentucky Spirits. It was immediately clear that Koetter shared our vision for education and innovation and I cannot wait to see the next generation of distillery workers learning barrel house safety and maturation science using the K-RAX system.”

The Koetter Group got involved in the bourbon industry a few years ago by installing fall prevention systems and performing remediation work in several historic distillery rickhouses. At distilleries request to ‘come up with a better mousetrap’, the company teamed up with Brown + Kubican Structural Engineers to research and develop what is now K-RAX Premium Spirits Barrel Storage Systems. The system utilizes glue laminated engineered lumber, structurally engineered to meet today’s requirements prioritizing safety. The K-RAX offers both portable and permanent racking system.

Construction of the system will begin in mid-to-late 2021.

Related Stories
Jim Beam Distillery Partners with University of Kentucky to Create the ‘James B. Beam Institute for Kentucky Spirits’
James B. Beam Distilling Co. Releases Details on its $60 Million Reimagined Visitor Experience Opening in 2021
Independent Stave Co. Donates $1 Million to University of Kentucky to Build a 600 Barrel Research Warehouse [VIDEO]

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