The Kentucky Distillers’ Association announced today that a support fund for Silver Trail Distillery workers has been created to assist the two distillery workers that were injured in an explosion. The incident occurred the morning of Friday, April 24 from what appears to be a massive equipment failure, resulting in an explosion and fire that destroyed the facility. The official cause has not been determined.
Jay Rogers, Second Distiller of Silver Trail Distillery, and his assistant and cousin, Kyle Rogers, were in the distillery at the time of the explosion. The two remain in critical but stable condition at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn. Both sustained severe burns, but are steadily improving.
“Jay and Kyle are doing better, but they still have a long way to go,” said Eric Gregory, President of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association. “Please keep them in your prayers, and remember Silver Trail Founder and Master Distiller Spencer Balentine and his family during this difficult time.” Balentine was not in the distillery at the time of the incident.
“Lifting Spirits – Jay & Kyle Rogers Support Fund” has been established at CFSB Bank in Benton, Ky., to assist with any medical or necessary expenses. Contributions can be mailed to P.O. Box 467, Benton, Ky., 42025.
Gregory said the KDA’s 27 members are working to coordinate tastings and other events to raise money for the support fund. Additional details will be announced soon.
There is also a fundraiser being organized by other distillers for May 8, 2015 at 7:30pm. This event is taking place at The Rickhouse Restaurant And Lounge, Xavier Drive, Bardstown, Kentucky 40004. Here are directions to the event. Here are more details about the event from Necey Sham’s Facebook post, “After the horrific event that has taken place at Silver trail distillery… We will be having a benefit for the victims and families. Come out and meet with many of the industries leading Master Distillers including Wesley Henderson, Stephen Beam, Shane McCoy (Hatfield & McCoy), Moonshiner Tyler Woods, Alan Bishop. Kentucky’ sown singer song writer Kalib Swift featuring Steve Russel, Willie & Waylon Wiser of South 49 And many more… There will be a silent auction with some great swag. Continue to keep the victims and their families in your prayers.” You can sign up to attend on Facebook here.
Cover image courtesy of Jay’s Facebook page during the 2014 signing of the whiskey barrel tax relief bill signed by Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear. Jay is on the far left and Founder and Master Distiller Spencer Balentine is second from left.