Four years after planning and countless hours of work on their new distillery, the mother-daughter duo of Joyce and Autumn Nethery is about to achieve a new milestone in their small family run business – the Grand Opening. The opening of the distillery takes place Friday, November 11. Jeptha Creed Distillery marks the first legal distillery in Shelby County, Kentucky since Prohibition. The distillery will open its doors for the first time to the public for tours and tastings starting at 2:00 PM.
The Craft Part of this Distillery Starts at the Front Door
Speaking of “Doors” check out these doors. These custom made doors that you’ll see upon entry into the distillery are so heavy each hinge has its own grease fitting. Click any image to enlarge.
Farm to Bottle – What’s in the Bottle?
If you are looking for a craft bourbon at the distillery from day one we have good news and bad news. The good news is you’ll find it here but the bad news is you’ll have to wait a while before you can taste it. Jeptha Creed filled its first barrel of bourbon August 18. You’ll have to check back in a few years to taste the results of the bloody butcher corn inspired bourbon. In 2019, they will release three bourbons, a high wheat, a high rye, and a four grain.
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In the meantime, there are four other farm to-bottle craft spirits made on site that will be available from day one. Jeptha Creed Distillery will offer an unflavored vodka, a honey flavored vodka, an unflavored moonshine and a lemonade flavored moonshine. The moonshine uses the exact same mash bill as their bourbon. Think of it as a preview of what you’ll taste in 2019.
“An heirloom corn variety, Bloody Butcher, differentiates us from the big guys,” said Joyce Nethery, whose background in chemical engineering and as a process engineer in an industrial-scale distillation process played a key role in the development of Jeptha Creed spirits.
Location, Location, Location
The distillery is located on the Nethery family’s 64-acre farm just off interstate 64, exit 32. The distillery can be seen day and night while driving down this busy interstate. The tall A-frame windows are lit up each night so passersby can see the shiny Vendome Copper & Brass Works column stills rising into the air with an American flag shining in the background. The exit sits about halfway between downtown Louisville’s Whiskey Row distilleries and Frankfurt’s heritage distilleries like Buffalo Trace Distillery, Four Roses Distillery, Wild Turkey Distillery and Woodford Reserve Distillery. As well as several other distilleries that are under construction like Castle and Key Distillery, James E. Pepper Distillery and Bulleit Bourbon Distillery.
Family Roots Run Deep
Bruce Nethery’s, Joyce’s husband, background is in farming. Their daughter, Autumn, spent a school year in Edinburgh, Scotland, studying brewing and distilling at Heriot-Watt University, one of the UK’s leading universities for business and industry. Her younger brother, Hunter a senior at Trinity High School, is thinking about a career in engineering, a perfect fit for the family’s distillery business.
“We love our family history and heritage and wanted to build a legacy for our children,” said Joyce Nethery. “We also wanted to build something that would attract people to Shelby County.”
The development of Jeptha Creed represents an investment of over $3 million. Nethery estimates the distillery will have 11,000 visitors in its first year. They already have a trolley car sitting in the parking lot ready to carry visitors around the grounds. Believe me, they thought of everything.
The Nethery’s are growing their own corn as well as their own produce and fruits. The distillery tour is $10 and includes a behind the scenes look at how they use real ingredients, including their Bloody Butcher Corn, to create their spirits. Each tour includes a tasting of their products. Starting in the spring, they will be offering a farm tour.
For Friday’s Grand Opening, they are offering free tours from 2pm – 6pm every half hour. Tours are first come first serve with a 15 guest max on each tour. To honor Veteran’s Day, veterans and active duty military will receive 10% off their purchases.
In addition to the farm, 15,000-square-foot distillery and two barrel aging barns, Jeptha Creed will have a clubhouse for hosting weddings, luncheons, business meetings and other events. They also have a cocktail bar (thanks to recent changes in state laws) where they serve specialty cocktails for each of their products as well as a few seasonal favorites.
Jeptha Creed Distillery is located at 500 Gordon Lane, Shelbyville, KY. It’s business hours will be Tuesday through Saturday 10am – 6pm.