Mike Beach, Old Forester Distillery Project Manager

The construction of the “new” Old Forester Distillery at historic 117 and 119 Main Street along Louisville, Kentucky’s “Whiskey Row” may have been delayed by fire but the enthusiasm and the thirst for the project has only grown.

“The Old Forester Distillery is a state-of-the art project that will add an additional layer of history and authenticity to Louisville’s Whiskey Row,” said Project Manager, Mike Beach. (That’s Mike in the cover image.) “We are both proud and excited about the distillery’s capabilities to showcase the bourbon making process for visitors from around the world.”

The New Old Forester Distillery Street View
Old Forester Distillery on Whiskey Row
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Old Forester has released the renderings below of what the customer experience at the new Old Forester Distillery will be like. The drawings feature the progression of the distillery, capturing the architectural design, barrel to bottling process, and overall tour experience. The 60,000 square foot distillery will include fermentation, distilling, barrel making, aging and bottling. When fully operational, the distillery will have the capacity to produce 100,000 cases of Old Forester Bourbon annually. Distilling at the existing distillery will continue at about 150,000 cases per year.

The Big Red Button: Visitor Experience to Include Firing Up a Barrel

Old Forester Distillery Barrel Charring - The Red Button
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You can expect to see these photo’s all over social media. Great idea!


One thing unique about Old Forester is that parent company Brown-Forman just happens to own their own cooperage. In fact, the Brown-Forman Cooperage is celebrating 70 years of barrel making this year. They are taking their years of barrel making knowledge and putting it on display at the new Old Forester Distillery. Beach said they will be making 15 to 20 barrels per day and one lucky tourist will get to push “The Big Red Button” (photo below) to actually start the barrel charring process. Hmm, will be interesting to see how they choose these lucky 20. Golden ticket? Disney Fast Pass?

Related Stories
After Fire Delay, New Old Forester Distillery Gets Permit – Opening 2017
New Old Forester Distillery Construction Kicks-Off with 2017 Opening Planned
Old Forester Distillery on Whiskey Row Construction Project Photos
New Old Forester Distillery Project Plan Jumps from $30 to $45 Million
Fire Crews Put Out Massive Fire on Louisville’s Historic Whiskey Row [Video]

Construction on the $45 million distillery project was supposed to be completed in 2016 but that all changed when a major fire in July 2015 ripped through nearby buildings and halted everything. The fire nearly destroyed hundreds of years of history along Whiskey Row. The interior of three adjacent buildings was pretty much destroyed but, through some major engineering feats, the historic facades of the buildings were saved with temporary steel poles and huge concrete piers. Those poles and piers are expected to be removed in June 2016.

“Upon Completion, the Old Forester Distillery will provide tourists and bourbon enthusiasts with an up close look at our bourbon making process and share with them a captivating story of entrepreneurship and achievement that characterizes Old Forester’s 146 year history,” said Old Forester President and fifth generation family member, Campbell Brown.

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The New Old Forester Distillery Photos (Click to enlarge.)

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