Templeton Rye Distillery - Grand Opening, Templeton, Iowa

This month marks a new beginning for Templeton Rye Distillery in Templeton, Iowa. Alphons Kerkhoff was a well known bootlegger back in the roaring 20s, funneling his rye whiskey to Chicago and surrounding areas. His rye whiskey recipe went dark for decades until his descendants decided to restart the family business in 2001. They found a partner to make a modern legal version of their family recipe and started selling Templeton Rye in 2006. In April 2017, Templeton Rye broke ground to build their own distillery and 12 months and 2 days later, they were once again distilling their own rye whiskey in Iowa.

Templeton Rye Distillery Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening

Jane Knudson – CFO of Templeton Rye, Keith Kerkhoff – Co-Founder of Templeton Rye, Chris Underwood – CEO of Young’s Market Company, Vern Underwood – Investor and Chairman of the Board of Young’s Market Company, Lester Brown – Distillery Manager and several Templeton Rye employees. (Left to Right near ribbon. Click to enlarge.)

The company celebrated its new $35 million, 34,500 square foot distillery, visitor center, museum and tasting room with a grand opening and ribbon cutting where nearly the whole town turned out. The new distillery that sits on 20 acres will have a significant impact on this small mid-west community of 350 residents. The expansion will add 17 new jobs bringing total employment up to 28 (nearly 10% of the entire town.)

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Production Capacity of 500,000 Annual Proof Gallons

The Templeton Rye Distillery is expected to produce 500,000 proof gallons of rye whiskey a year. According to Alex Androv, President of ICC Turnkey who provided the engineering and construction management services for the project, the distillery includes 52,000 lbs. of copper. Most of that copper is in the Forsyths Distillation Equipment imported from Scotland. The copper column still is 36 feet tall with a 29 inch diameter and 25 plates. The companion copper pot still and doubler is 375 gallons. All that new make whiskey will age in the 55,000 square foot barrel warehouse that can hold up to 50,000 barrels.

“It is a proud day for Templeton Rye as we begin a new chapter,” said Keith Kerkhoff, Co-Founder, Templeton Rye. “Working with ICC Turnkey on this successful project will enable us to continue our historic distillery operations in an efficient and environmentally-sustainable manner while serving many generations to come.”

A Virtual Reality Walk-through of the Distillery’s Design

Here’s a view from an early virtual reality walk through of the distillery mixed in with some photos of the completed project. These always amaze me how close they are to reality.

Templeton Rye Distillery Photo Gallery

Click on any image to enlarge.

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