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Heaven Hill pours $65m into Bardstown Bourbon ops

Elijah Craig and Evan Williams whiskey maker Heaven Hill Brands will pump US$65 million into expanding its operations in Bardstown, Kentucky.

The multi-year investment will include a US$17.5m renovation, expansion and rebrand of the Bourbon Heritage Center, Heaven Hill’s Kentucky Bourbon Trail visitor experience that launched in 2004.

The new-look visitor centre will tell the story of Heaven Hill since its inception in 1935 and include a “multi-sensory showcase” of the evolution of Kentucky Bourbon. It will also offer a number of “signature experiences” such as educational rooms, Bourbon-making tutorials, a rooftop bar and an enhanced retail space.

“At Heaven Hill Distillery we are committed to the growth of Kentucky Bourbon and invite fans to experience, taste and learn from storied brands across our award-winning portfolio,” said Heaven Hill president Max Shapira.

“By honouring historic figures and recognising the people who are the fabric of this industry, nurturing the dream held by my father and his brothers more than 80 years ago, and educating consumers to enjoy Bourbon into the next generation, Heaven Hill is able to bring history to life in an exciting, modern way, relevant to today’s consumer.”

The total US$65m investment will also include new barrel warehousing, and bottling line and equipment upgrades.

Since 2010, Heaven Hill has invested more than US$100m in distillery expansions, warehouse construction and Bourbon tourism. Last year, the group pledged US$25m to expand its Bernheim Distillery in Louisville, Kentucky. Earlier this year, Heaven Hill filled its eight millionth Bourbon barrel.