Diageo announced this morning that it plans to build a brand new distillery in Kentucky. Twitter was all abuzz with stories, with Fred Minnick breaking the news to the bourbon world. I was excited when I saw Minnick’s headline. I assumed, as probably many of you did, that it would be on the old Stitzel-Weller site, where Diageo has begun improvements to a visitor’s center there.
Alas, Stitzel-Weller is still not to be. For now. In this writer’s opinion, they have to be planning to do something with that famous site other than rack houses and a visitor’s center. But for now Stitzel-Weller is to remain frozen in time.
The new Diageo distillery will be located in Shelbyville, KY, and will create about 30 new jobs. There will be a 1.8 million proof gallon distillery and six rack houses on the 300 acre property in Shelby County. It will produce current and future Diageo whiskey brands, which hints at the development of new bourbons.
Perhaps just as interesting as the possibility of new bourbons being developed in Kentucky is the announcement that Diageo plans to make this a zero-landfill distillery. Their goal is to work with local community to reuse and recycle any waste products. Measures will also be taken to preserve the natural landscape around the facility.
While I’m disappointed that Diageo isn’t restoring the old Stitzel-Weller distillery, any news of new bourbon production in Kentucky is welcome. We’re facing a bourbon shortage, so every new drop produced means there will be something new to look forward to in several years.
How do you feel about Diageo’s plans? Tweet me @LouGirl502 and let me know.
Photos Courtesy of Bulleit's Facebook, Diageo's Website, and Fred Minnick's Twitter