BARDSTOWN, Ky., May 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Barton Brands of Kentucky announces today the grand opening of a Visitor Center at its Barton 1792 Distillery in Bardstown, Ky. The Visitor Center is a 1,000 square foot facility containing branded “1792 Distillery” merchandise and a tasting bar. It also serves as the base of operations for the Distillery’s tours, which have been enhanced with exciting new areas to view.
Visitors now taking the tour can learn about the history of the 130-plus year-old-Distillery, see the area where the grain is received, plus the hammermill and the still used in making its award winning bourbons. No distillery tour is complete without going inside an aging barrel warehouse, and guests are not disappointed when stepping inside 1792 Distillery’s warehouse “H” on their tour. The heady scent of what insiders call the “angels share” greets one as they walk in and see the 20,000 barrel capacity of this warehouse that was built in the 1940’s.
Next stop on the tour route is the bottling hall, where visitors will be wowed by the 5 automatic bottling lines filling some of Kentucky‘s most iconic bourbons, including Very Old Barton (long a critic favorite) and the flagship 1792 Bourbon.
From the bottling hall guests are led through the finished products storage warehouse, where they will be awed by pallets upon pallets of goodies bottled at the Distillery before they are shipped across the world. The tour ends where it starts – in the newly opened Visitor Center, where they have saved the best for last, a tasting of Very Old Barton and 1792 Bourbons.
Inside the Barton 1792 Distillery Visitor Center guests can purchase an array of branded merchandise, including hats, shirts, glassware and jams and jellies. In a nod to its roots, the Visitor Center is in the same building as the original Oscar Getz Museum, which has since re-located to downtown Bardstown. Pictures of the Getz Museum’s grand opening as well as many other Distillery historical milestones decorate the walls inside the Visitor Center.
“We’re proud to say that we have, despite the challenging economic environment, significantly increased our investment in the Distillery, hired additional staffing and committed to keeping this vital industry alive in this part of the state,” said Mark Brown, president and chief executive officer for Sazerac, which owns the Barton 1792 Distillery. Sazerac purchased the former Tom Moore Distillery from Constellation Spirits in 2009 and has since heavily invested in renovating the site to making it visitor and tour-friendly. Currently the facility employs nearly 200 people and is responsible for an economic impact of $7.2 million to Nelson County. The new Visitor Center is projected to bring in 10,000 tourists to the region its first year.
“I congratulate Mark Brown and the others at Sazerac for their success in the midst of a difficult economy, and I want to thank them for their confidence in the Bluegrass State,” said Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear.
The Barton Brands of Kentucky 1792 Distillery Visitor Center will be open Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tours start every hour on the hour. The last tour is at 3:00 Monday through Friday and 2:00 on Saturday. Entrance to the Visitor Center is at 501 Cathedral Manor (31 E-New Haven Road). The Visitor Center phone number is 1-866- 239-4690.
About Barton 1792 Distillery
Barton 1792 Distillery is part of Barton Brands of Kentucky, with facilities in Bardstown, Ky., Carson, Calif., and Baltimore, Md. Barton Brands is owned by the Sazerac Company, a family-owned company based in New Orleans, La. Barton 1792 Distillery was established in 1879 and continues today as the only fully operating distillery in the “Bourbon Capital of the World.” 1792 Ridgemont Reserve Bourbon whiskey is produced at Barton 1792 Distillery. This small batch Bourbon whiskey is the recent winner of a double gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. To learn more about the Distillery visit www.1792bourbon.com.