Tis the season for… construction. Heaven Hill Distilleries and Edinburgh Gin both just released plans to invest large sums to new building facilities for production as well as tricked out visitor centers.
Heaven Hill Distillery is pumping some serious dough into their Bardstown, Kentucky facilities. This week, the company announced plans to invest $65 million over several years in upgrades to the property.
$17.5 million was earmarked for Heaven Hill’s Bourbon Heritage Center. “Visitors will experience a multi-sensory showcase of the stories behind the evolution of Kentucky Bourbon, rooted in key periods in America’s history,” the official release gushes. “From influential names like Elijah Craig and John E. Fitzgerald, to the barrel rollers and distillery workers, the history will be brought to life through one-of-a-kind exhibits and tours.”
The new visitor center will feature all the bells and whistles. There will be a lab to blend & bottle your own whiskey, lots of high-tech displays, a rooftop bar, and of course, an improved merch shop.
“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 in a statment. “By honoring historic figures and recognizing 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 cash influx is also targeted at the company’s backend. Millions will be spent on increasing production capacity, new rickhouses, and equipment upgrades.
The corporation estimates that 20 permanent new and part time jobs will be created as a result of the investment.
Scottish gin player Edinburgh Gin also is planning a major expansion. The company announced plans to build a new distillery and visitor center in Endinburgh’s ‘Old Town’ district.
“This is the beginning of an exciting new chapter in the evolution of Edinburgh Gin,” said Neil Mowat, UK marketing director of parent company, Ian Macleod Distillers in a statement. “As the ‘No.1 super premium gin brand in the UK’, Edinburgh Gin is in high demand and this investment is our commitment to continued innovation and growth.”
Keeping with all the current trends, the new building will feature a blinged out visitor’s center (replacing the current spot in the city’s West End). The new center is expected to entertain 100,000 guests annually and will offer all the normal exhibits, gift shops, and hands-on activities like making-your-own-gin.
However, the heart of the build will be the distillery itself. The new facility, the company’s third distillery, will allow Edinburgh Gin to increase their capacity by 200%.
The construction still must be approved by the Edinburgh City Council. The original plans which included a much larger building were scaled down after Edinburgh World Heritage rejected them citing a threat to the city’s UNESCO status.