For almost as long as I’ve been writing this blog, I’ve been hearing that Angel’s Envy was going to build a distillery somewhere along Louisville’s Whiskey Row. Yesterday, on the blog’s second birthday (cheers!), Louisville Distilling Co., the company that produces Angel’s Envy, ended the months of speculation by breaking ground for a distillery at Main and Jackson streets, across the street from Louisville Slugger Field.
The site had been occupied by the Vermont American Building and Baer Fabrics. Louisville Distilling plans to invest about $12 million in renovations and equipment with the goal of opening the distillery and a visitors’ center in 2014. Louisville-based architects Joseph & Joseph, which will oversee the project, provided this image of what the final product might look like:
“The Angel’s Envy distillery will be a must-see experience on the Urban Bourbon Trail,” said Wes Henderson, chief operating officer for Angel’s Share Brands and son of Angel’s Envy master distiller Lincoln Henderson. The UBT, created by the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau in 2008 to give city a share of the growing bourbon tourism trade, is a network of 27 bars and restaurants that prominently feature bourbon. Having a working distillery in the city will be a plus for visitors who don’t have time to get out into the state for the Kentucky Bourbon Trail tour.
At least two other companies – Heaven Hill and Michter’s – have plans for microdistilleries in downtown Louisville as well. All of this investment is great news for Mayor Greg Fischer and Gov. Steve Beshear (below), both of whom attended yesterday’s announcement. “This is an exciting addition to Kentucky’s vibrant bourbon industry,” Beshear said. “We take a lot of pride in this signature product, and the industry’s global success shows the type of dedication and craftsmanship that makes Kentucky stand out.”
Photos by Chad Carlton