The original of this print is part of the United Distillers archive. They had a collection of prints of the distilleries and buildings that came before the Stitzel-Weller Distillery. This included the original Stitzel Bros. Distillery at 26th and Broadway, the W.L. Weller and Sons office on Main Street and this image of the A. Ph. Stitzel Distillery on Story Avenue, all in Louisville.
This print from 1902 shows the distillery grounds with the two warehouses, the distillery, the bottling house / office building, stables and Government gauger office building. The bottling house / office building is still standing but the other buildings are gone. The office is on the north side of Story Avenue near the railroad tracks. Behind where the distillery stood is the Butchertown Grocery, a popular neighborhood restaurant and bar. To the upper right of the distillery in the image is where Copper & Kings Brandy Distillery is located.
Arthur Philip Stitzel built this distillery in the late 1890s. It became the home to George Dickel in 1911 after Prohibition forced the Cascade Hollow Distillery in Tullahoma, Tennessee to close. This production included the installation of a charcoal mellowing vat to make the famous Geo. A. Dickel Cascade whisky. About the same time, they began contract distilling for W. L. Weller and Sons.
Prohibition closed down production at the distillery, but the site became a consolidation warehouse and A. Ph. Stitzel Distillery became one of the companies with a license to sell medicinal spirits during Prohibition. In 1928, with inventories of medicinal spirits becoming low, the government allowed those distilleries with license to distill beverage alcohol to replenish their stocks. The amount allowed was based upon the percentage of existing stocks held by the company with the license.
In 1928, the distillery produced Bourbon for themselves, and also for Frankfort Distillery and Brown-Forman. These two distilling companies did not have a working distillery in 1928 so the A. Ph. Stitzel Distillery contracted out the distillation of their allotment of whiskey. In 1929, Brown-Forman had their Louisville distillery back in working order and started to distill their whiskey there, but Frankfort Distillery continued to contract distill at the A. Ph. Stitzel Distillery even after the repeal of Prohibition. In fact, this distillery was sold to Frankfort Distillery in 1935 when the Stitzel-Weller Distillery was opened on Derby Day.
Frankfort Distillery made their Four Roses at this location and at another distillery that they built on Dixie Highway in Shively near the Stitzel-Weller Distillery. The distillery survived the purchase of Frankfort Distillery by Seagram during the 1940s, but was closed down by the 1960s. Today the office building still stands and you can see foundations from the distillery. This is a place that I would love to see an archeological dig. I also would love to see the office building turned into a distilling museum. The site has a lot of heritage surviving above ground and probably even more under the earth.