I was having a discussion the other day and was asked about where the distilleries in Louisville were located. There were many distilleries in the city through the years and many of them have been wiped from the wipe completely. I thought I would write two blogs, listing first, the Louisville distilleries and their location of the distilleries located in the city from before Prohibition. The distilleries built after Prohibition, not including the ones built in the 21st century, will be a separate blog next week.
Louisville has a rich distilling history. Evan Williams had a distillery in the city in the 18th century until his death in the early 19th century. It was located on Main Street and there is a historical marker of the location by the Galt House Hotel. Another early distillery was the Hope Distillery. It was located in west Louisville near Portland. It was the first large scale distillery in Kentucky and unfortunately for the investors, not a long lived distillery. Founded in about 1816, it was out of business by 1820.
Bernheim Distillery was on Bernheim Lane at the railroad crossing. The distillery closed at the beginning of Prohibition. The Bernheim operation was moved in the 1930s to the old Max Selliger Distilleries and this distillery is now a trucking firm. The warehouses are gone but you can see where the ricks fitted in the side of a standing building.
Bonnie Bros. Distillery was at 135 West Main in the Portland neighborhood. The distillery was closed with Prohibition but was purchased by Park and Tilford after repeal. Schenley purchased Park and Tilford in the early 1950s and closed the distillery in the 1960s. The buildings are mostly gone from the site today.
Buchanon-Anderson-Nelson County Distilleries were on Lexington Road in what is now called Distillery Commons. The company became part of National Distillers during prohibition and National had its Old Grand Dad production and warehousing there until the 1970s.
Crystal Springs Distillery was located on First Street and Magnolia. The distillery closed with Prohibition and was torn down. There is now residential housing on the property.
The Ferncliff Distillery Co. was located at 1713 Logan Street. It is now a parking lot.
Stitzel Bros. Distillery was located at 26th and Broadway. It was purchased by Phil Hollenbach in the 1880s and became the Glencoe Distillery. Glencoe closed with Prohibition and after repeal a new Glencoe distillery was built in Shively. Nothing remains of the original Stitzel Brothers Distillery.
Kentucky Criterion Distillery was later known as Sunnybrook Distillery and was at 26th and Broadway next to Stitzel Brothers/Glencoe Distillery. It became part of National Distillers and closed in the 1970s.
J. G. Mattingly Distillery was located along Beargrass Creek along Lexington Road. There was fire that closed the distillery down and Mattingly partnered with Tom Moore in Bardstown on a new distillery there.
Old Kentucky Distillery Inc. was built in what is now Shively and after Prohibition ended it came back briefly before being purchased by Brown-Forman.
Jno. G. Roach Distillery was located in the Portland neighborhood at Missouri Ave, and 26th Street.
Max Selliger & Co. built two distilleries – Belmont and Astor Distilleries were back to back at South 17th Street and West Breckinridge. After Prohibition, Schenley purchased the distilleries, that had already become the new home for Bernheim Distillery. It later was part of United Distillers who rebuilt the distilleries into a single distillery, and later sold the property to Heaven Hill.
Pleasure Ridge Park Distillery was located near the present PRP High School. The remnant of the distillery is that Railroad Avenue is named for the old Railroad spur to the distillery.
Mellwood Distillery was located along Mellwood Avenue near Frankfort Avenue. The distillery building and warehouses are all gone, but there are a couple of buildings that exist that could have been part of the distillery campus.
Wallwork and Harris Distillery was located between Howard and Garland streets and 18th Street. This later became the White Mills Distillery. White Mills Distillery was purchased by Brown-Forman in 1924 and rebuilt to become the Brown-Forman Old Forester Distillery. The distillery was closed when Brown-Forman moved the stills to their Shively Distillery, but the site continued to be the corporate headquarters and quality control laboratories with small, experimental projects being distilled there.
Ph. Stitzel Distillery was located on Story Avenue. The distillery was built in 1903 and was the consolidation warehouses for A. Ph. Stitzel during Prohibition. When Stitzel jined with W.L. Weller & Sons after Prohibition, they built a new distillery in Shively, Ky. and sold this distillery to Frankfort Distillers who made Four Roses there for a few years until they had built a new distillery in Shively. Today, the office building from the original distillery is still on Story Avenue.
Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller and from the archives of Michael Veach