Brandy distillery nearing completion in Butchertown
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Joe Heron and his wife have invested what he calls a ton of money to turn an old warehouse in Butchertown into a modern brandy distillery.
Heron describes how brandy is made a little bit differently from whiskey or bourbon.
"As whiskey is distilled beer, brandy is distilled wine," Heron said. "The word, 'brandy' actually comes from the Dutch word brandewijn which means burnt wine," he says.
So what motivated Heron to build a brandy distillery in the heart of bourbon country?
"I think there is already plenty of whiskey in America," said Heron, "I think brandy is cool; I think it is delicious; and I think it is one of the original American spirits."
Heron is originally from South Africa but has lived in many large cities in the U.S. and around the world. He looked at building a brandy distillery in some other cities, like Portland, Oregon or Tacoma, Washington.
But after successfully launching other beverage products in Louisville, he believes it is the perfect place to create his new product to be called Copper and Kings.
"The Louisville area is the distilling capital of the world," he said, "this is where the expertise lives and in terms of distilling capability and barrel making, this is where it all happens."
Heron says his new distillery will also be a tourist attraction.
"It will not look like a traditional distillery, it will be very modern and will have great views of Louisville."
Those views of downtown will come from a tasting room being built on the roof. The brandy will be aged in barrels stores in the basement. A bottling line will soon be installed and there will be an outdoor courtyard.
There will even be an art gallery. Heron calls his new business the 21-C of distilleries, referring to the successful hotel in downtown Louisville.
"We'll make world class brandy in a world class distillery," he said.
Heron expects to begin his distilling operation in March with public tours to start in April.
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