Louisville area gets its second stop on the bourbon trail

SHIVELY, Ky. (WDRB) -- The world's largest spirits company, Diageo, is investing even more money into Kentucky's expanding bourbon industry.

The ninth and newest stop on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail includes a new visitors center on Fitzgerald Road in Shively. It is called the Bulleit Frontier Whiskey Experience.

"Visitors are going to see an amazing, old, historic and currently in-use distillery and warehouse," says Tom Bulleit, the founder of Bulleit Bourbon which is now owned by Diageo.

For bourbon lovers, the location is sacred ground.

The historic Stitzel-Weller Distillery in Shively once produced brands like Pappy Van Winkle and Old Fitzgerald.

Now Diageo is investing $10 million renovating an old office building and turning it into a new visitors center.

This will be the second bourbon trail stop in Louisville, the first one is The Evan Williams Bourbon Experience on Main Street in downtown Louisville.

Future plans call for a new bottling line and a small craft still.

"For now we age Bulleit Bourbon and Bulleit Rye here," says Bulleit, "and you will be able to see how we do that in our warehouses."

The latest investment by Diageo comes on the heels of its groundbreaking last month in rural Shelby County for a new $115 million distillery to further expand Bulleit Bourbon worldwide.

"The fact that you have got Diageo, a world player, putting this much investment into Kentucky is significant, " says Eric Gregory, the president of the Kentucky Distillers' Association.

Bourbon remains a marquee industry in Kentucky, but the distillers' association is waiting on an economic impact study on the bourbon industry.

"We got the first draft back from the University of Louisville and quite frankly it was mind blowing," says Gregory, "the jobs number has almost doubled in the past two years and tax revenues have gone up hundreds of millions of dollars."

He says a final draft will be out in mid October and Gregory says, in the future, there will be more Louisville-area attractions joining the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

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