New Bulleit Distillery expected to bring 100,000 visitors to Shelby County each year

Bulleit opened a new distillery on Benson Pike in Shelbyville last year, and it will soon open for tours as it works toward producing maximum capacity of 4 million proof gallons a year.

The company celebrated the groundbreaking of a new $10 million visitor’s center at the distillery Monday. The facility will bring the cost of the new distillery to around $150 million, according to Bulleit Bourbon Founder Tom Bulleit.

“We moved all of our bourbon and our rye here into our new warehouses,” Bulleit said. 

There will be three tasting rooms separated by glass garage doors. The doors will have the ability to open up to create one big event space. Eventually, it will have a bar and restaurant.

“You will enter into what we call The Living Room, and [Tom Bulleit’s] office will be adjacent to that," EOP Architects partner, Brent Bruner said. "You can buy your tickets, relax and wait for a tour.” 

Bulleit, said he predicts it will attract 100,000 visitors each year from around the world, which is a big boost for a county of only roughly 45,000 people.

“Those taxes that it generates, those are outside dollars coming in," said Kate Fussenegger, Executive Director of the ShelbyKY Tourism Commission & Visitors Bureau. "So we're not just turning money around within the community. It's a new injection of funds, and they're leaving their dollars here and going home.

“It benefits, the schools, the restaurants, the hotels, every facet of the tourism industry, as well as emergency services."

The impact of those visitors stretches far beyond the walls of this distillery.

“Treat your downstream neighbors as you would have your upstream neighbors treat you,” Bulleit said. “I'm so excited about the economic impact the distillery and the jobs, which eventually will be well over 100, will bring here."

As Bulleit continues to grow, it's predicted even more visitors will venture out here to Shelbyville to give it a shot. The new welcome center is scheduled to open in spring of 2019.

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