Prohibition Craft Spirits to open in Baxter Avenue building famous for tunneling bootleggers

A historic building famous for tunneling bootleggers is getting a new life in Louisville.

Prohibition Craft Spirits and the Irish Hill Pharmacy are opening inside the building 436 Baxter Avenue. It’s a bar and a small batch distillery that makes vodka, rum, gin and a barrel-aged agave spirit, which is similar to tequila.

Guests can take an hour-long history tour for $15 to learn about the gangsters and bootleggers during Prohibition. It also covers how each of the spirits are made.  

The distillery owners said the building was built in the 1800s, and there are tunnels used by bootleggers underneath the floor.

“We have pictures from 1890,” Prohibition Craft Spirit's Harrison Hyden said. “You'll get a nice historical tour of how Prohibition started.”

Eventually, the small batch distillery will also make bourbon.

At the end of the tour, guests can order a drink from the Irish Hill Pharmacy.

“That's open to the public where you can get any kind of drink you want,” Prohibition Craft Spirit's President Keith Hazelbaker said

During Prohibition, “you could be prescribed alcohol for medicinal purposes, only because it was believed it was a remedy,” Hyden said.

The distillery sells its liquor in 30 stores across Kentucky and will distribute nationwide in the future. But for now, the new bar is focusing on our nation's history.

Prohibition craft spirits is having soft openings every weekend for the month of June on Thursday through Saturday from 4 p.m. until midnight. The grand opening is on June 30.

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