Bardstown Bourbon announces purchase of Owensboro’s Green River Spirits


Monday, July 4, 2022 — The Bardstown Bourbon Co. announced plans last week to purchase Owensboro’s Green River Spirits. The purchase includes the historic Green River Distilling Co. in Owensboro, which is the 10th-oldest distillery in the state.

The deal should close by the end of July, according to a press release.

“The transaction will bring together two leading Kentucky bourbon producers into a strong, independent spirits company with a commitment to Kentucky whiskey,” the announcement said. “Bringing together the historic legacy of Green River and the modern bourbon experience at Bardstown Bourbon Company provides an enticing and distinguished selection of Kentucky whiskey for bourbon drinkers and visitors.”

The Green River Distilling Co. was founded in 1885 by John W. McCulloch, and it garnered international attention. But in 1918, the facility was destroyed in a fire. The team responsible for reviving Green River Distilling Co. found the property in ruins, restored it, and in 2016, began operating again as the O.Z. Tyler Distillery.

In September 2020, Green River Distilling Co. replaced O.Z. Tyler after a long-term rebranding effort. And earlier this year, the company launched its flagship Green River Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey.

Bardstown Bourbon Company was founded by Peter Loftin in 2014 to offer custom distilling solutions to brands seeking scale or customization in the American whiskey market. Bardstown Bourbon Company’s branded whiskies are now available in 20 markets nationwide.

Bardstown Bourbon said it is one of the top 10 distilled spirits producers in the country, distilling more than seven million proof gallons annually.

“We’re excited to forge this new partnership, which brings together two world-class teams and expands the breadth of our portfolio and the number of customers served,” said Mark Erwin, CEO of Bardstown Bourbon Company. “Bardstown Bourbon Company was founded to honor the traditions and history of Kentucky bourbon while taking a wholly modern approach. The addition of one of the oldest distilleries in Kentucky allows us to offer a comprehensive assortment that showcases the state’s flagship industry.”

According to the release, Bardstown Bourbon “produces the highest-quality Kentucky bourbon and rye whiskey using some of the most sophisticated technology in the industry” and the Bardstown Bourbon campus “is the first Napa Valley-style destination on the famed Kentucky Bourbon Trail to combine distilling, culinary, and beverage expertise to create a modern, authentic bourbon experience.”

The sale also includes the acquisition of a Green River Spirits-owned production facility in Charleston, S.C.. In addition to its flagship Green River Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Green River also does contract distilling producing whiskey, rye, vodka, rum, gin, and flavored whiskey for other brands.


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