Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Barton 1792 Distillery Opens New Visitor Center.
Earlier today, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear (center) and officials from the Barton 1792 Distillery cut the ribbon to open the Barton 1792 Distillery Visitor Center in Bardstown, Kentucky.
Pictured from left to right are Chuck Braugh, former Barton Plant Manager and present for the original Visitor Center opening in 1967; Mark Brown, President and CEO, Sazerac Co.; Governor Beshear; Johnnie Colwell, Vice President of Operations, and Ken Pierce, Chief Chemist.
Though not billed as such, this also marks the official return of the Barton Brands name, by which the distillery was known from 1944 until 2008. It is now the Barton 1792 Distillery, incorporating the name of the bourbon -- Ridgemont Reserve 1792 -- for which the distillery would like to be known. Very Old Barton and several other whiskeys are made there too.
Barton Brands was established in Chicago at the end of Prohibition by Oscar Getz and Lester Abelson. They bought the former Tom Moore Distillery in 1944 and named it Barton. Constellation Brands, which owned the distillery from 1993 to 2009, changed the name back to Tom Moore in 2008, shortly before selling to Sazerac.
The new Visitor Center is a 1,000 square foot facility with a tasting bar and gift shop. It is also where all distillery tours begin and end.
Inside the Barton 1792 Distillery Visitor Center guests can purchase branded merchandise, including hats, shirts, glassware, and jams and jellies. In a nod to its roots, the Visitor Center is in the same building as the original Oscar Getz Museum, which moved to downtown Bardstown after Oscar Getz retired in 1982. Pictures of the original Getz Museum’s grand opening as well as many other distillery historical milestones decorate the walls inside the Visitor Center.
“We’re proud to say that we have, despite the challenging economic environment, significantly increased our investment in the Distillery, hired additional staffing and committed to keeping this vital industry alive in this part of the state,” said Mark Brown, president and chief executive officer for Sazerac. The Bardstown facility employs nearly 200 people and is responsible for an economic impact of $7.2 million to Nelson County. The new Visitor Center is projected to bring 10,000 tourists to the region its first year.
“I congratulate Mark Brown and the others at Sazerac for their success in the midst of a difficult economy, and I want to thank them for their confidence in the Bluegrass State,” said Governor Beshear.
The Barton Brands of Kentucky 1792 Distillery Visitor Center is open Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tours start every hour on the hour. The last tour begins at 3:00 Monday through Friday and 2:00 on Saturday. Enter at 501 Cathedral Manor (31 E-New Haven Road). The phone number is 866-239-4690.