Friday, March 21, 2014

Elijah Craig Descendant Will Open Craft Distillery at Old Crow


Earlier this month the Woodford Sun reported that Neil Craig, a descendant of whiskey pioneer Elijah Craig, has acquired the former Old Crow Distillery near Frankfort. He and a partner intend to install a micro-distillery there in the old bottling house.

Old Crow was a large distillery operated by National Distillers until 1987, when National was acquired by Fortune Brands and merged with Jim Beam Brands. The distillery was immediately closed. Beam and other distillers continued to use the warehouses for several years thereafter. Rev Heart Pine LLC bought it from Beam in 2007. They demolished several buildings, selling the heart pine lumber and vintage bricks. Craig and company bought the 16 acre site in December.

According to the Sun article, they plan to make bourbon, rye, 'moonshine' and spiced rum, producing about 60 gallons of spirit per day. They will have a gift shop and hope to join the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

Craig grew up in Midway and "cherishes his family's roots to Elijah Craig, who has been credited with inventing bourbon whiskey."

So far, all they have is a name and a slogan: "Deviant Distillers, a Little Different, a Lot Better."

8 comments:

Doctor Tarr said...

The last time I drove by there there were still Beam trucks at Old Crow, and the only signs of demolition I saw were at Old Taylor.

Chuck Cowdery said...

The companies are still taking barrels out but they aren't putting any new ones in.

Janice K. Foster-Jackson said...

I am so glad that someone has purchased this site. I do hope they clean the area up and make it look nice.

Unknown said...

My partner Neil Craig and I have purchased this property and plan to open a craft distillery. One thing to clarify- Jim Beam bought out National Distillers and they still own and maintain several buildings they are using for barrel storage. They are in fact putting barrels into those buildings and taking barrels out. The buildins we own were used until all barrels were removed and then the property has been abandoned for over 25 years. Jim Beam is still our neighbor and they are very much using the better buildings of what was Old Crow and they have the Old Crow Distillery sign in front of their place. As for Old Taylor that has recently been purchased and will also be renovated to some degree. Jim Beam stopped using that property all together once barrels were removed.
We will not restore this to a major distillery, (yet) but will work to preserve the historic buildings.
Thanks for the column!

Chuck Cowdery said...

Thanks for the clarification.

Durham4556 said...

I hope really hope they renovate old taylor. that is(was) such a beautiful campus.

Jon Hill said...

Our Tallahassee barrel picking contingent did go by last week. It's hard to tell where the old Old Crow and the old Old Taylor properties end and begin. That little stretch is something to behold. I found an old web site on the Old Taylor place and it was quite the showplace in it's time. Fabulous Freddie at Buffalo Trace shared that his mother worked over there and he talked of the fabulous parties they used to have.
Delighted that Neil and his partner are taking this on. It's a site that deserves to rise again. I wish them luck and will buy whatever they end up making.
Everyone should go by and take a look. It's just minutes from Frankfort and just minutes from Woodford.
Chuck, you should spend some (more) time with Freddie and get some of the stories he has to tell about these old places.
Jon Hill

Chuck Cowdery said...

I spend time with Freddie Johnson every chance I get.