Distillery plans to use a 100+ year old underground coal mine for bourbon aging.
In what may be a first for Kentucky Bourbon, Brothers Wright Distilling Co. just announced that it will begin construction on a new distillery project. The distillery will feature an underground coal mine to age bourbon and whiskey produced at the 12,000 sq ft distillery. Admittedly, the premise of aging in such a controlled, underground environment had me curious and intrigued about their approach to aging bourbon. According to Brothers Wright product page: the utilization of the coal mine is “Challenging the traditional whiskey aging environment” and the distillery’s underground facilities are “designed to leverage control of temperature and pressure – cycling bourbon in and out of its American white oak cask.” For more details on the project, check out the excerpted press release and images below.
Full Details on Brothers Wright Distilling Co.
Today, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear announced that Brothers Wright Distilling Co. will invest nearly $38 million and create 28 quality jobs in Pike County to establish a new distillery that will use a rehabilitated underground coal mine to age the company’s products. Construction of the new facility in Eastern Kentucky is expected to begin later this year with completion scheduled by the end of 2024.
It is great to see the continued growth of our state’s bourbon sector, especially when we have companies that embrace Kentucky’s history the way Brothers Wright Distilling has with this investment. This is an incredibly innovative project that will use a once-forgotten coal mine to bring a great Kentucky product to market. I want to thank the company’s leaders for their commitment and for creating more great jobs for Kentuckians. – Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear
In 2020, brothers Kendall and Shannon Wright purchased a 1,200-acre farm along the banks of the Tug Fork tributary of the Big Sandy River and began work to restore the property for use as a corporate retreat location. Following the acquisition, the brothers discovered coal mine maps of the property, which uncovered the location of the mine that is now being used to age the company’s bourbon.
Company leaders plan to construct a 12,000-square-foot distillery, rickhouse, welcome center, museum and restaurant on a 20-acre tract – part of a larger 1,200-acre property, along Kentucky Highway 292 in Pike County – with future plans for lodging and an underground visitor experience. The company will age its Kentucky-made bourbon in a rehabilitated coal mine, encompassing 1,400 acres underground, on the mine property that operated from 1913 through 1946. More than 100 years after construction, the mine’s internal dry-stacked rock walls remain intact, and the site already serves as home to the first barrels of the company’s product, which was distilled in Pike County.
From 1913 to 1946, more than 23 million tons of coal were mined out of this property. Miners from all over the world traveled here to work, live and provide fuel to our nation during its greatest period of growth. We feel there is something special about honoring the work completed here over a century ago with a completely unique bourbon experience. – Kendall Wright, co-owner and COO
Our family of companies’ footprint in Pike County stretches back over 25 years. We have been blessed to live and work in the mountains of Central Appalachia over that time frame. Working in Kentucky’s coal mining industry has given us the opportunity to grow and support our families as well as our employees and their families. We are excited to marry two of the great state of Kentucky’s industries, bourbon whiskey and coal mining, in a new and unique approach that we hope will bring a new economic opportunity to the mountains that we call home. – Shannon Wright, co-owner and CEO of Brothers Wright Distilling Co.
The company’s owners also operate multiple other businesses all over Kentucky and central and southern Appalachia, including parent company Wright Concrete & Construction, employing more than 200 people across all operations.
For more information on Brothers Wright Distilling, visit BrothersWrightDistilling.com.