As demand for its beers and spirits grows across the United States as well as abroad, Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co. is expanding its capacity and upgrading its facilities in downtown Lexington, Ky. Its capacity will increase to 140,000 barrels (bbls) thanks to two new brewhouses that will be installed by the end of 2015. The brewery’s operations at its Angliana Avenue facility, which currently contains cold storage for thousands of aging barrels of its flagship Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale, will expand with the addition of a large 100,000-bbl. Krones-Steinecker brewhouse from Germany.
The original brewery structure will undergo a face-lift that will allow visitors and anyone passing by to view brewing operations through two of the structure’s walls, which will be made of glass. The glass will display another exciting addition – that of another new, custom-made Krones-Steinecker brewhouse from Germany, unique in that it can also produce whiskey mashes. Capacity of this smaller brewhouse will be 35,000 bbls of beer and whiskey for fermentation. The equipment will significantly increase the beer and spirits production capacity of the Lexington brewery and distillery – one of only a handful of combined operations in the United States.
Construction and installation of the equipment will be completed in approximately one year. The increased capacity of the new system will be integral to increasing both brewing and distilling capacity for the company, which continues to expand globally, with distribution now in France, and soon to hit England, Spain and Japan. Currently, distribution exists in 25 states and five countries. Six salespeople across the United States were recently hired to keep up with new territories.
“It’s every brewer’s dream to have the problem of not being able to make enough beer to meet demand,” said Mark Phipps, technical director for Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co. “That’s been the situation we’ve been facing in recent years, so it will be like waking up on Christmas morning once these new brewhouses are installed. Not only will the change be functional, but with the brewery updates, the whole facility is really going to be a great brewing and distilling showcase.”
Brewing and distilling will continue during construction, which has already begun. Along with the addition of glass walls on two sides of the structure, the brewery roof will be raised, and Kentucky fieldstone will be utilized for connector walls. The brewery and distillery buildings are part of the company’s unique campus that also houses a visitor center and is on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail experience. By utilizing similar building materials as the distillery structure, the brewery updates will create a more unified campus aesthetic, said Deirdre Lyons, co-founder and director of corporate image and design at Alltech.
“With our Town Branch Distillery, we chose to utilize glass to showcase the beautiful copper pot stills, which are really breathtaking to see from both an interior and exterior view,” Lyons said. “So we also wanted to show off the beauty of the new brew kettles through glass walls to our visitors from afar and to Lexington residents, since brewing is of course one of the processes at the heart of what we do.”