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Michter’s In Expansion Mode With New Louisville Distillery

February 8, 2019

With a new distillery opened in recent days and a growing brand targeted firmly at the high end, Michter’s is aiming to carve out a bigger slice of the American whiskey market. Michter’s opened its Fort Nelson Distillery and tourism center on January 31. The facility is located on Louisville, Kentucky’s historic Whiskey Row, across the street from the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory, and a block down from the Frazier History Museum, which serves as the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Welcome Center. The new site joins Michter’s existing Shively, Kentucky distillery.

Michter’s president Joe Magliocco tells SND that he connected the new distillery with the brand’s heritage by acquiring the pot still and cypress wood fermenter system from the former Michter’s distillery in Pennsylvania. The Fort Nelson facility features public tours and a bar focused on classic cocktails, which is headed by bar manager Dante Wheat, formerly of the Butchertown Social, and features the work of lead bartender Sevan Araneda, formerly general manager of San Francisco’s Bourbon & Branch.

Meanwhile, Michter’s continues to burnish its reputation with a string of limited releases. Recent launches include a 10-year-old rye ($160), 20-year-old Bourbon ($700), and Toasted Barrel Bourbon ($60). Michter’s flagship U.S.-1 range ($50) is also exceeding expectations, Magliocco says, adding that the brand’s distribution footprint continues to expand.

While supply remains tight, Magliocco says he’s bullish about ongoing growth for Michter’s both in the U.S. and internationally over the long term. “I think there’s a tremendous opportunity for Bourbon to grow its market share abroad,” he says.—Shane English

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