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Historic James E. Pepper Distillery to be rebuilt

The Georgetown Trading Co. has revealed plans to rebuild the historic James E. Pepper Distillery in Lexington, Kentucky.

The historic James E. Pepper Distillery was mothballed in 1958

The company, which produces the James E. Pepper 1776 whiskey brand, will build a distillery and museum on the grounds of the original James E. Pepper Distillery, which was founded in 1879 by Colonel James E. Pepper.

Pepper operated the site until his death in 1906 and the distillery continued production until 1958 when it was shut down and left to fall into disrepair.

In recent years, parts of the site and its adjacent buildings have been revitalised by local businesses.

“This has been a dream project for many years and we are thrilled to finally make it a reality,” said Amir Peay, founder and owner of the Georgetown Trading Co. “I would like to sincerely thank the developers and businesses in the Distillery District, and the City of Lexington, for all the passion and co-operation they have extended to work together and bring this iconic brand home.

“We also owe a huge thank you to Colonel James E. Pepper, for giving us such an amazing story and whiskey to share.”

The Georgetown Trading Co. will use a collection of historical materials – including a detailed mechanical drawing of the old distillery, letters from Colonel Pepper, and a large collection of preserved vintage whiskey – to recreate the distillery.

“Reviving the old distillery was something we were meant to do and we were happy to discover that someone still cared about the Pepper whiskey brand and had not forgotten about its great legacy,” said developer Teri Kelly, of Peppermill.

“The James E. Pepper whiskey company will soon come full circle and be the newest and one of the oldest, companies to do business in the Heart of the Bluegrass.”

The distillery is scheduled to open in mid-2017.

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