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Constellation buys stake in Bardstown Bourbon Co

After purchasing craft whiskey producer High West Distillery earlier this month, Constellation Brands has acquired a minority stake in The Bardstown Bourbon Company.

Constellation Brands acquired a minority stake in The Bardstown Bourbon Company

Having completed the acquisition of High West Distillery, Constellation set its sights on The Bardstown Bourbon Company – said to be the largest new whiskey distillery in the US.

Set on 100 acres of active farmland, Bardstown boasts an educational experience, tours and tastings, integrated visitors center and event space.

The distillery began commercial production in September 2016, at the same time announcing plans to expand the site, which can  can be expanded to more than six million proof gallons within its current design.

Led by Bourbon Hall of Fame master distiller, Steve Nally, Bardstown offers a “first-of-its-kind” Collaborative Whiskey, Bourbon, and Rye Distilling Program where customers can work with Bardstown to launch their own custom spirit brands.

“This is an exciting and unique investment for Constellation, and different than the venture activity we’ve explored to date,” said Ben Dollard, senior vice president and chief growth officer, Constellation Brands.

“Investing in a state-of-the-art Bourbon facility at Bardstown provides us access to knowledge and production capability to support our emerging premium spirits portfolio over time. At the same time, Bardstown will grow with our investment as well as our experience in the beverage alcohol space, our relationships within the industry and our people.”

Bardstown will continue to operate independently, and has named Peter Loftin, entrepreneur and investor, as chairman of its board of directors.

“We are very encouraged to have Constellation as a strategic partner,” said David Mandell, president and CEO of The Bardstown Bourbon Company.

“Constellation’s investment and support will further help The Bardstown Bourbon Company reshape the American whiskey market.”

The deal is one of a number of transactions made across Constellation’s drinks portfolio as part of a wider strategy to focus on premium, high-margin, high-growth brands while building shareholder value, according to the firm .

“Investing in Bardstown, the largest new whiskey distillery in the US, jumpstarts our opportunity to further explore innovation in the brown spirits category,” said Rob Sands, president and chief executive officer, Constellation Brands.

“With the acquisition of High West and the opportunity to work with Bardstown Bourbon Company, we are strategically advancing our spirits business with access to high-quality supply and state-of the-art production capabilities.”

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