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Templeton Rye to break ground on distillery

Templeton Rye has said it will break ground this month on a 34,500sq ft distillery in Iowa, a move that follows a series of lawsuits alleging the MGP Ingredients-made brand deceived customers over where and how it is made.

Templeton Rye is to bring distillation in house

The brand, which claims to be made from a pre-Prohibition era recipe, currently operates a 20-acre facility in the town of Templeton. The build project will see the site expand to include a distillery and an ageing warehouse.

On completion, the site will be able to produce 500,000 proof gallons of rye whiskey per year and mature up to 40,000 barrels.

According to the brand, the development “increases the brand’s investment in its namesake town”.

The Templeton Rye team says it expects the build to be completed within 18 months.

“We’re moving full-steam ahead,” said Keith Kerkhoff, Templeton Rye co-founder.

“Our company is laser-focused on bringing the history and spirit of the community of Templeton, Iowa, to life through Templeton Rye whiskey.”

The distillery build follows a series of lawsuits in 2014 and 2015 where Templeton Rye was accused of “misleading” consumers after it emerged the product, which claimed to be made in Iowa, was actually distilled at the MGP Ingredients third-party site in Indiana.

The action sparked a wider third-party and “craft” spirits debate which saw numerous brands, including Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Angel’s Envy Rye, caught up in legal spats over the use of terms such as “handcrafted” in their marketing.

Templeton Rye eventually said it would refund up to US$2.5 million to consumers as part of a compensation scheme after settling three such lawsuits.

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