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Thousands of whiskey barrels fall in O.Z. Tyler warehouse

A warehouse containing thousands of whiskey barrels at the O.Z. Tyler Distillery in Owensboro, Kentucky, has collapsed.

A barrel warehouse at the O.Z. Tyler Distillery in Kentucky (Image credit: O.Z. Tyler Distillery Facebook)

The incident occurred shortly after midnight (EDT) yesterday (17 June), when the northwest quadrant of the barrel storage warehouse, known as Rickhouse H, caved in.

The warehouse contains 19,400 barrels, with Rickhouse H holding 4,500 barrels. Only a “small fraction” were damaged.

According to O.Z. Tyler Distillery, no one was injured. There were no employees in the area and no additional damage at either the distillery or nearby properties.

Master distiller Jacob Call and the local authorities immediately arrived on site to assess the situation. The Environmental Protection Agency concluded that no environmental damage occurred.

A team of structural engineers are on site to determine the structural integrity of the building.

The distillery added that a recovery plan for the affected area and all barrels in the warehouse is currently underway.

TerrePure Spirits acquired the 80-year-old Owensboro-based distillery in 2014 and broke ground on its US$12m renovation in July, announcing that it intended to install “rapid ageing” technology. The O.Z. Tyler Distillery became operational in 2016 and was formerly known as the Old Charles Medley Distillery.

O.Z. Tyler Distillery is not the only whiskey producer to be involved in a warehouse incident in the past year.

In July last year, a warehouse containing thousands of whiskey barrels at the Sazerac-owned Barton 1792 Distillery completely collapsed just weeks after part of the building came crashing down.

This was followed by a fermented mash spill at the Barton 1792 site in March 2019, which injured two people.

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