Kentucky-based OZ Tyler Distillery has returned to its original name, Green River Distilling Company, to celebrate the site’s heritage.
Owensboro-based OZ Tyler Distillery was founded in 1880 by TJ Monarch under the name the Eagle Distillery. John W McCulloch then purchased the site in 1885 and began making whiskey under the name Green River Distilling Company.
Over the years, the site has suffered a fire, Prohibition, multiple owners and a period of decline. The original Green River distillery was known for producing high-quality Bourbon.
“Green River was known for making some of the finest whiskey in Kentucky,” said Jacob Call, master distiller of Green River Distilling Co. “We’re excited to be crafting Bourbon and rye under the Green River flag again.
“As a third-generation distiller and seventh-generation Kentuckian, playing a role in reviving this historic distillery has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
Terrepure Spirit, a subsidiary of Terressentia Corporation, acquired the Owensboro-based distillery in 2014 and broke ground on its US$12 million renovation in July 2015, announcing that it intended to install rapid ageing technology. The site, which was formerly known as Old Charles Medley Distillery, became operational in 2016 and was named the OZ Tyler Distillery.
The rename has been in the works for more than six years, the distillery said. Terressentia Corporation CEO Simon Burch worked closely with McCulloch’s great-grandson Rob to rename the site.
“I’ve always wanted the distillery’s name back at its original location in Owensboro,” said Rob McCulloch. “It completes the story my great-grandfather started in 1885.”
Burch said the rename honours the distillery’s legacy in Owensboro and the “beginning of its next chapter”.
He said: “We’re so grateful to Rob for sharing his family’s legacy with us and it’s a privilege to continue to build on the legacy that John McCulloch created. It’s particularly exciting to make this announcement during September, which is national Bourbon Heritage Month.”
In addition, the distillery has hired Owensboro-based artist Aaron Kizer as its creative director. His work was inspired by the distillery’s archives.
The distillery will also release a limited edition four-year-old Kentucky straight Bourbon in 2021.
Today, Green River Distilling Co claims to be the fourth largest independent Bourbon producer in the US. The site produces 90,000 barrels of Bourbon and rye a year for bulk and private label partners.
In June last year, a warehouse containing thousands of whiskey barrels at the OZ Tyler Distillery collapsed.
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Author: Nicola Carruthers