Distillery Warehouse Collapse Causes 9,000 Bourbon Barrels to Crash

A Kentucky building housing thousands of barrels of aged bourbon collapsed on Friday, sending 9,000 barrels of the liquor crashing to the ground.
Bardstown Fire Department

A Kentucky building housing thousands of barrels of aged bourbon collapsed on Friday, sending 9,000 barrels of the liquor crashing.

The Bardstown fire chief, Billy Mattingly, told the Kentucky Standard half of the Barton 1792 Distillery’s storage facility collapsed Friday morning, with the other half in danger of buckling underneath and falling.

A spokesperson for Barton Brands said no one was injured when the building collapsed.

“Right now we’re trying to determine why it collapsed,” Mattingly said, adding that the spilled bourbon might pose a fire hazard if several forecasted storms make landfall in the area:

Nelson County’s 911 director, Milton Spalding, said in a Friday afternoon press conference that the building housed about 20,000 barrels, and 9,000 of those barrels had been affected by the crash.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials had been on site to investigate if the bourbon contaminated a river located 250 feet away from the warehouse. Firefighters could not determine if the alcohol got into the water supply.

The distillery posted an update to its Facebook page Saturday morning announcing that the Visitor Center and tours of the facility would reopen to the public Saturday but that the affected warehouse would “not be accessible to the public and is not featured on the normal tour route.”

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