Located south of Frankfort, Kentucky, Old Crow Distillery once produced Old Grand Dad, Bourbon DeLuxe, Sunny Brook and other bourbon beverages. The plant has been closed since 1987 as a result of a buy-out from competitor Jim Bean.1
Dr. James Crow, a physician, moved to the state of Kentucky in 1823 and found a job working for colonel Willis Field at a distillery on Grier’s Creek just outside of Woodford County.1 Using his medical and scientific skills and general knowledge of bourbon production, Crow enhanced and sped up the production process. He soon moved to Millville on Glenn’s Creek and for the next twenty years, worked and managed the Oscar Pepper Distillery, later the Labrot and Graham and Woodford Reserve Distillery. Crow also worked for the Johnson Distillery, which eventually became Old Taylor, until his death in 1856. He was considered by some to be the “father of bourbon.”
Old Crow Distillery did not open until 1872, 16 years after Crow had passed away.1 The facility manufactured Old Crow Whiskey and was owned by National Distillers, and was one of the first nationally-known whiskey brands. In the 1960s, the plant was refurbished and the formula was changed that some thought diluted the product. Sales began a slow decline and was purchased by Jim Bean Brands in 1987.
The dilapidated complex was purchased by Neil Craig, a descendant of whiskey pioneer Elijah Craig, and his partner, in December 2013. The duo intend to rehabilitate the bottling house for Deviant Distillers, a micro-distillery, that will produce bourbon, rye, “moonshine” and spiced rum with a capacity of 60 gallons per day.
- Name: Old Crow Distillery
- Location: Frankfort, Kentucky
- Years of Significance: 1872
- Status: Being Redeveloped
- Lipman, John F. “The GHOSTS of WHISKIES PAST.” 1999. 14 July 2005 Article.
- Cowdery, Charles K. “Distillery Destruction — Saving Kentucky’s Heritage.” 7 Apr. 2005. The Cultured Traveler. 14 July 2005 Article.
- Hogan, Meghan. “Low Spirits in Kentucky.” 23 June 2005. Preservation Online. 14 July 2005 Article.