Old Forester Distillery

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Old Forester Distillery

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  • DateMarch 30, 2018
Old Forester Distillery
Louisville, Kentucky

Louisville’s “Whiskey Row” originally built over 150 years ago is undergoing a transformation of the historic façade. Brown Forman’s Old Forester Distillery and Visitor Center is expected to open later this year.

The working distillery allows visitors to experience the bourbon crafting process from beginning to the end. In addition to visitors, the distillery provides extra production capacity of up to 100,000 cases annually along with a place to showcase the brand’s history.

The 60,000 square foot facility was designed to be the most complete distillery experience possible, including fermentation, distillation, bottling, cooperage, barrel charring, barrel filling, and barrel aging warehouse. tasting room, exhibits, and retail and event space.

Highlights of KGEI’s design include:

  • The building was designed with the customer experience in mind. An experience consultant was used to ensure the customer experienced the Old Forester Brand and the experience was consistent throughout the building and tour.
  • Extensive lighting design and control of the lighting fixtures are used to enhance the building aesthetics and customer experience.
  • Chillers, fan coil units, and dedicated outside air units are all variable speed and modulate to control space conditions.
  • Smoke evacuation is provided for the atrium space that houses the still. Extensive modeling and calculations were used to simulate a fire in the space and determine ventilation requirements.
  • Process engineering and design were provided for the fully functioning distillery, including high pressure steam boiler system and piping, process chilled water, whiskey product piping, valving and control coordination.
  • Exhaust, ventilation, and make-up air design for barrel toasting and charring operations in the cooperage.
  • Special hazard fire protection systems using FFF-AR foam for suppression of ethanol fueled fires. The design consisted of multiple hazard classifications, multiple zones, and multiple deluge sprinkler systems.