Bardstown Bourbon Acquires Green River


June 30, 2022

The sourced whiskey business just became much more interesting. Two key Kentucky bourbon suppliers are now one: Bardstown Bourbon Company acquired Green River Distillery in Owensboro.

Scheduled to close in July, the deal comes just three months after Pritzker acquired BBC. No terms were disclosed.

The transaction will bring together two leading Kentucky bourbon producers into a strong, independent spirits company with a commitment to Kentucky whiskey, according to a press release. But it also gives BBC strength in the contract distilling and wholesale receipts (sourced whiskey) business that will make them a one stop shop for sourced Kentucky bourbon.

Green River was one of the major suppliers for brokers, who sold their barrels to independent bottlers and other distilleries. Most notably, Green River produced Bradshaw Bourbon and became the distiller of choice for many private labelers.

Meanwhile, BBC has garnered a reputation as an excellent contract distiller, making custom recipes for its clients , and releasing its own namesake products that have become fan favorites. Their Fusion, Discovery and Collaborative Series have won multiple awards, including from me. Of course, I built their whiskey library many moons ago, too, and it’s been quite fascinating to see them grow in all facets of the game. This Green River move takes them to a whole other level and could very well make them the lead Kentucky resource for future private labels.

“We’re excited to forge this new partnership, which brings together two world-class teams and expands the breadth of our portfolio and the number of customers served,” said Mark Erwin, CEO of Bardstown Bourbon Company, in a press release. “Bardstown Bourbon Company was founded to honor the traditions and history of Kentucky bourbon while taking a wholly modern approach. The addition of one of the oldest distilleries in Kentucky allows us to offer a comprehensive assortment that showcases the state’s flagship industry.”

The acquisition includes the historic Green River Distilling Co. in Owensboro, Kentucky, which is the 10th oldest distillery in the state, and a state-of-the-art spirits production facility in Charleston, South Carolina. In addition to its flagship Green River Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Green River Spirits Company has a vibrant contract distillation business producing whiskey, rye, vodka, rum, gin, and flavored whiskey. 

Bardstown Bourbon Company was founded by Peter Loftin in 2014 to offer custom distilling solutions to brands seeking scale or customization in the American whiskey market. Bardstown Bourbon Company’s branded whiskies are now available in 20 markets nationwide, the company said. 

One important thing I am looking forward to: Transparency. BBC happily allows their clients disclose where the whiskey comes from. Thus, this move could mean fewer secrets in the sourced whiskey world. And who doesn’t want that?