Louisville’s Distilled Spirits Epicenter has joined the Kentucky Distillers’ Association as its first-ever Educational Distillery member. The KDA’s board of directors had to approve that category specifically for the Epicenter, which didn’t fit into the association’s existing categories of founding distillers and craft distillers. Those categories are based on number of barrels in inventory - and the Epicenter doesn’t have any inventory.
Instead, the Epicenter is designed to educate aspiring craft distillers in the time-honored craft of distilling. Located in a beautifully renovated former auto-repair shop at 801 S. Eighth St. in downtown Louisville, this sister company to the Flavorman beverage lab does this through three main resources:
Grease Monkey Distillery, an artisan distillery furnished with state-of-the-art Vendome equipment that may be rented for full-scale spirits production or to run small test batches (see photo below); Challenge Bottling, an on-site bottling line designed to accommodate smaller production runs and various packaging requirements; and Moonshine University, a training facility that provides expert instruction on everything from technical operations to business planning.
By affiliating itself with the KDA, the Epicenter can access the resources of other distillery association members. For instance, several master distillers will teach courses at Moonshine University’s first distilling course, scheduled for Jan. 14-18. (See details here.)
This has been a year of tremendous growth for the KDA. The Distilled Spirits Epicenter is its sixth new member in 2012 and brings the total number of members to 15.
If you’ve ever wondered what bathtub gin is - or what it tastes like - you should sign up for the Spirits of Prohibition class at Moonshine University, part of the Distilled Spirits Epicenter in Louisville.
The class is scheduled for 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 5 - the 79th anniversary of Repeal Day, a particularly joyous occasion for fans of bourbon and other spirits. You’ll learn about how Prohibition came about, how it ended and what people drank in between, sampling whiskey, gin and cocktails of the era. You’ll also get to tour the distillery at the Epicenter, which has quite an impressive set-up.
Spirits of Prohibition costs $100 per person and you can register here. The Distilled Spirits Epicenter is at 801 S. Eighth St. Call 502.301.8130 for more information.
The Bourbon Women’s next event is “Women of Many Flavors,” to be held 5:30-8 p.m. May 17 at the new Distilled Spirits Epicenter in downtown Louisville.
Epicenter founder David Dafoe and Jane Conner, senior Heritage Team manager for Maker’s Mark, will demonstrate how one subtle flavor can make or break a cocktail. Attendees will sample the cocktails and enjoy hors d’oeuvres.
Dafoe is the founder of Flavorman, a company that helps clients develop beverages. He opened the Distilled Spirits Epicenter at 801 S. Eighth St. in April to teach people about artisan distilling and allow them to create their own unique spirits. The company also has a bottling line for small production runs.
The cost of the May event is $30 for Bourbon Women members and $75 for others, which includes a one-year BW membership. For more information or to register, click here.