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Thursday, April 15, 2021

New Riff to Expand Capacity to Meet Growing and Future Demand

New Riff Distilling is set to build a $2 million expansion that will increase capacity by about 4,000 barrels per year.

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by Robin Gee

If all goes as planned, shovels will hit the ground in mid-May for a $2 million expansion of operations at New Riff Distilling in Newport. The company will add three new fermenters and another 900 feet to the distillery. The move is set to increase production by up to 50 percent.

Barre3 Fort Thomas. 90 Alexandria Pike. 

The demand for bourbon has grown steadily even during the pandemic. Kentuckians take pride in their bourbon, and the expansion of the “Kentucky Bourbon Trail™,” sponsored by the Kentucky Distillers’ Association, provides a needed revenue boost to communities along its route. Distillers across the state are preparing for growth as things open up.

New Riff provides about 8,000 barrels of whiskey each year with six fermenters. The addition will increase capacity to produce and store 4,000 more. In the immediate, the move will create four or five well-paying distillery jobs. Yet, the big pay off may come later as the barrels age and are ready for sale.

Demand is high, but it’s a waiting game. Bourbon takes a bare minimum of two years to age, but at New Riff, four years is the minimum standard. The new capacity will allow for more storage space while the aging process unfolds. And for that, you need warehousing space.

New Riff continues to be a good neighbor in Northern Kentucky. During the last year, the company stepped up to produce and provide hand sanitizer for first responders, released a 15-year bourbon with sales to benefit the bar and restaurant community and provided special bottles for auction and sale to benefit several charities including Brighton Center and the Fort Thomas Education Foundation. The company even produced commemorative bottles to celebrate Newport’s 225th anniversary.

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