Heaven Hill Distillery Story

let’s begin

Heaven Hill Distillery came out of one of the darkest times in the history of the American Spirits to become the biggest independent, family owned spirits supplier in the US.

Early Days of Heaven Hill Distillery

The distillery was an entrepreneurial adventure for its time. It was started with very little resources, only a dream to start a distillery.

The Shapira family, alongside some local Bardstown investors, who founded Old Heavenhill Springs in 1935, were facing a flagging industry. It was the height of the depression and the spirits industry had suffered under prohibition.

One of the founding partners was Joseph L. Beam, a cousin of the famous Jim Beam. He was the distillery’s first Master Distiller.

Fast Forward

Things moved well for Ole Heavenhill Springs until the 1990s.

In 1996 a devastating fire ripped through one of the distillery’s warehouses, where Whiskies were ageing.

It was described as a river of fire that illuminated the night sky nd completely shattered the distillery’s stock.

Things looked bad but Heaven Hill Distillery were able to use Whiskey from Brown-Froman and Jim Beam, who were situated very close to the site, to continue production.

Things improved massively when they bought over the Bernheim distillery in Louisville in 1999. They moved certain aspects of the production process, including fermenting, mashing and distilling to this site, leaving ageing and bottling at their original location.

Recent Years

The Heaven Hill Distillery has thrived since then and is now the second biggest holder of ageing Bourbon in America as well as the country’s sixth biggest spirits supplier.

The brand changed their name to Heaven Hill in 2014 and haven’t looked back since. They have become incredibly successful and very well known for their brilliant Bourbon.

They have also brought many different brands on board including Bourbon brands Elijah Craig and Even Williams.

Have you come across Heaven Hill? Let us know what you think in the comments!

Tags: American SpiritsBardstownHeaven HillHeaven Hill DistilleryHeaven Hill Distillery StoryShapira family


My name is Greg, and I’m a brand strategy consultant, writer, speaker, host and judge specialising in premium spirits. My mission is to experience, share and inspire with everything great about whisky, whiskey, gin, beer and fine dining through my writing, my brand building and my whisky tastings.

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