Last month, Bulleit Distillery expanded to an idyllic, 300-acre countryside location in Shelbyville, Kentucky.
In addition to the pristine Jeffersonian grid layout, high-tech flat-screen monitors in the control room to detail the grinding, fermenting, distillation, and bottling of the 15 to 20 million bushels of Shelby County grain to be delivered here annually, this distillery features some earth-friendly advancements in this expansion as well.
In an effort to operate with minimal environmental impact, the site utilizes Shelby County's first industrial solar panel array, which collects enough renewable energy to run all on-site mobile equipment. This advancement significantly reduces the distillery's dependence on fossil fuels (coal and natural gas, both environmentally damaging and expensive to source), thereby lowering its carbon footprint.
To further reduce the amount of waste and environmental impact, this new distillery uses a 50,000-gallon centrifuge to separate the spent grain from the sour mash. (The sour mash, aka "backset," is the fermented leftovers from the previous batch of mash, used to introduce the yeasts and bacteria needed to start the next batch of mash.) The spent grain separated by the centrifuge is then dried and used as a livestock feed supplement.
Kudos to this Diageo-funded operation for leading the way in creating a more sustainable distillation process, and contributing to the green energy movement!