Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co Tour

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Embark on a unique 2-for-1 experience at Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co., the only brewery-distillery hybrid producer on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Discover the intricate process of crafting world-class bourbon and beer, and immerse yourself in the heart of Kentucky's liquid heritage. Learn more in our tour review!
Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co
Town Branch Distillery
401 Cross Street
Lexington, KY 40508
(859) 255-2337 (Tours)
(859) 225-8095 (Customer Service)
Tour / Review
Date of Visit: March 2020

Please enjoy our Lexington Brewing & Distilling – Town Branch Distillery Tour review!

Video of our visit to Town Branch Distillery!

Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co.: A Unique Stop on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail!

A Kentucky Original

Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co. is a one-of-a-kind stop on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. It is the only brewery-distillery hybrid producer on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, and one of only a handful across the United States. The company was founded in 1999 when Alltech, a company specializing in yeast fermentation for animal nutrition, purchased the struggling Lexington Brewing Co. Alltech’s expertise in yeast made them a natural fit to revive the brand. The introduction of Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale in 2006 helped to solidify the company’s presence in the market, and in 2008, they began distilling whiskey.

Location and Tours

Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co. is located on the northwest end of downtown Lexington. If you’re visiting Rupp Arena or the Distillery District, it’s just a short walk away.

The Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co. hours (as of November 2023):

  • Tours: Daily from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM (Except Sunday when tours start at noon)
  • Visitor Center: Monday through Saturday from 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM, and Sunday from 11:30 AM to 5:00 PM.
  • Gift Shop: Same as visitor center hours
  • On Sundays, there are no spirits sales until after 1pm

Lexington Brewing and Distilling / Town Branch Distillery offers a variety of tours daily, including:

  • A standard tour that covers both brewing and distilling, lasting about 1 hour and 15 minutes; offered daily
  • Private or Master Distiller tours, which require reservations. Contact Stacie Layne or Boyd Wells at Tours@lexingtonbrewingco.com
  • The Twilight Distillery Tour with Sunset Views, Thursdays & Fridays at 5:30PM
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Planning Your Visit

You can find detailed information and plan your visit at lexingtonbrewingco.com. While walk-ins are welcome for some tours, it’s best to check availability online up to 2 hours before the specific tour time. If a tour is sold out, it will be posted as such. Always confirm hours of operation and tours with the distillery, and make advanced reservations when possible

Frootbat - Making hard to find liquor easy to buy

A Behind-the-Scenes Look

We met our guide, Austin, in the vintage red brick visitor’s center. Our tour began with a brief six-minute video introduction to Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co. and a little history about the company.

Frootbat - Making hard to find liquor easy to buy

On To The Brewery! – Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co. Tour

Lexington Brewing Tour
Lexington Brewing Company – Lexington Brewing & Distilling Tour
The Brewhouse

From there, we headed to the brew house, where Austin explained that the company produces most of its own grain, an unusual practice in the industry. Hops, on the other hand, come from Washington state. Interestingly, the brew house pulls double duty, since cooking grain, whether for beer or for whiskey, is very much the same process. This allows Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co. to use the same equipment for cooking all grains regardless of their final destination. The next step, fermentation, is where the path deviates. On the beer side, the solids are separated from the liquid, and the liquid is sent to one of the numerous fermenters in the brew house. The whiskey mash, on the other hand, is piped across the street to the distillery side for fermentation.

With fermentation in full swing, the brewery portion of the tour concluded. Due to space constraints, Lexington Brewing Co. does not bottle on-site; however, the bottling facility is just a short distance from Lexington Distilling / Town Branch Distillery.

Pearse’s Place: A Taste of Lexington Brewing Co.’s Finest

Before exiting the brewhouse, we made a final stop at Pearse’s Place, the tasting room for Lexington Brewing Co. It was time to belly up to the beautiful wooden bar and sample a variety of brews.

Each tour includes four tokens for tasting, which can be used for beer or spirits tasting at the end of the tour. Seven different beers were available on our visit, and Austin provided a brief description of each before the beer began to flow.

Pearse's Place - Lexington Brewing & Distilling - Town Branch Distillery Tour
Pearse’s Place – Lexington Brewing Company

Continuing the Tour: From Beer to Spirits

Delving into the Distillery: Barreling, Storage, and Bottling

After learning the basics of beer making, we headed across the street to the distillery. The distillery portion of the tour was unique. Instead of starting with the still and distillation, we began in the barreling, storage, and bottling areas due to the mashing of grains having already been covered during our brewery lesson.

Once again, due to limited space and the fact that Lexington Distilling Co. is on the smaller side of bourbon producers, all three of the aforementioned areas are housed in the same large warehouse-type building behind the distillery proper.

This bustling space is home to everything from new make ready to be barreled to mature bourbon ready to be hand-bottled. Filled barrels are stored off-site.

A Glimpse into the Still Room: The Heart of Distillation

The final stop on the tour was the still itself. Lexington Distilling Co. / Town Branch Distillery boasts two copper pot stills imported from Scotland, beautifully housed within floor-to-ceiling glass walls. This area also features the distillery’s fermenters, including two cypress fermenters built from reclaimed wood.

Copper Pot Stills - Lexington Brewing & Distilling - Town Branch Distillery Tour
Copper Pot Stills from Forsyth’s at Lexington Brewing & Distilling – Town Branch Distillery

A unique barrel pyramid display provided a step-by-step explanation of the distilling process.

Spirits Tasting: Savoring the Delights of Town Branch Bourbon

Austin provided a brief explanation of the distilling mechanics, and then it was time to put any remaining tokens to use. Although distilling began in 2008, Lexington Distilling Co. waited until 2012 to release its first Town Branch Bourbon.

The spirits tasting area is located just off to the side of the stills. A semicircular barrel bar awaited us, offering six different spirits: Town Branch Whiskey, Bourbon, Single Barrel Bourbon, Rye, Town Branch Gin, and Town Branch Caribbean Style Rum.

The final taste, a special bonus for everyone, was the Bluegrass Sundowner, a dark roasted coffee infused with Kentucky bourbon and sugar. This liqueur-type product is mixed with hot water and topped with a layer of heavy cream.

Spirits Tasting - Lexington Brewing & Distilling - Town Branch Distillery
Spirits Tasting – Lexington Brewing & Distilling – Town Branch Distillery
Conclusion: An Unforgettable Journey through the Heart of Kentucky’s Liquid Heritage

With the Sundowner down the hatch, the tour came to a close. We headed back to the visitor’s center, where the pub-style storefront displays everything from bourbon to beer to memorabilia. While there’s plenty of bourbon (and other spirits) and beer for purchase, there’s also an abundance of Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co. swag. In fact, it’s a great store to stop by anytime to find that perfect gift for your favorite bourbon or beer lover.

Gift Shop - Lexington Brewing & Distilling - Town Branch Distillery
Gift Shop – Lexington Brewing & Distilling – Town Branch Distillery
A 2-For-1 Experience

Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co. / Town Branch Distillery is indeed an exclusive Kentucky 2-for-1 experience. Learn, taste, and shop right in the heart of the Bluegrass!🥃

We hope you have enjoyed our Lexington Brewing & Distilling – Town Branch Distillery Tour review! Be sure to check out our short video: 90 Second Tour of Town Branch Distillery!

Date of original visit: March 2020. Updated Dec 2023.

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