There’s something wonderfully cool to note as we watch the evolution of different American craft distilleries over the passing years. One of the very early ones we covered back in late 2014 was J. Rieger & Co., an American whiskey brand that had deep historical roots in the Kansas City, Missouri area and that, 95 years after Prohibition shut it down, was relaunched by Andy Rieger, the great-great-great-grandson of original founder Jacob Rieger, among others. In the time since then this distillery has grown and added more products, and now word has come down they’ve just thrown open the doors to a new distillery.
The new J. Rieger & Co. distillery, according to those behind it, is located in Kansas City’s historic Electric Park neighborhood. In this facility guests can “enjoy an array of innovative cocktails and craft spirit experiences, including: a custom-engineered 40-foot slide to ferry guests from the second-floor Monogram Lounge to the first floor; a whiskey bottling station; a 3,500-square foot Kansas City historical exhibit; two full-service cocktail bars and lounge spaces (The Monogram Lounge and The Hey! Hey! Club); daily distillery tours open to the public; educational seminars and on-site events; multiple private event spaces, and more.”
The distillery new encompasses a much larger foot print at 60,000 square feet, allowing for increased production capacity. The building that was taken over was the locally historic Heim Brewery’s bottling house, a 45,000 square foot, 3-story building built in 1901. Prior to Prohibition, it is said, the Heim’s bottled more 100,000 bottles of beer a day there.
The new J. Rieger & Co. distillery (image via J. Rieger & Co.)
“We are proud to be at the forefront of a modern spirits renaissance,” said Rieger and fellow co-founder Ryan Maybee in a prepared statement. “Our focus has been to create the highest quality whiskey, gin and other spirits inspired by our vibrant history. We are extraordinarily driven by the national growth and recognition that we have accomplished and will apply that same high standard to shaping the future of our new home here in Electric Park. With this expansion and the incredible talent of our new hospitality team, we can add a visitors’ experience to our story while investing in our city and community.”
Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and...