Buffalo Trace Distillery saw more than 340,000 guests visit its national historic landmark distillery in 2021.
Those numbers reflect a 134-percent increase in the numbers from 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and actually a 16 percent increase in the number of visitors in 2019, pre-pandemic.
In fact, Buffalo Trace reported, since 2010 visitation to the distillery increased by 556 percent.
In the height of the pandemic, the distillery completed a large expansion of its visitor center, essentially tripling the size of the previous visitor center. This allowed for easier social distancing and provided more space for exploring the gift shop or the new tasting rooms.
Recently announced, and to further accommodate the increasing number of guests as they arrive at the distillery, Buffalo Trace is renovating its historical Freehouse, located in the visitor parking lot. The plan is for it to be a full welcome center.
For the past year, this space served Buffalo Trace as the visitor COVID health and safety check-in.
The renovations, set to wrap up by mid-February, will allow the distillery to check-in visitors for all activities within the same space by early March. The building will retain its historically significant design features and be updated to support the modern needs of visitors, including reservation check-in and WiFi. Plans also include updated landscaping and murals for photo opportunities for arriving visitors.
“We are thankful that, despite the challenges the last couple of years have brought, our fans continue to feel comfortable at the Distillery and are traveling from all over to visit us,” said Meredith Moody, director of homeplace development. “We look forward to incorporating our new Welcome Center into our visitor operations in the coming months and are excited to welcome even more guests throughout the year.”
Overall, Buffalo Trace continues to produce more bourbon than before, and its ongoing, $1.2 billion distillery expansion, looks to increase production for future bourbon demand.
Tours of Buffalo Trace Distillery remain complimentary, and right now, the distillery is limiting tour group sizes and accepts tour visitors by reservation only.
To learn more about Buffalo Trace Distillery, check out www.buffalotracedistillery.com.
Gary Carter has been at the helm of metro newspapers, magazines, and television news programs as well as a radio host and marketing manager. He is a writer/editor/photographer/designer by trade, with more than 30 years experience in the publishing and marketing field. Gary enjoys working to build something great, whether...