Tiny Minden, Nevada, a short drive from Lake Tahoe near the California border, has just gotten its first craft spirits producer, Bently Heritage Estate Distillery.
The start-up distillery is located in the Minden Flour Mill and Creamery buildings, a century-old site listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Owners Christopher and Camille Bently restored the site to “state-of-the-art standards,” which included getting a LEED Gold certification.
“As a kid I played inside the Flour Mill and Creamery buildings,” said Christopher Bently, who grew up in Minden, in a prepared statement. “These structures are part of the heart and soul of our small town and I want to safeguard that history.”
The distillery’s grain, including winter rye, oats, wheat, corn, and barley, will be sourced from the distillery’ sister company Bently Ranch, located outside the town of Minden; all the grains will be milled on-site, and the barley will be malted at the distillery as well. The Mill Building houses imported Scottish pot stills, made by Forsyths, which will be used for producing single-malt whisky, while the Creamery Building will be the site of vodka and gin distillation in German Carl pot stills.
The first batches of single malt and bourbon are already in barrels.
Spirits industry veteran Jeff Hodson, who has worked with brands like Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Pernod Ricard, is working with the company as director of sales. Bently spirits will initially be available in Nevada, California, and Arizona, with a plan to launch nationally “within the next few years.” Breakthru Beverage Nevada is the Nevada distributor, while Young’s Market will handle California and Arizona sales. Bently vodka and gin will retail between $32 and $40—there’s no word on the whiskey price point yet.