FRANKFORT, FRANKLIN COUNTY, KY (Jan. 26, 2021) – To say 2020 was a challenging year is an understatement, but making the most out of the unprecedented year is just what Buffalo Trace Distillery strived to do.
Despite a nearly four-month closure at the onset of the pandemic, and now limiting the number of guests it can welcome, Buffalo Trace is reporting strong visitation for 2020, all thanks to the many guests who felt comfortable visiting the Distillery during this time. The Distillery, which closed its doors to public visitation in early March, reopened July 1st and welcomed 145,365 visitors throughout 2020 and actually grew visitation year-over-year in December.
Having welcomed nearly 300,000 guests in 2019, the Distillery shifted focus when the pandemic struck, utilizing the closure to drive forward with a massive expansion of its Visitor Center and enhance safety and sanitation protocols.
“As soon as the pandemic hit we got to work making modifications in order to be able to reopen safely and really create a comfortable environment for our guests,” Homeplace Development Director Meredith Moody said. “Our sincere thanks goes to the thousands of visitors, from across the country, who have felt confident in our safety protocols and chose to visit Buffalo Trace Distillery since we reopened.”
Upon reopening to the public in July, the Distillery began offering a safe haven bourbon experience for guests, and debuted its expanded Visitor Center, which triples the size of the previous space. The expanded Visitor Center conveniently allows for easier social distancing, and provides ample space and comfort for guests exploring the Gift Shop or tasting in the new expansive tasting rooms. With the reopening, Buffalo Trace kept its complimentary tours, but began limiting tour group sizes, accepting visitors by registration only, and implementing increased sanitation, mask-wearing and social distancing campus wide.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, this is the first year the Distillery has not set a new record for in-person visitation since 2010, but paired with its increased virtual tourism numbers, the Distillery is showing no signs of slowing down.
In May, Buffalo Trace began hosting live stream segments on social media each week, called Whiskey Wednesday. From May 13 through December, these episodes were viewed by more than 3.6 million people around the world. The Distillery is continuing its Whiskey Wednesday episodes in 2021, continuing to feature a variety of topics including more bourbon tastings, behind-the scenes tours, trivia, history and special guests.
“With the many challenges 2020 brought to all of us, we are thankful to have seen such robust visitation, and even year-over-year growth around the holidays,” Moody said. “We are encouraged by the visitation we have experienced since reopening and look forward to welcoming more visitors to the Distillery in 2021.”
The Distillery, which has remained operational as an essential business, also undertook hand sanitizer production at the onset of the pandemic, having now created about 1.1 million gallons on an industrial scale for some of the world’s largest organizations in healthcare, government, military, retail, distribution, airline, pharmacy, and banking industries. This is in addition to its never-ceasing bourbon production, and its ongoing $1.2 billion infrastructure improvement and distillery expansion to increase production for future bourbon demand.
Operating hours for Buffalo Trace Distillery are 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 11:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Sunday. Registrations for the Trace Tour, Old Taylor Tour, Bourbon Barrel Tour and Expansion Tour can be made at https://www.buffalotracedistillery.com/visit-us.html. All tours are complimentary and include a socially distanced tasting. Curbside sales also continue. To place an order visit https://www.buffalotracedistillery.com/shop.html.
A complete list of safety procedures, along with information about enacted sanitation measures and protective equipment in use can be found here.
About Buffalo Trace Distillery
Buffalo Trace Distillery is an American family-owned company based in Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky. The Distillery’s rich tradition dates back to 1775 and includes such legends as E.H. Taylor, Jr., George T. Stagg, Albert B. Blanton, Orville Schupp, and Elmer T. Lee. Buffalo Trace Distillery is a fully operational Distillery producing bourbon, rye and vodka on site and is a National Historic Landmark as well as is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Distillery has won 35 distillery titles since 2000 from such notable publications as Whisky Magazine, Whisky Advocate Magazine and Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Its Col. E. H. Taylor, Jr. Four Grain Bourbon was named World Whiskey of the Year for 2018 and its William Larue Weller and Thomas H. Handy Sazerac were named 2nd and 3rd finest whiskeys in the world for 2020. Buffalo Trace Distillery has also garnered more than 1,000 awards for its wide range of premium whiskies. To learn more about Buffalo Trace Distillery visit www.buffalotracedistillery.com. To download images from Buffalo Trace Distillery visit http://www.buffalotracedistillery.com/media.