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Constellation Brands buys minority stake in Bardstown Bourbon Co.

A rendering of the Bardstown Bourbon Co. distillery, which opened in September. Constellation Brands announced it has bought a minority stake in the company.
A rendering of the Bardstown Bourbon Co. distillery, which opened in September. Constellation Brands announced it has bought a minority stake in the company. Joseph & Joseph

Constellation Brands, the parent of Corona, has acquired a minority stake in the Bardstown Bourbon Co., a new $25 million distillery in Nelson County. The plans are to develop new brands and create a long-term supply of authentic Kentucky whiskey, bourbon and rye, according to a news release from both companies. No dollar figure for the investment was released.

Bardstown Bourbon, which began commercial production in September, is led by Bourbon Hall of Fame master distiller Steve Nally and David Mandell. “Constellation’s investment and support will further help The Bardstown Bourbon Co. reshape the American whiskey market,” Mandell said in the news release.

Bardstown Bourbon will continue to operate independently. Investor Peter Loftin was named chairman of the board for the company.

“This is an exciting and unique investment for Constellation, and different than the venture activity we’ve explored to date,” Ben Dollard, senior vice president and chief growth officer for Constellation Brands, said in the news release. “Investing in a state-of-the-art bourbon facility at Bardstown provides us access to knowledge and production capability to support our emerging premium spirits portfolio over time. At the same time, Bardstown will grow with our investment as well as our experience in the beverage alcohol space, our relationships within the industry and our people.”

This is Constellation’s second recent investment in whiskey. Earlier this month, the company bought craft whiskey maker High West Distillery for a reported $160 million. Constellation also owns the Mexican beer brand Modelo and Svedka Vodka, Black Velvet Canadian whiskey and Casa Noble tequila.

In the last year, Constellation also has acquired Prisoner Wine Co., a luxury winemaker, and Ballast Point, a craft brewery.

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