UPDATE: Investors mark release of new whiskeys, celebrate Midway history

Five experimental rye whiskeys.


MIDWAY, Ky. (WTVQ) – A piece of a central Kentucky town’s histOry is coming back almost a century after it began to fade.

The corner of Gratz and Dudley streets just off downtown Midway once was a thriving distillery center, home to a complex of buildings where several companies operated.

Some of the buildings still are standing and the city gladly details the history to visitors. Now, investors, whose dream started five years ago, working with Bluegrass Distillers plan to use one of those buildings to bring back the name of one of those brands — Midway Distillery.

“We were trying to figure out a way to bring back some legacy distillery names, to work with Bluegrass Distillery but bring back those names,” Co-owners Sam Rock and Ben Franzini said Friday during a ceremony releasing their first five legacy products, all of which are linked to Midway and its distillery history.

The dream started five years ago and during a ceremony in Midway today, the new distillery unveiled its first five legacy products. All five in some way are linked to Midway and its bourbon history.


MIDWAY, Ky. (WTVQ) – Bluegrass Distillers, a craft distillery in Lexington, announced last year it planned to relocate production, operations, and tasting room to Midway, Ky.

The move was planned as demand has grown for Bluegrass Distillers’ core line of products, and the company now is announcing a new line of whiskeys under a new brand and label, Midway Distilling Co.

Bluegrass Distillers co-owner Ben Franzini said, “We are so excited to introduce Midway Distilling Co. to complement our core Bluegrass Distillers line of premium Kentucky bourbons. We hope you enjoy these experimental rye whiskeys as much as we have enjoyed creating them this past year. They are complex and delicious. This new brand allowed us to explore new and exciting flavor profiles and tell stories of the rich history of Bluegrass Distillers’ new home, Midway, Kentucky.”

The original Midway Distilling Company was founded prior to Prohibition in 1916 and was sold as medicinal whiskey until 1924, when the entire plant and remaining inventory were destroyed by fire. Midway Distilling Company operated on the northeast corner of Dudley & Gratz Streets in Midway, moving into the space previously occupied by the Belle of Anderson Distillery.

The first batch of Midway Distilling Company products include four year rye whiskeys with secondary finishes including rum barrels, sauternes barrels, Vermouth barrels, toasted French oak, and recharred oak.

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