OWENSBORO, KY (WFIE) - New fermentation tanks installed this morning at O.Z Tyler distillery are ramping up production to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and adding 10 hourly employees.
We're told most of these employees have already been hired. The bourbon distillery says talks of future expansion could even include some hotel rooms.
O.Z. Tyler moved into this Owensboro facility in 2014. Even though it was a distillery before they moved in, they've been doing extensive renovations to meet their growing demand. The first step in this expansion happened this morning with the installation of four fermentation tanks.
O.Z. Tyler Distillery Master Distiller Jacob Call says, "The bourbon business is booming right now."
He says current inventory levels are rivaling those from the 1970s. So, by the middle of September, O.Z. Tyler will add eight more tanks, bringing the count up to 20 fully operating fermentation tanks.
"With each one of these tanks we get out about 34 barrels of bourbon. These tanks are around 15,000, 16,000 gallons. So, that's going to take us from 18,000 barrels of bourbon a year to over 70,000 barrels," says Call.
Even with this expansion, O.Z. Tyler is booked on production until August of next year. If demand continues at this pace, they say an additional expansion in 2018 is possible. The distillery is even considering bringing some hotel rooms to add to the visitor experience.
Call says, "We actually have more barrels of bourbon here in our distillery than there are people in Owensboro right now. There are more barrels of bourbon aging in Kentucky than there are people in the entire state."
Call tells us what makes O.Z. Tyler's distillation process unique is that they use TerrePURE® technology. He says this allows them to produce their bourbon in a matter of hours, achieving what he says is a product with the same quality and taste as what usually takes four to six years.