Halloween Roundup: Pizza Night, Restaurant News, and More

One industry source estimates that sales of pizza jump 120 percent on Halloween night, as weary parents and costumed kids opt for the easy avenue for getting some non-sugary nourishment in before and after Trick-or-Treating. As we conclude National Pizza Month (the start of which is credited to Gerry Durnell, of Pizza Today magazine, headquartered in Louisville), we found at last one pizza entry in this local restaurant roundup.
DiOrio’s Goes Highlands: With one location in St. Matthews, and another on Baxter Ave. in the Highlands, it makes sense that DiOrio’s plans to open its third local pizzeria about in the middle of those two, in the Douglass Loop in the spot most recently occupied by Cafe Lou Lou. As reported in Business First, the new spot should open by the end of the year.
Majid’s in St. Matthews closing in November: Beloved Louisville restaurateur Majid Ghavami will close his namesake restaurant on Nov. 19. After 40 years in the business, Ghavami is shuttering the restaurant to focus fully on his work as a director at Humana. Ghavami will sit down with Steve Coomes this week for a podcast interview in which he details his decision to close, as well as shares many fond memories of his decades running some of the city’s finest restaurants.
Hamada leaving Anoosh Bistro for future Belle Noble restaurant: Tarek Hamada is leaving Anoosh Bistro, where he was general manager for the past several months, to join the management team at Belle Nobel, parent company of Village Anchor, Kevin’s Picnic and Le Moo. According to Belle Nobel founder Kevin Grangier, Hamada is being groomed for a GM’s role at a future, yet-unnamed restaurant. Prior to coming to Anoosh Bistro, Hamada was partner and general manager at Volare for several years.
Paul Skulas

Paul Skulas

Portage House now open in Jeff: When we interviewed Paul Skulas, executive chef at Portage House on the river in Jeffersonville, Skulas pegged the opening date for the restaurant at Oct. 29. And they made it. We’ve not been ’round yet to sample the menu, but if you want to have a look, click here. (And if you want to hear our podcast interview with Skulas, click here.)

Gospel Bird rolls new fall menu: And speaking of the Sunny Side of Louisville, just a couple of miles to the west in New Albany, Gospel Bird just rolled out a new fall menu. Click here to see it.
More Mojito Tapas, Please. If you live near Holiday Manor, the shutdown for the $16 million remodeling of the local Kroger has been, at best, an inconvenience. Now that it has a Nov. 2 grand reopening set, it’s nice to know that the popular small plates restaurant next door is going to begin an expansion. Insider reports a work permit has been issued for construction at the Mojito Tapas to expand outdoor seating, rebuild the entrance and add on to the backside.
Diamonds Lost: Here’s what was recently posted on the door at Diamond Station in the Highlands: It is with deep regret that we tell you that, effective immediately, the Diamond Station is closing. For important personal reasons, we have chosen to accept an offer to buy out our lease from someone to use this space for a new and exciting concept. We cannot thank you enough for two full years of great people and good times, and will miss you very much.
Opened just over a year and a half ago, the location has nearly 2,000 square feet, and the property dates to 1928.
screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-12-16-01-pmBusy Chicks: The Whiskey Chicks, a local organization devoted to drink, announced its fall schedule, highlighted by a Nov. 9 book signing by Jim Kokoris of “The Big Man of Bourbon.” Next the girls will host a “Bourbon Basics” experience at Liquor Barn Nov. 17, and a holiday party Dec. 7 at the Stitzel-Weller Bourbon Frontier Experience.

And a New Bucket: The marketing folks at KFC have come up with a $10 Chicken Share, featuring enough of their chicken products for two hungry fried chicken lovers — it has nine Tenders, six pieces of fried chicken, and either Popcorn Nuggets or Hot Wings.

 

 

McGarity puts flavor forward for Fat Lamb soft opening

Editor’s note: Soft openings are trial runs for new restaurants, wherein a limited number of guests are invited to sample its food and drink while their staffs get real-world training. Food and non-alcoholic beverages are either served without cost or at a discount. By law, alcoholic beverages must be sold at full price. The food at this soft opening was served without charge.

It took just one month for Dallas McGarity to take over the space that last was Fontleroy’s (2011 Grinstead Drive at the corner of Bardstown Rd.) and turn it into his first solo restaurant, The Fat Lamb.

I don’t recall going to a soft opening like this one, where the kitchen churned out miniature portions of apps and entrees and had servers drop them off at tables. To me, this is a brilliant idea if your goal is to let people get a broad sample of the menu rather than just a few things.

McGarity’s food (prepared by him and chefs Brad Menear and Tim Piper) was exceptionally flavorful and flawless (as far as I could tell) in execution. In a day when fewer and fewer restaurants put salt and pepper shakers on tables, this was one occasion when I didn’t wish for such flavor boosts.

The photos below and their captions show what we had. Just. Freaking. Dandy. All of it. If you love bold flavors, you’ll like what’s coming out of this kitchen. (To see the menu, click here. For now, the cocktail menu isn’t online.)

Favorites, you ask? All of them that we had. I’d eat any of them again. The Mediterranean thread is clearly woven into the menu, but the Southern American influences are strong as well. It’s a terrific mashup of both.

Two cocktails had by my wife and me were the Candelabra (Copper & Kings Floodwall apple brandy, Redemption rye, Nonino, Carpano Antica vermouth, bitters) and the Fade Into You (prosecco, Crème Yvette, Aperol, lemon, sangria ice) were first rate, but portions were a bit small. Yet so was the $10 price, which is on the low end for well-made cocktails in this town.

The Fat Lamb officially opens today, serving dinner only, Tuesday through Saturday “5 p.m. until late.” Sunday brunch will begin Nov. 6, and run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

End note 1.: I’m already seeing people post in unsociable media that this is a bad or cursed location because two restaurants failed there. That’s pure nonsense. Ineffective or inexpertly run businesses fail, not locations with Bardstown Road frontage.

So what if parking is limited? That hasn’t hurt Jack Fry’s, The Holy Grale, HopCat, Buffalo Wild Wings or Mellow Mushroom, all of which operate successfully in that stretch. If the restaurant is good, people will go back again and again. They know they may have to park on the street and walk a bit (like my wife and I did), but don’t care.

End note 2.: Operators have asked me to share this info: If you’re invited to a soft opening, understand you’re supposed to tip your server on what the check would have totaled if the food wasn’t free, not the discounted total.

Hanging at Merle’s, Pam Heilmann Masters Michter’s, Spudz is a Natural for John Good

The EatDrinkTalk team sampled some new menu items at the VIP opening of Merle’s Whiskey Kitchen this week. The downtown spot’s ownership made some strategic changes to the name (so long, Manny) and the new menu that should be a hit. One of our new favorites, La Chasse on Bardstown Road, closed temporarily because of a sewer issue, and its owner has some complaints about the way MSD reacted to the situation. We’re skeptical, but hopeful, about the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts’ newly announced restaurant. And we regret reporting that Slice in Old Louisville closed after a brief three-month run.

Steve’s guest is Pamela Heilmann, the energetic new master distiller at Michter’s. She’s the first woman to earn the title in Kentucky, and is well-prepared for the new job. Rick talks with John Good, who has found life after horse racing (he was Bob Baffert’s top assistant) as a potato chip entrepreneur. He just introduced three new flavors of Spudz chips and in addition to being on the shelves at Kroger, is making it into several area restaurants. He just signed an agreement to sell Spuds at Churchill Downs.

In our favorites segment, Rick raves about the candied bacon at Merle’s Whiskey Kitchen and a Kentucky Mule, a mixture of bourbon, lime and ginger beer on the drinks menu there. For Steve, the highlight was the fried chicken sampled at Merle’s, plus the sweet cornbread. He couldn’t decide between two favorite drinks — the new Copper & Kings Flood Wall Apple Brandy, and a Manhattan he ordered during a trip to Miami.

There’s more cool stuff going on around town, including a Shelton Brothers Beer Festival at Copper & Kings Friday and Saturday. Download the podcast, and tell your friends, about the EatDrinkTalk podcast.

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John Good in studio with Spudz

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Pam Heilmann, center, leads the team at Michter’s

Fat Lamb opening Friday, here’s the menu

Dallas McGarity, chef-owner of The Fat Lamb, will open his first solo restaurant (2011 Grinstead Dr.) this Friday, Oct. 28, at 5 p.m.

The restaurant occupies the same site that was home for a year to Fontleroy’s. Prior to that, it was an Uncle Maddio’s Pizza shop.

McGarity was most recently executive chef at Marketplace Restaurant, and Z’s Fusion and Equus prior to that. He sent us an advance copy of The Fat Lamb’s menu, which you can see below.

Hours of operation going forward are dinner only, Tuesday through Saturday “5 p.m. until late.” Sunday brunch will begin Nov. 6, running from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

fat-lamb-menu-pic

Restaurant Roundup: The ‘Who’d want to be in this business?’ edition–UPDATED

Bardstown’s Harrison-Smith House goes on hiatus: Say you’ve never heard of Harrison-Smith House? Heard of it but didn’t make it Bardstown yet to eat there? Either way, you’re out of luck for at least a few months. This remarkable restaurant, one of Kentucky’s best (IMHO), is taking a break from nightly dinner operations for what some may find a surprising reason: its chef de cuisine (CDC) has left for another job.

Big deal? Yeah, it is to chef and co-owner Newman Miller. CDC Josh Smouse is his best friend and by all accounts a top talent in the state’s culinary community. (Don’t believe me? Ask chefs Ryan Rogers, Andy McCabe and Paul Skulas.) And here’s why: Smouse was the only person in the kitchen besides Miller—who also tends bar … in the kitchen!

Miller is an incredible talent with a deep resume and a stamped-to-death passport. Serious chef. World traveler. Unbridled passion for feeding customers real Kentucky food. The only thing not made from scratch in his restaurant are crackers and pretzels, and I’m not sure what those are used for. Smouse has cooked with him at multiple restaurants for better than a decade, and when he told Miller he was going elsewhere, Miller knew he couldn’t find a sidekick to replace him fast enough to carry on at the level HSH operates.

“You don’t find his kind of talent—not to mention his level of commitment—on the street looking for a job,” Miller said. “He’s my best friend. We work perfectly together. But even though I’ve got to start over, I won’t rush it. No way we’re going to lower our standards here.”

In almost three years in business, HSH has become a bourbon industry hot spot for private events. Its proximity to Maker’s Mark, Willett, Beam and Heaven Hill has helped. Those events will continue, as will Miller’s work (alongside his wife and business partner, Rachel) on creating an elevated dining experience at Maker’s Mark’s distillery’s Star Hill Provisions restaurant.

“We’ve got plenty to do for now, so we’ll shift our focus for a bit to just those things,” Miller said. “When will dinner come back? We don’t know for sure, but it will for sure. We just have to find the right people.”

And where is Smouse headed?

“Don’t know, he hasn’t told me,” Miller said. “He’s my friend. He’ll tell me when he wants to.”

La Chasse hoping to reopen after sewer line backup: Coming home from our meal at Harrison-Smith House Saturday night, we drove past La Chasse to see the lights were turned off—at only 9 p.m.! I learned the next day that a sewer line back up—in the middle of a super-busy service—caused them to shut down the operation, which hadn’t reopened as of Tuesday.

Owner Isaac Fox said it’s been determined that a Metropolitan Sewer District line is to blame, yet to no one’s surprise, MSD is acting slowly to rectify it.la-chasse-logo

“A shutdown like this is tremendously hard for a small business like ours—it’s three days lost so far,” Fox told me. “It’s especially hard given how busy we’ve been lately. We’ve really gotten some good momentum going, and then this happens. I’m incredibly frustrated to say the least.”

Here’s how you can help: Check La Chasse’s Facebook page regularly and see when it’s reopened. Share that page with friends to spread the word, and then go patronize this terrific restaurant. (I had one of my favorite meals of the year there just two weeks ago. Read about it here.)

***UPDATE La Chasee reopened late Tuesday after we went to press!

Shelton Bros. Beer event at Copper & Kings this weekend: The Shelton Bros. Beer Festival, set for Friday evening and Saturday in Butchertown, was much ballyhooed when announced last year. But that’s the last I heard of it since. No media blitz that I’ve seen. Against the Grain Brewery’s Facebook page features several posts, including a link to The Festival’s Facebook page. Click here if you want tickets:

Want to see the beer list? Click here. It’s impressive.

SCENE to be new restaurant for Center for Arts: Did the operators of the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts recite, “If at first we don’t succeed, try, try again,” before they announced a new restaurant will open there? Multiple media outlets have reported that a small plates restaurant named SCENE will open inside the center by early December.

When the Bristol Bar & Grille operated a Bristol there many years ago, it didn’t do well due to a lack of consistent traffic. Parking wasn’t (and still isn’t) great, and it was inconvenient to scale a bunch of stairs to get to the restaurant on the spur of the moment. Owner Doug Gossman told me that to be profitable, it needed much more than customers coming to see shows, it needed customers visiting regularly for lunch and dinner. That’s why he moved that Bristol a block or so down Main St., where it’s operated for many years.

Jarfi’s tried it there also and struggled similarly.

No word yet on who’ll operate SCENE, but I can’t see how things will be better for them. Despite more than 400,000 people visiting the center in 2015, it’s doubtful they’ll get the traffic to sustain the operation in this hypercompetitive restaurant environment. And who wants to go to dinner before a show at a restaurant that’ll be surely be slammed during a two-hour rush? Not me. I’ll eat elsewhere beforehand.

Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint opening Nov. 15: Speaking of the city’s hypercompetitive restaurant scene,  Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint will fire up its smoker next month in the former Indian Springs Golf Course clubhouse.

And that’s all we know about it. Seriously. So far, anyway. I had an interview set up with its GM before the corporate cats in Nashville put the kybosh on outside chatter. Friends in Nashville, however, say it’s the real deal.

Angel’s Envy Distillery opening mid-November: This one’s been a long time coming. When Angel’s Envy opens in November (press event on Nov. 16, then a cocktail challenge on Nov. 17, but still no official grand opening to the public), it’ll mark the end of an arduous, multi-year process of overhauling a near derelict but historic Main St. building and making it into a state-of-the-art distillery. Heaven knows what parent company Bacardi spent on this project.

According to a blog on the distillery’s website, the stills began running in early October, so Angels’s Envy whiskey is finally being made and barreled in its own house. That’s good for the Henderson family, good for Louisville and good for whiskey tourism.

***UPDATE: The official public unveiling happens Nov. 19. Click here for more info.

Slice closes after 3 months in Old Louisville: Ask any veteran restaurateur how much reserve operating capital is needed before launching a restaurant, and you’ll hear many say at least six months. Ideally more if you have it. And by his own admission in a Facebook post, underfunding was just one of many problems that led Matt Davis to close his sandwich shop, Slice, just three months after opening it in Old Louisville.

Slice's 2nd St. storefront. | Photo by Rick Redding

Slice’s 2nd St. storefront. | Photo by Rick Redding

According to the post, which you can click here to read, “We were plagued with so many issues from the start. We went in entirely underfunded which made me have to start taking catering jobs elsewhere to try and make ends meet. … (W)ithout those catering jobs we would have been closed after the first month.”

Davis wrote that the building was not fit for operating a restaurant, and getting it to that standard was more than he or the landlord could afford. Working seven days a week for 16 hours each day also became a drag on family obligations.

But here is perhaps the most troubling part of his post: “Drug addicts and homeless people constantly accosted us. Stole our tip jar. Begged for free food. Shot up in our bathroom. And banged on our windows when we told them to leave.”

That’s tough, and that’s a constant problem in Old Louisville, an architectural gem in the city, but also an historic neighborhood with extreme societal challenges. Very sad.

Talking Tequila with Will Elger; Mike Spurlock is Up All Night

A local news story about independent restaurants got us discussing what it takes to make it as an operator — mainly sound business practices, solid operations and attention-getting marketing. With so much competition in Louisville, Steve and Rick remain amazed at the number of new eateries opening, including some highly anticipated spots. We’ve mentioned plenty on the show slated to open soon — including Portage House in Jeff, The Fat Lamb and The Eagle in the Highlands, along with several others.

We just got back from a visit to Red Hog Butcher on Frankfort Ave., and walked away both full and impressed with the operation. Steve has the scoop on the first female master distiller in Kentucky, and an update on some pairings from local restaurants in the love department. Our favorites come from Against the Grain, Red Hog, Muchote Tequila and Steve’s own cured ham, noting that he’ll be teaching a class on pairing cured ham with meats at Copper & Kings in December.

Mike Spurlock, our first guest, doesn’t just operate Loui Loui’s in Jeffersontown. The multi-talented Michigander brought Detroit-style pizza to the city, he says, and also caters to the late-night Baxter Ave. crowd with Up All Night, a food window near O’Shea’s that serves
Detroit street food. Plus, he plays in the all-star band every Thursday at Loui Loui’s, housed in the former Ferd Grisanti Restaurant.

Will Elger grew up in Cancun, where his father was a hotel operator and Will learned to appreciate good tequila. Now, he and his twin brother own Muchote, a brand that recently made its way into the Louisville market. He talks with Steve about what people are missing by not sipping tequila neat.

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Will Elger

 

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Mike Spurlock at Loui Loui’s

It Will Soon be a “Scene” at the Kentucky Center

The Kentucky Center for the Arts announced today, via a news release, that it is opening a “bar and small plates eatery” that will be open prior to, during and after performances.

Called “Scene” the release provided few details, as you can see below. In the past, the space has been used by a number of different operations, including Jarfi’s and the Bristol, and it was once known as “Kentucky Cove.”

The Center currently operates “The Kentucky Center Bar,” which open 90 minutes prior to shows, according to the Center’s web site.

Here’s the release:

SCENE will provide Kentucky Center patrons an opportunity to enjoy an extended arts experience under one roof, in one place.

In addition to a full bar, SCENE will offer a menu of small plate choices and provide casual, counter-style service.

SCENE will be open to patrons and the public two hours prior to performances in Whitney Hall and the Bomhard Theater (matinees included). Kitchen service will end once the performance begins. 

Bar service will continue through intermission and until midnight for shows on Friday and Saturday nights. 

We look forward to sharing more exciting information about SCENE with you in the weeks ahead – including menu highlights, staff introductions, and our official OPENING date!

Manny & Merle to be expanded, renamed Merle’s Whiskey Kitchen

After three years in business, Tony Palombino’s Manny & Merle honky-tonk and Mexican street-food restaurant will be expanded and renamed Merle’s Whiskey Kitchen in late October.

According to a news release, the renovated restaurant will feature upgrades such as a larger outdoor patio space dubbed Merle’s Backyard, which will include an outdoor bar and seating, fire pit and adult games.

Inside the restaurant will get an expanded stage for live performances and more seating for private parties. Additionally, the restaurant’s well-regarded Southern fried chicken will become Merle’s Whiskey Kitchen. No word on what this signature dish will taste like or what else may be carried over from Manny & Merle’s current menu.

“With the amazing growth along the Whiskey Row corridor, downtown is fast becoming a top dining and entertainment destination,” founder and CEO Tony Palombino said in the release.

Palombino’s other concepts include Boombozz Pizza & Taphouse and Joella’s Hot Chicken.

The bar will  offer one-of-a-kind single barrel bourbons to go along with the 100 bourbons currently offered. Expect bottles from private barrel picks at distilleries such as Buffalo Trace, Maker’s Mark, Wild Turkey, Old Forester and Jefferson’s Bourbon (Kentucky Artisan Distillery).

The restaurant will host an October 24 VIP party to commence a four-day grand opening celebration through October 27. Exclusive specials will be on offer, and giveaways and prizes will be awarded on those days.

For more information about the restaurant call 502-290-8888.

Michter’s appoints Heilmann first woman Master Distiller in Kentucky

LOUISVILLE, Ky.— Michter’s Distillery announce the promotion of Pamela Heilmann to master distiller, a position held by Willie Pratt for several years.

Heilmann’s appointment makes her the first woman in Kentucky to be named master distiller in an operating distillery. In her last role at Jim Beam, she oversaw operations at the Booker Noe plant in Boston, Ky. It is the largest bourbon distillery in the world.

For Pratt the change signals a transition to a flexible schedule as Michter’s master distiller emeritus. He joined the company in 2007, when, as the distillery’s president, Joe Magliocco commonly puts it, “We were cooking in someone else’s kitchen,” meaning Pratt was overseeing the making of Michter’s whiskey elsewhere. Prior to that, Pratt spent nearly four decades with Brown-Forman.

Today’s news includes Michter’s vice president Andrea Wilson adding the position of master of maturation to her duties. That role will see her monitoring the brand’s whiskeys while aging in barrels.

Prior to coming to Michter’s, she was an executive with spirits giant Diageo, and was the first woman to serve as chair of the Kentucky Distillers Association.

Michter’s distillery manager Dan McKee will move up to the distiller position formerly held by Heilmann. McKee previously worked alongside Heilmann at Booker Noe Distillery, as distillery supervisor.

“For some time we have been preparing for this transition,” Magliocco said in a news release. “At Michter’s, the quality of our whiskey is so, so important to us. I am excited that we have phenomenally talented people like Pam Heilmann, Andrea Wilson, and Dan McKee assuming greater leadership positions and carrying on the remarkable work done by Willie Pratt.”

Heilmann said in the release that the appointment “fulfills my dream of becoming a master distiller. Over the years, I have had the privilege of working in this wonderful industry with some legendary whiskey people. I feel honored to have the opportunity to continue to uphold the incredibly high standards set by the Michter’s team.”

Referencing Pratt’s nickname as the denier of whiskey he deems not ready for release, she added, “I am delighted to assume the ‘Dr. No’ position as the gatekeeper ensuring Michter’s quality.”

According to the release, Pratt will be honored with the naming of the “Pratt Whiskey Lab” at Michter’s Distillery in Shively.

“Willie is an American whiskey treasure,” Magliocco said. “He knows so much about whiskey, and he has contributed greatly to building our Kentucky distillery and establishing Michter’s as the brand it is today.”

Additionally, Michter’s is also announcing the October release (its last for 2016) of its 10 Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon, and the only 2016 release of its Michter’s 20 Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon. U.S. suggested retail price per 750ml bottle is $120 for Michter’s 10 Year Bourbon and $600 for Michter’s 20 Year Bourbon.

Constellation Brands bets on Bardstown Bourbon Co., acquires minority stake

BARDSTOWN, Ky.—The Bardstown Bourbon Company (BBCo), the largest new whiskey distillery in the United States, announced today that Constellation Brands acquired a minority stake in the new company. This strategic opportunity provides BBCo with a strong platform to develop new brands and create a long-term supply of authentic, Kentucky whiskey, bourbon, and rye.

This is a very big deal as it acknowledges not only BBCo’s capabilities, but Constellation’s willingness to bet on a brand new company with no products on the shelf. (Click here to read a story on BBCo written by our own Rick Redding, as well as a podcast interview with BBCo master distiller Steve Nally.)

According to a news release, BBCo recently developed a unique space in the American whiskey market with a first-of-its-kind Collaborative Whiskey, Bourbon and Rye Distilling Program, which promises to expand the explosive growth of the craft distilling industry. Led by Bourbon Hall of Fame Master Distiller, Steve Nally, a 40-year veteran of the spirits industry and the former master distiller of Maker’s Mark, BBCo offers one of the most experienced whiskey-distilling production teams in the industry, with an average of 15+ years of experience working on world-class whiskey brands.

“This is an exciting and unique investment for Constellation, and different than the venture activity we’ve explored to date,” said Ben Dollard, senior vice president and chief growth officer, Constellation Brands. “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.”

BBCo began commercial production in September 2016 and recently announced that it was already preparing to expand its current 1.5 million proof gallon capacity based on the success of the Collaborative Distilling Program. Over time, capacity will be expanded to 6 million proof gallons within the current design. Set on 100 acres of active farmland and adjacent to the Bluegrass Parkway, BBCo’s Napa Valley style destination experience, features a unique and transparent educational experience, high-end tours and tastings, integrated visitors center and event space.

“We are very encouraged to have Constellation as a strategic partner,” said David Mandell, president and CEO of BBCo. “Constellation’s investment and support will further help The Bardstown Bourbon Company reshape the American whiskey market.”

Victor, N.Y.-based Constellation Brands is a leading international producer and marketer of beer, wine and spirits with operations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, New Zealand and Italy. It is the No. 3 beer company in the U.S. with high-end, iconic imported brands such as Corona Extra, Corona Light, Modelo Especial, ModeloNegra and Pacifico. The company’s beer portfolio also includes Ballast Point, one of the most awarded craft brewers in the U.S. In addition, Constellation is the world’s leader in premium wines including Robert Mondavi, Clos du Bois, Kim Crawford, Meiomi, Mark West, Franciscan Estate, Ruffino and Jackson-Triggs. The company’s premium spirits brands include SVEDKA Vodka and Casa Noble Tequila.