Paducah distillery opens during weekend anniversary of Prohibition repeal

 On the anniversary weekend of the repeal of prohibition, Paducah Distillery Spirits set its grand opening. 81 years ago, the 21st Amendment put an end to an era nationally outlawing alcohol.

Paducah Distilled Spirits, located in the Lowertown district, is in a 107-year-old building. Co-Owner Denise Story said most of the building is in its original form. 

Inside, you can find several new and old stills making white whiskey. It’s the form of whiskey before its been aged. Distiller Billy Bivens said they treat making whiskey as an old craft that should focus on quality over quantity.

“We do it the old fashion way. That’s what we are going to continue doing. We are not going to change. We use the same ingredients as they did a 150 years ago,” Bivens said.

Working with whiskey for more than 50 years, he said he’s trying to teach this craft to people.

“They want to see an old still, they want you to tell them how the mash was made,” Bivens said.

The distillery combines the age old way of making whiskey with historic memorabilia.  The distillery houses an old still called a wagon bin that has been turned into a coffee table. Bivens said revenuers, people who destroyed illegal stills, took an ax to it. To preserve it,  the wagon bin was turned into a coffee table. It’s just one of the many artifacts in this distillery that tell the tale of a time when alcohol was something to hide.

The distillery is open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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