Leiper’s Fork Distillery prepares to relaunch whiskey tours

Distillery makes disinfectant due to the pandemic
Posted at 4:52 PM, May 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-11 19:54:57-04

LEIPER’S FORK, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Leipers’ Fork Distillery is preparing to relaunch whiskey tours as they continue making disinfectant.

Matt King, the hospitality and retail director at the distillery, said he’s learned a lot as they converted their facility to make disinfectant.

“Our first step is cook it in here... now we're turning sugar into alcohol,” King said, “After 3 to 5 days then were going to run it through our still and separate out alcohol and water.”

President Lee Kennedy said they’ve donated some of it to first responders and the Williamson County government. They’re also selling disinfectant by the bucket to businesses and customers to pay the bills.

“We’ve been selling the disinfectant to large supply chains actually the federal government ATF, homeland security,” Kennedy said.

His team is looking forward to having tours again to showcase the whiskey-making process.

“Doing the limited tours seeing how they’re going to shake out, and then kind of address it on a biweekly to monthly basis,” Kennedy said.

They plan on allowing 5 to 10 people in each tour, and they’ll be operating them every hour and a half to space it out.

“With the tourism boom we’ve been benefiting from that and last year we saw $20,000 in paid tours.”

He says he’ll have masks, disinfectant, and personal protective equipment for those on tours.

As of now, they’re not sure if they can still do tastings as part of the tour or not. “There’s a lot of gray area there so we’ll probably need some clarification on that," Kennedy said.

Once they get back to some normalcy, Kennedy hopes he can bring 7 of his employees back to work as soon as possible.

“I’m looking forward to going back to normal, get back to whiskey-making and having people come through the doors." King said.

The tour relaunch will be in June. In the meantime, members of the community can buy disinfectant at their store.

This fall they’re preparing to release their Tennessee Whiskey if all goes as planned.