Years ago, I came across the Old Louis Hunter Distillery in central Kentucky, but owing to the weather at the time, I did not venture out of the car to take a closer glance at the abandoned industrial building. I moved to Cincinnati shortly thereafter and forgot about the distilling relic for several years.

Several weekends ago, I rediscovered the old distillery, once part of the Old Lewis Hunter Distillery that operated from 1850 until 1974.


The first instance of a distillery at Lair came around 1850 when T.J. Megibben constructed the Megibben & Bramble Distillery and sold bourbon under the “Excelsior” brand. It went under ownership changes and the introduction of some new brands – including “Old Louis Hunter,” before being acquired by Seagrams in 1942.

The plant closed twice in its history: during Prohibition and from 1947 until 1958. After a decline in bourbon sales – part of a nationwide trend, Old Louis Hunter closed for good in 1974.


Historic Photos and Today

I stumbled upon historical photographs from Lafayette Studios, produced in the 1930’s when Old Louis Hunter was in full production.

1935 and Today

1938 and Today

1938 and Today

Cookers; 1935 and Today

Discover more about the Old Louis Hunter Distillery »