Economic Growth and Innovation Newsroom


Father and Son Revive Historic KY Peerless Distilling Co. in Downtown Louisville

Thursday June 27, 2013

Corky Taylor and his son, Carson, made a dream come true today as they announced the re-opening of the Kentucky Peerless Distilling Company in Louisville’s downtown at the corner of 10th and Main Streets.

Peerless Distilling, which began doing business in Henderson, Kentucky in the late 1800’s under the ownership of Corky Taylor’s great-grandfather, Henry Kraver, and closed mid-20th century, is scheduled to re-open by March of 2014. Initially, the company will bottle and sell its moonshine product as it works toward developing a 4-year old Peerless bourbon, and ultimately, a premium, small-batch bourbon to be branded “Henry Kraver.”

“It is exciting to see our bourbon base grow,” Mayor Greg Fischer said. “Peerless says it all when it comes to our position in the bourbon market and the history and commitment of the Taylor family adds that extra element of interest that makes this operation and our city such unique and vital destinations.”

Kraver, a 20th century banker and businessman, owned businesses such as Peerless Distilling (formerly Worsham Distilling), early movie theatres and hotels in Henderson and the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago. He was able to keep his distillery going during Prohibition by obtaining a federal license to provide whiskey for “medicinal purposes.” Kraver died in 1938 and the business closed shortly afterward.

Peerless’ new headquarters will feature a continuous copper still, handmade by Kentucky firm Vendome Copper and Brass, and its own bottling line. Plans call for the operation to be open to the public and include a gift shop for bourbon and moonshine-related products.

“We’ve reached back through our generations to help us establish and grow a quality business for the future generations of our family,” said Corky Taylor. “We are committed as a family to make a product that we will always be proud of and that Louisville will be proud of, too. We are building a business for the long-term.”

The company, which is being privately financed by the Taylor family, is expected to create five to ten new jobs in its first year.

Both Corky and Carson Taylor will be involved in day-to-day operations of the revived distillery. Corky just recently retired from a career in the financial services industry and Carson is a professional in the homebuilding industry. “We’re excited about bringing this dream to fruition,” said Carson. “Kentucky has a strong pull for us and we are dedicated to buying locally in terms of all of the elements we will need to develop and operate this facility.”

“This is the perfect success story,” said Greater Louisville Inc. President and CEO Craig Richard. “This dedicated family is achieving personal goals by investing in the community and creating a better environment for all. We are pleased to welcome this addition to our thriving Food and Beverage sector, and we are proud that the Taylors call Louisville home.”

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