Rutherford County will be the new home to Sazerac Tennessee sooner than later. The La Vergne Board of Zoning Appeals approved the Request for Special Exception to Allow a Distillery during a regularly scheduled meeting on January 28th. Sazerac Tennessee will share a building with the Ajax Turner Company, a regional wholesaler, positioning them on the I-24 corridor between Nashville and Murfreesboro. The move from Newport is set for this year, after a small build out of the new space.
While plans for the idyllic property in Murfreesboro have been delayed, Master Distiller John Lunn and Distiller Allisa Henley have been hard at work in Newport, putting away Tennessee Whiskey in preparation for the move. They’re both eager to get a little closer to home. “We are excited to be back in Middle Tennessee as we continue to make Tennessee Whiskey,” says Henley.
The La Vergne property offers more than twice the space, and new opportunities for a visitor experience as well as convenience to the well-traveled Tennessee Whiskey Trail. Any pilgrim journeying from Nashville to the famed Jack Daniel and George Dickel distilleries will pass right by the 130,000 square foot facility. It sits just minutes off Exit 64.
Plans for the distillery’s final destination at 5295 Asbury Road in Murfreesboro are still underway, although lagging. Original estimates had the new distillery opening in early 2020, but, as of last drive by, the ground has yet to be broken. Says Sazerac Public Relations Manager, Heather Gaynor, “It was important to us that we moved to Rutherford County in order that we can support the community that will be our long term home. This will also allow us to begin building our staff while we finalize our long-term plans for the distillery.”
Hauling more than 7,000 barrels of whiskey, relocating some of the largest pot stills in the country, and creating a place for previewing the yet-to-be-named Tennessee Whiskey is no small task. Lunn & Henley expect the transition to take a couple of months once the La Vergne property is ready. The move also affords a more thorough re-working of the distillation systems that were originally built for producing moonshine. (Sazerac purchased the existing distillery space and equipment from Popcorn Sutton.)