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Crafting a Family Distillery


Metal roof tops award-winning craft distillery

A metal roof tops the award-winning Jeptha Creed Distillery in Shelbyville, Ky.

Opened in Fall 2016, Jeptha Creed Distillery in Shelbyville, Ky., is Shelby County's first distillery for more than 100 years. Situated on 64 acres, the farm-to-bottle craft distillery is owned by the mother-daughter team of Joyce and Autumn Nethery.

Designed to be a major tourist stop, located just off exit 32 of Interstate 64, Jeptha Creed is part of the Kentucky Distillers' Association, and features three different Bourbons made with heirloom Bloody Butcher Corn, as well as flavored and unflavored vodkas and moonshines.

The Netherly family worked with Joseph & Joseph Architects, Louisville, Ky., and Walters Buildings, Lawrenceburg, Ky., for a year on the budget and design for the distillery, which took approximately nine months to build. Cash Moter, partner and architect at Joseph & Joseph Architects, notes the firm has been designing distilleries since it was founded in 1908. "We really like the challenge that distilleries pose with the housing of a high hazard use with high occupancy uses like retail and event spaces," he says. "The Nethery family was looking to create a fully functioning production facility with a unique one-of-a-kind event space."

A metal roof tops the award-winning Jeptha Creed Distillery in Shelbyville, Ky.Dura Coat Products Inc., Riverside, Calif. Additionally, the building has T1-11 exterior siding, spray foam roof insulation, mountain stone wainscoting, decorative cedar exterior trusses and trim, and a fireplace.

As Moter explains, post-frame construction provided the opportunity to economically dress up the public areas of the distillery while staying economical with the back-of-the-house areas, without changing structural systems. "The heavy timber structure that was exposed in the retail and event spaces was consistent with the aesthetic of the exterior of the building," he says. "The distillery area was a post frame with scissor trusses allow for a vaulted ceilings, which shows off the plume of the space and the beautiful custom distillery equipment. The third portion of the building which houses the mechanical systems and shipping and receiving was a basic post-frame system which was the most economical structural system."

The facility includes a full distillery from grain milling through bottling, with the production area including four, 1,000-gallon fermenters and a 12-inch column still, which will allow for future growth and diversification of products. The main building also has a retail shop, tasting room and 1,760-square-foot event space. A 5,000-square-foot patio with 1,980 square feet of covered space overlooking the rolling hills of the farm.

Moter notes that the Jeptha Creed Distillery is unique in that all sides of the building are visible to tourists. "In many distilleries there are rear portions of the building that can be used to hide the production accessory equipment," he explains. "All portions of this building are going to be visible to visitors either on the drive in, walk up to the building, or during events on the rear patio. It was important to the Nethery family that all parts of the building be thought through and presentable to their visitors inside and out."

Jim Rollins, regional vice president at Walters Buildings, agrees, saying the visual presentation of the building makes it unique, with its big glass front that gives a look into the production area, and the copper stills visible to drivers passing by. "We actually built a fake chimney on the roof around the boiler exhaust pipe so it looks like there is smoke coming out of the chimney when you drive by, as opposed to a metal vent pipe," Rollins adds. "Little details like that throughout the entire project make this a one-of-a-kind building."

Jeptha Creed Distillery, Shelbyville, Ky.
Award: 2016 Judges' Award from the National Frame Building Association
Architect: Joseph & Joseph Architects, Louisville, Ky.,
Builder/metal roofing panels: Walters Buildings, Lawrenceburg, Ky.,
Metal roof coating: Dura Coat Products Inc., Riverside, Calif.,