mfkb is located in the heart of the old j.e. pepper distillery in lexington, kentucky
At one time, manchester street was the thriving hub of central kentucky bourbon distillers. At its peak in the late 1800’s the distilleries here produced more than 36,000 barrels of bourbon per year and housed over 180,000 barrels of bourbon in their bonded warehouses..
Only the j.e. pepper distillery survived prohibition, both through the sale of medicinal whiskey and serving as a concentration house for smaller, distilleries. However, by 1969 all the distilleries had ceased production on manchester street and by the mid-1970’s even the bonded warehouses were no longer used to age bourbon and were sold off.
“The story of Pepper [Distillery] is the story of Kentucky, for growth of a distilling industry here paralleled expansion of the state as an agricultural and thoroughbred center.”5 Telling both stories through adaptive reuse, this celebration of heritage will infuse authentic history and architecture with dynamic new uses.