WHAT/WHERE – You are now standing on the bonded distillery production floor. This is a federally restricted area where the unaccompanied public is strictly prohibited from access. What makes a bonded area is that it is a production or storage area containing spiritous liquors on which excise duty has not yet been paid. The equipment you see is used to process raw ingredients into the spirits we send to market every day. Due to space constraints our mash brewing and fermentation are completed in our Middletown plant and brought here for distilling. After distilling bulk spirits are barreled or placed in large totes and taken to our blending and bottling facility in Sycamore Twp. (insert tasting flight)
HISTORY – The Kugler-Waldschmidt family were the preeminent industrialist family of Milford and really the east side of Cincinnati from the post-revolutionary war migration era in the 1790s all the way up to the outbreak of the civil war. The family was into everything from paper mills, blacksmiths, grist and grain mills, pork processing, hemp, lumber, railroads and of course distilling. In 1838 John Kugler began construction on the Mill Street distillery (220 Mill Street) and the corn warehouse at 224 Mill Street which is still standing today. By 1860, the distillery, headquartered right where we are standing was producing over 4000 barrels of whiskey.
CONSTRUCTION – The lower basement level of the site is approximately 5000 square feet and was excavated by Thumbs Up Construction of Cincinnati. In order to build the foundation for the center structure over 10,000 cubic yards had to be removed at almost 25 feet deep in order to make room for the concrete foundation. During the process 250 linear feet of temporary shoring walls were built, some 25 feet in height to hold back the sand in order to set the concrete forms. During excavation the team found and documented 4 stone water wells that were approximately 30 feet deep (water table is 29 feet) and 4 feet in diameter as well as two intact 7,500-gallon stone cisterns that had very ornate red brick dome tops.
FUN FACT – Millstones are big formed stones used in gristmills, for grinding wheat or other grains. They are sometimes referred to as grindstones or grinding stones. Millstones come in pairs: a convex stationary base known as the bed stone and a concave runner stone that rotates. A 1700-pound runner stone was found on the site approximately 10 feet below the southeast corner of the stone stable. It was unearthed in with a large portion of the stone broken off and lost. We concluded that the damaged stone from one of the local mills was transported to the site and repurposed as a footing for the construction of the stable in 1836. This stone is on display upstairs in the museum. It took a giant crane to get it up there.