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[Slideshow, Video] Distillery Starts Producing Paducah's First Bourbon Since Prohibition

The owners of Silent Brigade Distillery, Mayor Gayle Kaler, Paducah Ambassadors and members of the community gathered Friday at the new business to begin producing the city's first bourbon since prohibition.

Mayor Kaler pitched the yeast, the first process of "mashing in" the single barrel Kentucky straight bourbon.

John Brown, co-owner of Silent Brigade Distillery along with business partner Keith Bundy began practicing with bourbon a couple years ago. They decided they liked a 'wheated' style of bourbon. It's 70% corn, 15% wheat, 10% barley, 5% rye. It ages for four years to become single barrel Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey.

Brown says a moonshine is available for sale now. They will also start producing rum and single malt whiskey. They have some agreements with local liquor stores and a deal with Golden Eagle distributing. The distillery plans to begin selling by the drink in August.

"We think it's going to really prosper here in Paducah," Brown says.

Paducah Mayor Gayle Kaler says it's exciting to have the distillery in downtown Paducah and hopes the city can be added to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

"Any time we get a business in a building in downtown Paducah it's economic development. Because of the tourism, the traffic downtown, just having one of these buildings completed and filled, it adds to the energy downtown. It adds to the tax base and the tourism especially - tourism is big dollars - this is going to really help us," Kaler says.

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Silent Brigade Distillery on Facebook

Sildent Brigade Distillery website

Matt Markgraf joined the WKMS team as a student in January 2007. He's served in a variety of roles over the years: as News Director March 2016-September 2019 and previously as the New Media & Promotions Coordinator beginning in 2011. Prior to that, he was a graduate and undergraduate assistant. He is currently the host of the international music show Imported on Sunday nights at 10 p.m.
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