A question was asked recently about the Old Prentice Distillery. Today, while looking through some old papers, I found the following. I don't know the source--it is a single, typewritten sheet of paper--but I think it was given to me by Ova Haney, then master distiller at Four Roses in Lawrenceburg, which is owned by Seagrams.
OLD PRENTICE DISTILLERY
Old Prentice was one of the original distilleries in Anderson County, Kentucky. It was known as "Old Joe" Distillery and was started on Gilbert's Creek in 1818 by "Old Joe" Payton, an early settler in Kentucky. Ownership passed to the Hawkins family in 1840 then to Medley S. Bond in 1857, to T. B. Ripy who sold it to Captain Wiley Searcy and then again it was owned by the Hawkins family. The Hawkins family, Gratz B. and Hurd Hawkins, manufactured the "Old Joe" and "Old Prentice" brands until Prohibition in 1917.
The present plant was built in 1910 and was operated until Prohibition. It was closed at that time and much of the equipment was sold. After Prohibition, the plant was refurbished and started production in 1933 as Old Prentice Distillery. Production at that time was 400 bushels per day.
The plant was purchased by National Distillers Products Corporation in 1941 then sold to Charles A. Grosscurth in 1944. It was sold to Calvert Distilling Co. in 1946. Present capacity of the plant is 2400 bushels per day. The major brand produced today is Four Roses bourbon. It is sold only in Europe and cannot be acquired here in the United States.