KANSAS CITY, Mo. — J. Rieger & Co. has announced plans for a large-scale expansion of its Kansas City facility through a renovation of its current distillery space and the adjoining historic Heim Brewery bottling house in the Electric Park neighborhood. When completed in spring 2019, the expansion will quintuple average daily production capacity while offering a vibrant, new brand experience that celebrates the history and legacy of both J. Rieger & Co. and Kansas City. The former Heim Brewery bottling house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a treasured landmark of pre-Prohibition industrial construction.
Looking to keep pace with consumer demand since opening in 2014, J. Rieger & Co. has expanded distribution to 20 states, and now ranks in the top 10% of distilleries in the country by sales volume. “This project is a true catalyst for change at our distillery and for the once vibrant Electric Park neighborhood,” says Andy Rieger, co-founder of J. Rieger & Co., and the great-great-great-grandson of the original distillery owner. “Our expansion allows us to continue to meet increased production demands, while also hosting the many spirits lovers in our community and beyond who want to participate in our brand story. We’re not just restoring a building; we’re reviving a long-forgotten legacy in Electric Park and inviting visitors to enjoy world-class spirits and hospitality while celebrating the past.”
The new brand experience and hospitality center at J. Rieger & Co. will showcase the distillery’s quality production process while offering guests the opportunity to learn about its history and ties to Kansas City and the surrounding Electric Park neighborhood. The three-floor renovation of the Heim building will include spectacular front-row views of the production facility together with daily distillation tours, tastings and spirits education; multiple bar, lounge and cocktail spaces; event spaces for private meetings and events; an interactive historic exhibit; and a gift shop. Scheduled to open in late spring 2019, the total size of the combined production and hospitality facility will encompass 60,000 square feet, an increase from 15,000 square feet, and will host up to 100,000 guests annually.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the former Heim Brewery bottling house is part of a pre-Prohibition brewery complex that was once the largest in the western United States. The building is known for its soaring, vaulted windows and elegant façade, all features which will be preserved together with much of the original flooring and brickwork in the interior. The neighborhood is named for Electric Park; one of the country’s first fully-illuminated amusement parks dating back to 1899, it featured a roller coaster, a 2,500-seat theater to host performers like John Philip Sousa, a large-scale water fountain, and fireworks each night to signal the park’s closing. Relocated in 1907 to a larger site, Electric Park’s gardens, displays and fountain works entertained millions and inspired Kansas City native Walt Disney in the design of Disneyland.
About J. Rieger & Co.
Jacob Rieger & Company was originally founded in 1887 in Kansas City’s West Bottoms Livestock Exchange district. The distillery produced over 100 alcoholic products on a national basis, including the iconic Monogram Whiskey, but it was forced to close in 1919 with the advent of Prohibition. In 2014, 95 years after Prohibition, the brand was relaunched by business partners Ryan Maybee, creator of Manifesto, and Andy Rieger, the great-great-great-grandson of Jacob Rieger. The current distillery is located in the historic Electric Park district within the East Bottoms of Kansas City. The core product line includes Kansas City Whiskey, Midwestern Dry Gin, Caffè Amaro, and Premium Wheat Vodka. For more information, visit www.JRiegerCo.com.