New Riff Distillery and Event Center
Bellevue, KY / Newport, KY
This, one of the few free-standing distilleries built in the last 50 years, strives to bring the craft of a heritage industry into the 21st century, combining entertainment with bourbon production. In addition to the distillery proper, there are a variety of public spaces organized around and having direct views into the process areas, lending interest and providing a reminder of the art and history that are the building’s focus. The lobby includes retail and tasting space and is the beginning and end of tours. The Doubler Room is a multi-purpose space accommodating 75 people for anything from participatory cooking demonstrations to tasting dinners. The Tower Room, a flexible space for up to 300 people, includes a bar and glass garage doors opening onto a roof terrace with fire pit and views over Bellvue and across the river to Cincinnati.
By definition, bourbon has no additives or artificial enhancements. This authenticity is mirrored in the selection and use of the building’s materials, from the unpainted concrete block walls and exposed structure to the rustic stone of the still tower. Warm wood and abundant natural light balance the unadorned aesthetic. On the exterior, metal panels hint at the industrial nature of the building while extensive glazing reveals the process. Anchoring it all is the still tower. Grounded by stone walls on two sides, the glass lantern rises above the roofline, a welcome beacon announcing the art within.