Kennay Farms Distillery adds expansion to become the largest distillery in Illinois

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ROCHELLE (WREX)- The Kennay Farms Distillery is adding a large expansion to store home made bourbon and whiskey.

The Kennay family has turned the former iconic Hub Theater into a modernized distillery over the past two and a half years. Just a month ago, the family broke ground on another expansion of it’s distillery, called the Rick House which will be used to store it’s homemade product.

“It was an expedited process because my cousin Adam couldn’t put anything in a bottle until it was done,” Kennay Farms Distillery Director of Marketing, Aubrey Quinn said.

Quinn says the expansion had to be done in order for the family to create their own bourbon and whiskey, and be able to bottle and barrel it.

“The Rick House is really the final step to the process of making whiskey so it was important to have it really close to be apart of the tours,” Quinn said.

The Rick House is located just steps away from the former hub theater and will be able to house up to 5,000 barrels of homemade whiskey and bourbon. The close proximity will allow the distilled alcohol to travel through tubes to make it’s way over to the new 16,000 square foot building to be bottled and barreled.

This expansion now makes the Kennay Farms Distillery the largest in the state of Illinois. Rochelle Community Development Director, Michelle Pease says she believes this business will be an anchor that brings more business to Rochelle.

“So as this project starts to develop, we will see other things come to fruition, maybe some more restaurants, maybe a coffee shop, maybe an ice cream shop,” Pease said.

The distillery is going to be offering tours and tastings of its spirits once its doors open. Which they are hoping to turn into a large tourist attraction to the Rochelle area, and hopefully bring many other businesses into the community because of it.

“There are little things that are happening as well, we are getting new street lights, we’ve had new businesses come downtown, properties that have been in families for many generations have now started to shift and sell,” Pease said.

The Kennay family is taking something old and making it new, hoping over time it ages to perfection. The Kennay Farm Distillery will be opening next week for special events to welcome the community in. The Rick House is expected to be finished in January.

Kennay Farms Rick House
Megan Hedstrom

Megan Hedstrom

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