O.Z. Tyler Distillery returns to its roots as Green River Distilling

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O.Z. Tyler Distillery returns to its roots as Green River Distilling

By David Salazar - 09/15/2020

One of Kentucky’s oldest distilleries with a private brand business is back up and running under its original name.

O.Z. Tyler Distillery, which began operating in 2016 on the grounds of the original Green River Distilling property, now is operating under the Green River banner. 

Founded by John McCulloch in 1885, Green River went into a period of decline following a fire and Prohibition. Between 1936 and 2014, the company changed hands several times, until it was purchased by Terresentia, which renovated the historic grounds and brought on Jacob Call, a third-generation distiller, to oversee the renovations and manage distillery operations under the name O.Z. Tyler. Since then, the company has scaled up to product 90,000 barrels of bourbon and rye annually for bulk, private brand, private label partners. 

"Green River was known for making some of the finest whiskey in Kentucky. We're excited to be crafting bourbon and rye under the Green River flag again," said Call, Green River’s master distiller. "As a third-generation distiller and seventh-generation Kentuckian, playing a role in reviving this historic distillery has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience."

The company worked with the founder’s great-grandson, Rob McCulloch, to rename the distillery. “I’ve always wanted the distillery’s name back at its original location in Owensboro. IT completes the story my great-grandfather started in 1885.”

Green River Distilling CEO Simson Burch said, "Today's announcement honors the distillery's proud heritage in Owensboro and the beginning of its next chapter. We're so grateful to Rob for sharing his family's history with us and it's a privilege to continue to build on the legacy that John McCulloch created. It's particularly exciting to make this announcement during September, which is National Bourbon Heritage Month." 

Ahead of the renaming, the company hired Owensboro-based artist Aaron Kizer as its creative director. Kizer’s efforts around the distillery’s grounds was focused on making visitors feel like they were taking a step back in time. 

“Aaron is a wonderful ambassador and proud son of Owensboro. We're huge fans of his work and knew he had to be involved in our revival," said Cathy Steen, global head of sales and marketing at Green River Distilling. "I couldn't think of a better partner to bring the spirit of Green River Distilling Company back to life. His vision can be seen throughout the campus."

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