By Richard Thomas
After substantial delay, Maker’s Mark has installed and started up their third still, expanding spirit production capacity by 50%. The new still went into operation on November 18.
Maker’s Mark completed its first production expansion in 1996, essentially cloning the existing distillery. Rising demand for the popular bourbon brand rose steadily, and Maker’s Mark proposed in 2005 to duplicate the first expansion and adding a third still in parallel to the other two. However, the company was bought by then-Beam Global, now Beam Suntory, shortly thereafter. As a result, expansion plans were shelved for a decade.
Like the 1996 still, the third still is a copy of the original Maker’s Mark still. The three sit side by side in the stillhouse, standing 45 feet tall, 3 feet wide, and made from copper.
The new still is only one part of a larger expansion scheme, one that includes two new boilers, 21 more fermenters and a new grain roller.