The history of Templeton Rye tracks back to the early 1900s, when residents of Templeton, Iowa distilled a much sought after rye whiskey. That bootlegging enterprise, which was forced underground during the Prohibition era, nonetheless flourished during that period. The company will mark another a meaningful milestone this month. Templeton Rye Whiskey, introduced legally in 2006, is preparing to break ground to introduce a new distillery embodying the same taste and tradition of its current facilities, to be tentatively completed within 18 months after breaking ground.
“We’re moving full-steam ahead. Our company is laser-focused on bringing the history and spirit of the community of Templeton, Iowa, to life through Templeton Rye whiskey,” said Keith Kerkhoff, Templeton Rye co-founder whose grandfather was an area bootlegger. “We’re proud to share ‘The Good Stuff’ with whiskey lovers around the Hawkeye State and the country,” Kerkhoff concluded.
The story of Templeton Rye as a company has parallels in its Prohibition-era infancy, when local residents were hounded by government “revenuers.” The whiskey may be slightly different—instead of stills in basements and barns, the company has a modern, legal plant—but the entrepreneurial spirit remains true to Templeton’s roots. This evolution will continue to strengthen Templeton Rye’s Iowa heritage and as always, celebrate the people and rich history of Templeton, Iowa. The new distillery will be able to produce 500,000 proof gallons of rye whiskey annually and the aging warehouse will be able to warehouse 40,000 barrels.
Templeton Rye’s new home will consist of a 34,500 square feet distillery and an aging warehouse at its current 20-acre facility in the town of Templeton. The project not only increases the brand’s investment in its namesake town but also keeps with Templeton Rye’s long-standing tradition of giving back to the community. In addition, production tours will be offered that give visitors a bird’s eye view of the entire production process. Learn more about the distillery expansion by visiting www.templetonrye.com/visit-us
Last year, the company introduced a new iteration: Templeton Rye 6, which marked the company’s first new product in a decade. Aged six years in new American oak barrels, this release of Templeton Rye has a 91.5 proof (compared to the signature product’s 80 proof). In late October, coinciding with the company’s 10-year anniversary, Templeton introduced a limited release: Templeton Rye Special Reserve. Learn more about Templeton Rye Whiskey by visiting www.templetonrye.com and become a member of the Bootleggers Society to stay in the know on all things Templeton Rye.
About Templeton Rye
Templeton Rye was born during Prohibition, around 1920. Local bootleggers, including Templeton resident Alphonse Kerkhoff, produced a high caliber, highly desired whiskey known locally as “The Good Stuff,” which became Templeton Rye. Al Capone reportedly served Templeton Rye to his closest friends and family.
Templeton Rye was introduced in 2006 using a recipe that best matched the recipe of Alphonse Kerkhoff, Keith Kerkhoff’s grandfather. In October 2006, 68 barrels of Templeton Rye completed their four-year aging process, and became legally available on shelves in Iowa. The company expanded its plant from a small building, adding 11,000 square feet in 2007 for a more efficient production process. An automated bottling line went online in 2008, providing a quicker, more efficient method of bottling. Templeton Rye uses a mash made up of 95% rye from MGP (formerly Lawrenceburg Distillers of Indiana) as its foundation. The distilled rye whiskey is brought to Templeton, Iowa, where it is combined with Templeton Rye’s proprietary formula and local purified water. The whiskey is then bottled in the production facility in Templeton.
Templeton Rye remains committed to their home town of Templeton Iowa, investing in the distillery expansion which will increase the town’s workforce by approximately 30 full time employees. The project will follow Templeton Rye’s core mission of supporting the community, making a point to hire local residents and invest in the town. The company has invested more than $1 million in the local economy and has hosted more than 25,000 visitors at the facility since opening to the public thus increasing tourism attractions in western Iowa.