KANSAS CITY, Mo. — J. Rieger & Co. is scheduled to host its grand opening of the new East Bottoms distillery at 3 p.m. Friday.
The 60,000-square-foot expansion will include three unique bars, a gift shop, and a 4,000-square-foot historical exhibit.
"It's been a long time coming, a long time in the works," Co-founder Ryan Maybee said. "It feels like it's gone by really quickly to see just how much this building has transformed and just how much it's grown, basically overnight, is amazing."
With the expansion, Maybee said it's an exciting time for the company and the neighborhood.
"This part of Kansas City, I think, is a little bit unknown. But if you look at it historically, it plays a really important role in Kansas City's early development and growth, and so we're hoping to bring back that legacy and hopefully do this neighborhood proud and bring it back to life," Maybee said. "It's about having fun and sharing our story and sharing our products with people but also not trying to take ourselves too seriously."
With this expansion, the company is able to take its production from 300 barrels a year to roughly 1,200.
"And we have storage capacity in the warehouse now to store more than 5,000 barrels of whiskey, so we've really ramped up production considerably," Maybee said.
Visitors will also have the chance to take a tour and see how everything is made on the production floor, get a taste test, and also test out the indoor slide.
"The slide is fun," Maybee said. "But it also embraces the spirit of the Electric Park . You know there was an amusement park right across the railroad tracks here back in the late 1800s, and so we couldn't quite go with a Ferris wheel or roller-coaster, we decided to start with a slide and go from there."
To hear more from the co-founders Andy Rieger and Ryan Maybee, you can check them out on KSHB's Chew Diligence podcast.