In a media release sent by O.Z. Tyler Friday, distillery officials said deconstruction of the Rickhouse H building infrastructure, which was recently damaged by high winds, is nearing completion.
“The barrel recovery is underway and in this first phase of the plan, great care has been taken to ensure maximum possible protection for on-site employees and the surrounding environment,” the release said.
Officials said there has been minimal bourbon leakage and the EPA reports there are no environmental concerns.
“We are very pleased with the swift progress made during this process and want to express our gratitude to our employees, contractors, government officials and all our neighbors for their assistance and patience during this process,” said Jacob Call, master distiller and director of operations at O.Z. Tyler. “We thank everyone for their hard work. We can breathe a sigh of relief that we no longer have to worry about the rickhouse coming down on its own. Now we can concentrate efforts on our barrel recovery.”
An Ultra High Reach demolition excavator is being used to carefully remove barrels from the debris. All barrels will be thoroughly examined and relocated to a new home in another rickhouse. Damaged barrels will be repaired or disposed of and the bourbon will be re-barreled and moved to storage.
Simon Burch, CEO of O.Z. Tyler, also extends his thanks to the bourbon community, and Owensboro neighbors who have been so supportive of the efforts.
“All the cooperation has made the clean-up process go as planned and we certainly appreciate everyone’s continued support as we see this project to completion,” said Burch.
Distillery officials told Owensboro Times days after the rickhouse fall that clean up could take two to three months. Ewing Road will be closed for the duration of the clean up. The City of Owensboro has also issued a fireworks ban within a half mile radius of the collapsed rickhouse.