J. Rieger plans to expand distillery and revive a piece of KC history
J. Rieger & Co.’s multimillion dollar distillery expansion won’t debut in the East Bottoms until July 12.
But Thrillist has already put it on its short list of the “Best New Attractions in America in 2019.”
The website — which covers food, drink, travel and entertainment — said it “scoured the country for the latest and greatest attractions we’re most curious about: the restaurants, hotels, parks, museums and entertainment we’d hop on a plane to check out this summer.”
Some of the attractions are new, while some have been newly renovated — but Thrillist said they are all “changing the landscape” of their cities.
The J. Rieger production facility will be housed in the three-story historic Heim Brewery bottling building at 2700 Guinotte Ave., along with a much newer warehouse for a total of 60,000-square-feet.
The East Bottoms area was once home to Electric Park with a roller coaster, curated gardens, theater and nightly fireworks. Heim piped its beer through underground lines to taps that directly served patrons.
The J. Rieger operation will include six stills, five 2,500-gallon fermenters, and one 3,875-gallon beer well — behind glass walls so customers can see the process. There also will be tours and tastings.
But that’s not all: Throw in two bar areas; an interactive historic exhibit on Kansas City, the Electric Park area, Heim Brewery and J. Rieger; and a 40-foot slide to carry customers between floors, as well as a gift shop.
Customers will be able to “hand fill” their own bottles of whiskey.
The owners hope it will spur more redevelopment in the East Bottoms.
Thrillist says: “If Kansas City isn’t at the top of your travel list this summer, you might want (to) reconsider — if not for the fantastic BBQ and nightlife, then for this ambitious new distillery experience ...”
Thrillist listed 13 sites on its 2019 best attractions list, including Tulsa’s $465 million Gathering Place park, the TWA Hotel at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, and even the Gateway Arch National Park in St. Louis, which debuted a $380 million makeover in 2018.