Headframe Spirits in Butte has big plans brewing that would expand their whiskey business. Headframe Spirits wants to turn an old mining site into a full service whiskey plant. If plans are approved Headframe Spirits would become the largest beverage distillery west of the Mississippi.
"It's the largest distillery built of this size since the late 1940's in the United States. It will make a barrel of whiskey every seven minutes and to our knowledge that's faster than Makers Mark," said co-owner John McKee.
That's a lot of whiskey. Each barrel holds 53 gallons. Whiskey may be the bread and butter of Headframe but McKee says it won't be the only attraction at the new venue.
"We see this as event space, we see this as a place where people want to come and spend time and around that we'll be producing whiskey."
The new distillery will also open up 35 to 50 new jobs. Butte-Silver Bow Community Development stands behind the plans and hopes to see this old mining yard come back to life.
"I think it is a perfect adaptive re-use of this historic industrial site to have it put back into industrial use is really just amazing," said Community Development Director Karen Byrnes.
Although Butte is known for being the mining city could this new era put Butte on the map as the future whiskey city?
Byrnes says, "Mining is a huge part of us and it will be a huge part of us. As we move ahead to have a new vision along with that for a new industry is exactly what we need."
Headframe will need to purchase the land from Butte-Silver Bow and the Atlantic Richfield Company. The owners of Headframe spirits say they hope this new project will serve as an economic driver for the mining city by showing the country what can be done in Butte.