Buffalo Trace Replaces Coal-Fired Boiler in National Historic Landmark

Located in Frankfort, Kentucky, Buffalo Trace Distillery is internationally recognized for its bourbon whiskey, which it has been producing for more than 200 years. When company management determined that its current inventory was not going to keep pace with projected demand, they began planning for the future. 

The company budgeted $1.2 billion for improvements and expansion over a 10-year period. Three new storage warehouses were built annually, each of which holds 60,000 barrels. In order to fill the barrels, Buffalo Trace had to increase its bourbon production. 


Buffalo Trace needed to replace a coal-fired boiler that had been decommissioned 10 years earlier. The new boiler had to be installed wihout compromising the original structure of the building, which is a National Historic Landmark.


Cleaver-Brooks custom designed a 150,000 lb/hr D-type industrial watertube boiler to fit through a window of the historic landmark. Cleaver-Brooks was required to build the boiler on an accelerated schedule so it could be installed during the distillery's planned eight-week shutdown. 

The boiler was brought in through a window opening via a specialized gantry and lowered to its support structure with no damage to the historical landmark. The boiler cleared the opening with only an inch and a half on each side. The creative approach allowed Buffalo Trace to continue with visitor tours during installation. 


Boiler start up was completed succesfully and Buffalo Trace is meeting its increased steam demand. The Hawk 6000 control on the boiler is providing substantial fuel savings for the distillery. Another significant improvement is the change from uncontrolled emissions of a coal-fired boiler to the industrial watertube boiler with controlled emissions at 30 ppm NOx.

The new D-type boiler was custom-designed to fit through a window of the National Historic Landmark and cleared the opening with only an inch and a half on each side. This creative approach allowed Buffalo Trace to continue with their visitor tours during installation. 

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