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Happy New Year from Louisiana Spirits

The startup team from left to right is Tim, Jeff, Skip, Tyler, Randy, and Trey. Of course, we have help from all the trades - construction, carpenters, welders, electrical, pavers, metal workers...the list goes on. We want to thank all the workers for their efforts this past year and wish all a happy and productive new year. Let's finish this thing and make some rum!

January 3, 2013

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Stainless pipe highway

This is a small example of the amount of custom stainless steel piping in the production warehouse. A well-known craft distilling authority visitor asked, "Who did the engineering? This is the best engineered craft distillery I have ever seen."

January 3, 2013

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The Welders Rule

The welders can see light at the end of the tunnel. The punch list is being worked on the platform and steam lines. We hope to test the boiler in the next week or two. Good progress. The place is looking awesome.

January 3, 2013

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1903 Iowa Louisiana Farm House is ready for the move to the site

The last project is to move the house to the distillery complex in Lacassine. The preparations have been made and we expect the move to take place pretty soon. Then we can start the careful restoration work. It will be transformed. This could be a segment on "Save This Old House"...

December 27, 2012

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Louisiana sugar cane harvest season drawing to a close

A couple of days after Christmas, we got a real treat. We rode with the farmers that are harvesting the sugar cane bound for our milling partner. Awesome! These farmers work hard and they are finally getting to reap the rewards. It has been a good season for Louisiana farmers in 2012. We have great raw materials to work with and we cannot wait to turn it into great rum for you!

December 27, 2012

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Still making Still Adjustments

Skip Cortese and Jeff Murphy making adjustments to the Vendome Copper Spirit Still. Wait until you see the piping, pumps, and steam lines in the distillery, you won't believe the attention to detail! Quality design and construction will produce a world-class quality rum!

November 15, 2012

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Reviewing the plans at Louisiana Spirits Distillery

Randy, Jeff, Trey and Skip reviewing the plans and discussing next steps. We still have a lot to do, but things are really starting to take shape inside the production warehouse.

November 5, 2012

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Stills and Production Platform are in place now

The production platform makes it much easier to operate efficiently. Our distiller can control both stills and be at eye level with controls and easily reach the man holes. Next we connect up the stills and beverage tanks!

November 1, 2012

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It's about to get a whole lot cooler

The cooling system installation is proceeding nicely. Temperature control is one of the most important process elements in producing a quality rum fermentation.

November 1, 2012

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Side yard cleared at Louisiana Spirits site

The side yard between the building and the parking area has been cleared. The chiller and glycol mixture tank is visible on the east side of the building. View from turning basin facing I-10.

October 26, 2012

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Steam lines are going in at Louisiana Spirits Distillery

Temperature control is critical to producing a world-class rum. We will have efficient steam heat sources for the stripping still and the finishing still. Steam will also be used for precise temperature control of the pasteurizer.

October 26, 2012

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Louisiana Spirits Distillery inside scoop!

The other side of the viewing window is where the stills and process tanks are placed. Our distiller will be working from this platform to reach the controls and valves controlling the distilling process to produce our rums.

October 26, 2012

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Viewing Room window installed at Louisiana Spirits

Look at the view of all the rum making equipment. When you enter the Viewing Room you will see the action in the distillery from behind this beautiful picture window. The interior is changing fast as the vision is realized. Guests will learn of the Louisiana sugar industry and the history of rum making in Louisiana since colonial times.

October 26, 2012

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Let there be light at Louisiana Spirits Distillery!

Electricity is on and we have light in the warehouse. This is the view of the west side of the warehouse which will house barrel handling and storage initially.

October 26, 2012

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Louisiana Spirits Visitor Center exterior nearing completion

The site has been cleaned up as the exterior of the building major construction has been completed. We are still working on the roads and infrastructure outside, but it sure looks nice at this point, don't you think?

October 26, 2012

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Distillery coming soon at Louisiana Spirits

When you get near Exit 48 on southern side of Interstate 10, you will see our welcome sign. We are working hard to complete our facility to welcome visitors and guests to introduce them to a world class Louisiana treasure made from Louisiana sugarcane...

October 16, 2012

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Office and Visitor Center are looking sweet at Louisiana Spirits Distillery

Roofs are sealed and so is the brick. Progress keeps moving at Louisiana Spirits.

October 16, 2012

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Exterior brick finished before lunch at Louisiana Spirits Visitor Center

Dang those guys work fast when the weather is good. We are complete with the exterior brink on the front of the visitor center. See other pictures from today.

October 16, 2012

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Final push to complete the exterior brick at Louisiana Spirits

This is the view looking east at the visitor center. The bricklayers continue to move. Not only is our rum going to be hand crafted, but the Louisiana Spirits Distillery and Visitor Center is too. Our hats off to the many craftsmen at work to make the place a reality. Looking good!

October 15, 2012

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The doors and windows installed in the Louisiana Spirits Visitor Center

Now that the roof is dried in, we finished installing the doors and windows at the distillery visitor center. We are busy inside with electrical, data lines, insulation. The indoor walls of the visitor center will be reclaimed brick up to the pine posts.

October 15, 2012

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Molasses pump in place at Louisiana Spirits Distillery

That big pump will move the fresh Louisiana molasses for our secret recipe for world-class rum. All the stainless steel piping you see has been shaped and welded by hand for our custom installation.

October 2, 2012

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The Louisiana Spirits distiller’s platform

This is the view looking down at the stills from the catwalk. Things are coming together. It has been awesome watching the welders make progress inside.

October 2, 2012

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A load of raw Louisiana sugar please!

That's a big sugar-handling column which will enable us to add raw and unrefined Louisiana Sugar to our secret recipe for world-class rum. Imagine a super sack with a ton of sugar balanced off that yellow contraption... yum!

October 2, 2012

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The catwalk platform at Louisiana Spirits Distillery.

Standing on top of the platform you can see the tops of the various tanks from the catwalk. This picture faces the stills with pasteurizer on the left front, molasses tank on the right front, and the two rows of fermentation tanks behind. If you look closely you can see the column on the Vendome Copper still.

October 2, 2012

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Look at the production team now

The column is installed on the Spirit Still along with the condenser. The condenser for the Wash Still is in the center between the two stills. Now we are getting close to tying the production pieces together at the Louisiana Spirits Distillery with all the piping!

September 27, 2012

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It is a work of art! The Spirit Still at Louisiana Spirits Distillery.

Here is another view of the main Spirit Still. Our Vendome Still was crafted by hand in the USA and quite capable with 8 individual plates, the condenser, and the "gin basket" for flavor enhancement. A work of art with true American work ethic! Go team!

September 27, 2012

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The column for the Spirit Still is uncrated for installation

Our Vendome Spirit Still column is getting prepared for installation. This is a very tall column and will be quite a challenge to install. Now, where is that instruction book? Just kidding!

September 21, 2012

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Roof and ceiling on the Gift Shop at Louisiana Spirits Distillery!

Check out the 24 foot timbers now! The crew is readying the roof for the Visitor Center Gift Shop. We expect the roof to be complete is a week or so.

September 21, 2012

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Spirits Still manhole cover at Louisiana Spirits Distillery!

White wrapping is off the Spirit Still pot. The Spirit Still pot will be visible from the Visitor Center Viewing Room. Can't wait for ya'll to come visit!er.

September 16, 2012

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The "Production Team" at Louisiana Spirits Distillery

Our Vendome Spirit and Wash Stills with the platform are in place at the Louisiana Spirits Distillery. Things are coming together.

September 16, 2012

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Crew inspecting and organizing the stainless steel piping for the Louisiana Spirits Distillery

The team took delivery today of the piping being used to tie together all the distillery equipment. These pipes will eventually carry steam, cooling liquid, water or raw materials— everything we need to make Louisiana Rum!

September 16, 2012

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Brickwork continues on the office building at the Louisiana Spirits Distillery

The bricklayers are working well in the good weather in Lacassine, LA. Progress is apparent as they lay the reclaimed brick on the exterior walls at the Louisiana Spirits Visitor Center.

September 15, 2012

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Stills are in place at Louisiana Spirits Distillery!

The stills have been placed in their relative positions at the Louisiana Spirits Distillery today. Pictured in the white wrapping is the Spirits Still pot. The Wash Still pot is next to the windows. You will be able to see the whole operation from the viewing window opening pictured at the top of the photo.

September 15, 2012

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Assembling the Wash Still at Louisiana Spirits Distillery

Co-owner Skip Cortese places gasket on top of our Vendome Wash Still. Skip and Randy Harrah are getting ready to place the onion and column on the Wash Still at the Louisiana Spirits Distillery.

September 15, 2012

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Check out the "onion" and column for the Wash Still

Skip and Randy work to assemble the onion and column in preparation for attaching to the Wash Still pot.

September 15, 2012

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Wash Still top end mounted today at Louisiana Spirits!

Randy and Skip are aligning the bolts used to connect the top end of the Wash Still.

September 15, 2012

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The courtyard back wall is up at the Louisiana Spirits Distillery

The courtyard wall is complete and progress is marching forward outside on the Louisiana Spirits Visitor Center.

September 15, 2012

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Bricklayers rock! The courtyard walls are looking good at Louisiana Spirits Distillery.

These courtyard walls are looking great with the reclaimed brick from St. Louis, MO. The brick masons are moving quickly and they are the MVPs for the week. Way to go guys!

September 4, 2012

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Distillery coming soon

Enough said.

September 4, 2012

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Check out the roofline of the offices at Louisiana Spirits Visitor Center!

The roofline is up on the office building, which is connected to the Louisiana Spirits Visitor Center. Now it is looking like a building!

September 4, 2012

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Stainless steel catwalks are being welded today at Louisiana Spirits Distillery!

Lots of progress is being made now on the interior of the warehouse. The crew seen here is planning the treads on the stairway, which will connect the Still viewing platform to the Fermentation Tank catwalk. The manways will all be accessible for our distiller from the raised platforms.

September 4, 2012

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Louisiana Spirits Distillery dodges Hurricane Isaac.

Our hearts go out to those affected by Hurricane Isaac over the last week. The rains hit the Lacassine area with up to 40 MPH winds swirling. There is a silver lining here as the waterline on the ponds is rising! Good luck wishes to all in SE Louisiana.

September 3, 2012

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Inside view of the Louisiana Spirits Visitor Center overlooking the courtyard.

The internal wall joists are almost complete between rainstorms.

August 19, 2012

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Loading dock area wing forms are ready for the next pour at Louisiana Spirits Distillery.

These wings will help keep delivery vehicles on the pavement. The preparation takes a lot longer than concrete pour and curing. Keep on trucking!

August 19, 2012

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What will the exterior look like at Louisiana Spirits Distillery?

The plans are taking shape with rooflines planned next. Equipment is arriving daily and milestones are getting checked off! Thanks to all the work crews for getting us this far.

August 17, 2012

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Delivery driveway concrete curing at Louisiana Spirits Distillery!

The loading dock concrete pour is a success and it is curing in the hot Louisiana sunshine.

August 9, 2012

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Delivery driveway getting ready for the pour at Louisiana Spirits Distillery

Driveway stakes are planted as of today for the concrete pour. The pour will start first at this area for the whole driveway leading to and from the south frontage road. The loading docks can accommodate 18 wheelers with 53 foot trailers for deliveries and more importantly...shipments!

August 8, 2012

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Exterior walls almost done at Louisiana Spirits Visitor Center

The metal wall joists are almost complete clearing the way for the brick laying effort coming in the next phase. Note that the block wall between the visitor center and the distillery warehouse is almost finished as well. Getting exciting as the architectural vision is taking shape.

August 8, 2012

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Cooling system in place outside the Louisiana Spirits distillery building

The cooling system is in place and ready for plumbing and electrical teams to hook it up. It will be used for temperature adjustments for our fermentation tanks, beverage holding tanks, and stills on occasion.

August 1, 2012

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Blending Room walls up in the Louisiana Spirits Distillery building

Masons finished up the facing wall for the blending room today. This room is in the center of the distillery building and will be used to house the blending tanks. The bottling room with the bottling line equipment is located directly behind this room.

August 1, 2012

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The Viewing Room look back to production area

The viewing room will be the best place to watch the craft distillation of our Louisiana rum. Steel walls on the left and a block wall with viewing window will be in place soon at the back of the room. We can hardly wait to get this space finished to show you how we turn fresh Louisiana sugarcane products into world class Louisiana rum!

August 1, 2012

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Steel walls external structure for the Louisiana Spirits visitor center!

The external wall joists are going up at Louisiana Spirits. These steel studs will be the framing for the exterior walls surrounding the visitor center. This wall support will be the backbone for the reclaimed brick wall. Progress continues.

July 30, 2012

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Masons making progress inside Louisiana Spirits Distillery building

The blending and bottling rooms are underway. The masons have finished most of the inside block walls and are moving on to the interior rooms. Progress is quick indoors and not so dependent on the weather!

July 30, 2012

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Louisiana Spirits visited Tales of the Cocktail!

This was a fantastic event hosted by Ann Teunnerman in New Orleans for 6,000 bartenders and spirits industry participants. The events are spread over 5 days in a host of different venues. Great energy and great people. Look for Louisiana Spirits to play a role next year! Laissez les bon temps rouler!

July 27, 2012

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Interior concrete block walls nearing completion at Louisiana Spirits

The Masons have made big strides over the last 2 weeks on the interior walls for the warehouse at Louisiana Spirits. Pictured above are the west (left) and north walls. The doors on the left are for the locker room and maintenance shop.

July 22, 2012

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Louisiana Spirits Distillery progress continues

View looking from the future patio area to the restroom wall and the west side of the visitor center columns and beams by the tasting bar doorway!

July 22, 2012

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The Viewing Room at Louisiana Spirits Distillery

So far, we can see the floor plan devoted to the viewing room. The room is closest to the beautiful Vendome Copper stills and will have a window for viewing the entire production operation. The room will have a 12 foot ceiling and you won’t even recognize it when we are done!

July 22, 2012

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Columns and beams are up at Louisiana Spirits visitor center structure

Before the rains, the workers had completed the placement of each column and beam. They are still working to complete the installation of the custom brackets, but this is excellent progress. We will get dried out again shortly and back underway. Pretty exciting to see this impressive structure develop!

July 22, 2012

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More progress on the Louisiana Spirits visitor center structure.

Workers finish up for the day after installing 3 additional columns with support beams. Lots of activity today in preparation for a break to celebrate Independence Day. Happy Fourth of July everybody! We are getting ready to declare independence from imported rum!

July 3, 2012

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Masons at work on the internal concrete block walls. Areas around the stills, the boiler room will be surrounded by 14 foot tall block walls which will meet the fire code requirements.

Concrete block wall on the rise in Louisiana Spirits distillery building.

July 3, 2012

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The excavator, bull dozer, and dump trucks are busy at work today digging two ponds in front of the distillery building. The ponds will be on both sides of the drive entry road. The plan is to have the ponds landscaped in true Louisiana style with native grasses and line them with a few cypress trees. Visitors may even catch a glance at an alligator or two in these ponds...

Digging the ponds at Louisiana Spirits site.

July 2, 2012

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The timbers are going up at Louisiana Spirits. It is a labor intensive process to prepare each column with custom brackets, then raise them, and then attach the support beams. The structure pictured is 24 feet tall. Progress continues.

Raising the Louisiana Spirits visitor center!

June 29, 2012

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The brick will be used for the Louisiana Spirits visitor center exterior building walls and courtyard area. It is ready for the masons!

Reclaimed brick delivered to Louisiana Spirits distillery site.

June 28, 2012

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New boiler is in place at the distillery. The boiler will provide steam for heating the pasteurizer, the fermentation tanks, and the stills. It will even be used to warm up the molasses tanks in the winter.

Boiler room at the Louisiana Spirits Distillery.

June 28, 2012

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Worker installed lag bolts on the beam between the first two columns at the Louisiana Spirits distillery visitor center.

First columns are up at Louisiana Spirits visitor center building.

June 25, 2012

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The timbers Louisiana Spirits is using to support the visitor center building have some history. These pine timbers were originally cut from Louisiana forests and shipped north to Indiana and used in a textile mill for the last 100 years. When the mill was being demolished we reclaimed them to use in our distillery. After we finish construction, we will have 23 columns that are 24 feet tall and about 66 beams. When you walk thru the door, it will be mighty impressive!

Reclaimed timbers arrive and are prepared for Louisiana Spirits visitor center!

June 25, 2012

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Jeff Murphy joins Louisiana Spirits and is pictured here next to our pilot still. Jeff has been distilling spirits in a production operation for Privateer rum in Boston for the past year. Prior to that Jeff distilled vodka, single malt whiskey, and blended whiskey for Rebecca Creek distillery in San Antonio, TX. Jeff learned the art of fermentation while working as a commercial brewer in Singapore for Asia Pacific Breweries. We are fortunate to have such an experienced brewer & distiller join us. Jeff is already working on our taste profile and validating our recipe by testing Louisiana raw materials and yeast combinations. Go Jeff!

Jeff Murphy joins Louisiana Spirits as head distiller!

June 18, 2012

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Two of the fermentation tanks were carefully moved inside today and put into place in front of the molasses holding tanks on the east side of the building.

Fermentation tanks in place in Louisiana Spirits production warehouse.

June 13, 2012

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Once indoors the fermentation tanks are released from the straps and then moved on rollers to the appropriate location on the floor. Skip Cortese pictured here on the scissor lift on the way up the top of the fermentation tank.

Placing fermentation tanks at the Louisiana Spirits Distillery.

June 13, 2012

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Picture made on Louisiana Spirits driveway after standing up the tank off the delivery trailer. Notice how tall the tank is compared to Randy Harrah! Randy is attaching straps for moving the tank into the warehouse. This is one of the tanks that will be used to ferment the molasses and sugar wash used to make our Louisiana rum.

Standing up a fermentation tank before moving inside the building.

June 13, 2012

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Our four fermentation tanks arrived today and workers are putting one of them upright prior to moving inside the distillery warehouse. Progress is being made at the site this week and you can see the framing of the visitor center in the background.

The new fermentation tanks arrived at the Louisiana Spirits Distillery site today!

June 11, 2012

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The walls are going up for the Louisiana Spirits offices.

Crews at Louisiana Spirits site are busy framing the Visitor Center...between rain storms!

May 9, 2012

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Crews at Louisiana Spirits site delivered materials for framing the Visitor Center building which will feature a Gift Shop, Tasting Bar, Viewing Room with exhibits, and Louisiana Spirits company offices.

Louisiana Spirits Visitor Center building is finally underway!

May 8, 2012

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Approval letter was received today stating that review is complete and proposed construction can commence in earnest. Thank you Louisiana State Fire Marshal!

Office of State Fire Marshal Code Enforcement and Building Safety approved the scope of work for Louisiana Spirits Distillery and Office Building.

May 2, 2012

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Check out these beauties! The tanks arrived safe and sound. They are not in their final position but they are inside the Louisiana Spirits warehouse.

Louisiana Spirits molasses tanks are in the house!

April 26, 2012

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Two 6,000 gallon stainless steel tanks were delivered today. We are planning to store our raw molasses for the production of Louisiana rum. Workers had to get them inside before we complete the warehouse walls.

Molasses tanks are being delivered at the Louisiana Spirits Distillery site.

April 25, 2012

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Concrete trucks arrived at 6:00AM today to pour about 240 yards for the foundation on the ~6,000 square foot structure for the Visitor Center and Offices. Thank goodness for the clear dry weather!

Foundation concrete for the Visitor Center and Offices are poured!

March 29, 2012

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Billboard went up today in front of the Louisiana Spirits site. View facing east and same thing on view facing west!

Distillery Coming Soon!

March 29, 2012

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Crew at Louisiana Spirits site has completed the pre-pour preparation for plumbing and electrical on the Visitor Center and Offices building foundations. View facing I-10.

Plumbing and conduit ready for the Visitor Center concrete pour!

March 28, 2012

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Workers at Louisiana Spirits site put the finishing touches on the forms for the concrete foundation for the Visitor Center and Offices. View facing west.

Foundation Forms in place for the Visitor Center and Offices!

March 22, 2012

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Louisiana Spirits took delivery of the two new Vendome stills today. Trey Litel pictured in between the stills. The pots are not fully assembled yet and are shown in the shipping wraps.

Louisiana Spirits Receives Vendome Stills!

Vendome Copper Works shipped the stills to Louisiana Spirits.

March 21, 2012

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Heavy equipment on site at Louisiana Spirits to lay the foundation for the driveway.

Dump trucks bringing load after load!

View facing 1-10, dump trucks hauled rock all morning and well into the afternoon to bring enough rock for the driveway. Crew is working hard on a this crystal clear day with a slight wind.

March 6, 2012

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Driveway bed being laid at Louisiana Spirits construction site.

Rains let up and we are building the driveway today!

Crews are working today on laying the road bed for the driveway that will eventually bring visitors to the Louisiana Spirits distillery and visitor center. View facing south with distillery warehouse in the background.

March 6, 2012

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Founding business partner Skip Cortese surveys the Louisiana Spirits 1,000 gallon "stripping still" at Vendome Copper Works in Louisville, Kentucky.

Stripping Still is ready for delivery.

February 11, 2012

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Workers putting finishing touches on the roof of the new Louisiana Spirits distillery building.

Roof & Walls are up!

Crews working to complete the roof on the distillery building. Rains finally let up this week for major progress on the 12,000 square foot distillery warehouse building. View facing east.

January 27, 2012

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Louisiana Spirits Distillery Warehouse Building front elevation view.

Cavernous home to world class distilling equipment!

January 27, 2012

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Louisiana Spirits retention pond and building progress continues.

Retention Pond filled up due to week of rain, but Roof is up today!

View facing 1-10, today is the day we will finish the roof. Crew is working on a this crystal clear day with a slight wind.

January 27, 2012

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View from South Frontage road facing southwest.

Too wet to work, Roof is half way complete

Building is shaping up despite the rain. We are not complaining, much needed rain over the last couple of weeks.

January 25, 2012

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Tim Litel inspecting the progress at the Louisiana Spirits distillery site.

Louisiana Spirits distillery taking shape!

This building will house the distilled spirits plant, and barrel storage. View facing Lacassine syrup mill.

January 6, 2012

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Workers spreading concrete for Louisiana Spirits distillery building foundation

Louisiana Spirits distillery walls are up!

Warehouse walls are up. View facing Lacassine syrup mill.

January 4, 2012

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Louisiana Spirits Still Almost Ready to Ship

Louisiana Spirits' Still nearing completion

Vendome factory is putting the finishing touches on the Louisiana Spirits LLC spirits still. That is a 500 gallon Vendome Copper Still with an 8-tray column.

December 19, 2011

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Top View of the Louisiana Spirits Still

Tallest Vendome Still Ever Produced

According to Vendome, this is the tallest pot still they have ever produced and they have been in business making stills since 1904 in Louisville, KY. Wow, we are going to make some serious rum with this equipment!

December 19, 2011

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Workers spreading concrete for Louisiana Spirits distillery building foundation

Pouring Concrete Today!

Crews working to complete the first day of concrete pouring. The foundation is finally firming up for the 18,000 square foot main building. View facing I-10.

December 17, 2011

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View of the building foundation forms for concrete.

Foundation Pad Complete & Forming Underway

Crews at work on the pad grading and early foundation forms for concrete. View facing east.

November 9, 2011