1918 fire delivers fatal blow to Green River Distilling

After earning worldwide recognition for its premium quality, Green River was reaching incredible heights in producing some of the best whiskey on Earth. However, Green River would face an unfathomable blow in 1918 due to a fire that burned through the entire distillery. 

All of the whiskey, and almost all of the buildings, were completely lost when an after-hours fire broke out. The fire ultimately proved to be a fatal blow to the Green River Distillery. 

The fire reduced the distillery to ashes within hours. The cause of the fire was considered “mysterious.” 

Though the distillery was rebuilt, it would face yet another blow when the United States government passed Prohibition, which took effect from 1920-1933. 

The fire, coupled with Prohibition, meant Green River would never return to its former glory. Many of Owensboro’s distilleries faced similar fates.