Among the many takeaways from the Critical Issues Conference at Carson Valley Inn Thursday morning was the revelation that Chris Bently, owner and CEO of Bently Enterprises, is working toward a renovation project of the property surrounding Minden Flour Mill and silos into a tourist destination district.
The plan is to convert the building into a distillery and café, with the property one day also serving as a potential depot for the V & T Railroad and accompanying extension.
Here is the release from Bently Enterprises on the project:
Minden to Toast Mill Building Revival as Craft Distillery
Christopher Bently, a local entrepreneur and businessman, announced that he will be converting the Minden Flour Milling Company building, a National Registered Historic Place, into a craft distillery named Nevada Heritage.
The new distillery will be one of the first operating in the entire state since Assembly Bill 153 was passed earlier this year, allowing local distilleries to operate. This puts Nevada Heritage in notable company with fellow Silver State artisans as well as landing Minden at the forefront of a burgeoning new industry.
Nevada Heritage will live up to its name by reintroducing the best traditions of the Old West, while embracing New West values such as sustainability and premium quality.
Revitalizing Carson Valley with Tradition and Craft
Before the Civil War the Silver State flourished with small distilleries that were supplied by the abundant wheat, barley and hops. Like these distilleries of the bygone West, Nevada Heritage will use only locally grown greens; Winter Rye and other plants will be harvested from the land of its sister company, Bently Ranch. The ranch itself operates in the cowboy tradition, but employs cutting-edge sustainability measures.
Nevada Heritage’s home in the historic Minden Flour Milling Company, right in the heart of Minden, does more than just dramatize the new distillery’s pride in tradition — its location will contribute to Minden’s continuing revitalization as well as preserve the town’s rich heritage.
With the idea of preserving its heritage the company is working on refitting the building to LEED Platinum standards — the highest rating in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification principles. Nevada Heritage’s goal isn’t just to produce artisanal-quality spirits, but to set a new standard for sustainable production in the state of Nevada, thus innovating an industry while revitalizing the craft distilling tradition.
Christopher Bently, the owner and founder of Nevada Heritage, says:
“As a longtime member of the Carson Valley community, I’m excited about its future. Revitalizing the area shouldn’t mean building subdivisions and big box stores, though — the way forward lies in innovation, preservation of the area’s colorful past, and the conservation of its wide open spaces. I will make every possible effort to preserve this natural beauty, while working to reinvigorate its economy. Nevada Heritage will be emblematic of everything I believe in: a first-class, hand-crafted product that preserves local history while embracing tradition.”
From the Bently Holdings Web site:
“(Chris Bently’s) next venture is to restore a turn of the century brick mill and creamery into a hub for culture and drive the local economy without driving development.
“I see no sense in building new structures when we have beautiful historic properties left abandoned. We need a sense of tradition and worth brought back to our culture. A disposable world just won’t do.”