Employees of the Bently Heritage Distillery and Bently Ranch were informed on Tuesday that both were going on the market.
While the distillery will continue to manufacture spirits through the end of the year, the tasting room closed, according to a source within the company.
Employees were notified of Christopher Bently’s intention to sell his assets in Carson Valley on Tuesday morning.
“The distillery will keep operating through the end of the year,” the source said. “We’ve had some nibbles from larger alcohol companies.”
It’s Bently’s intention to find a buyer by the fourth quarter who will hopefully keep the distillery team, as well.
About 20 employees in the tasting room and marketing department will be let go with severance, according to the source.
“Financially, it was a loss leader,” the source said. “Chris is hoping he can find another alcohol company with a bigger reach, who can make it work.”
The remaining ranch property in the Valley likely won’t sell until next year.
Bently put Long Field south of Muller Lane up for sale last year, and it was confirmed that he’d purchased an estate in Scotland.
The distillery is inside the former Minden Flour Mill which was completely renovated, including having the four silos hollowed out.
Opened Feb. 9, 2019, the distillery cost more than $100 million to convert.
The ranch includes 2,500 acres of land under cultivation specifically in support of the distillery.
Rumors that Christopher Bently would put the property on the market have been going around over the past two years.
Bently put Long Field up for sale south of Muller last year, and it was confirmed that he’d purchased an estate in Scotland.
He also purchased a $9.5 million Lake Tahoe estate in December 2021.
Plans for the Bently Heritage site were first unveiled in 2013 by Christopher Bently, but the work converting the old mill and the Minden creamery building wouldn’t start closer to 2015.
Before demolition began on the creamery building, whose facade had been designed by famed Reno architect Frederic DeLongchamp in 1916, work had to be done to make sure the renovation met historic standards.
Both the façade and the Minden mill were placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.
The site was purchased by Minden industrialist Don Bently in 1969, and housed the offices of Bently Nevada Corp. until the end of the 20th Century.
One of the keys to developing the mill into a distillery was to unite the four silos into a single cloverleaf.