Out in Minden, there is an oasis of spirited alcohol now called Minden Mill Distilling. However, many people know it by its previous name, Bently Heritage.
The previous owners recently sold the distillery to the Foley family, whose accomplishments include successful alcohol brands—and owning the Las Vegas Knights hockey team. Very few people have been at the distillery from its conception to where it is today, and even fewer know the product and the distillery as well as Lucas Huff.
I recently sat down with Huff to discuss where he started at the distillery—and where he is now, under the new leadership of the Foley family.
Huff started with Bently Heritage as part of the original team brought in to create a world-class experience.
“I and the rest of the opening team started 14 months before the distillery opened in February of 2019.” Huff said. “There were 13 of us who started together, and many of us who were there at the beginning were there until the end.”
The end came in early March 2022. However, Huff emphasized that the end and transition were handled basically as well as they could have been.
“While we lost some essential people, some of my best friends, a core group of us were part of the retention staff,” he said.
This retention staff operated the distillery, giving prospective buyers tours and living in limbo until a few months ago—a whopping 16 months.
Bently Heritage was only open to the public for about a year—COVID-19 shuttered it from March 2020 until it closed for good—so that means Huff and the team he started with worked for 14 months to get it open, could only share it with the world for about a year, and then had to wait 16 months before they could share it with the world again.
“To put it as simply as possible, it was tumultuous,” he said. “We are open. We are closed. You are losing your job—no, wait, you are not. To get to this spot I am at now, where I was a part of the first Foley family tours, and to know I am trusted and valued, is huge. You can’t put a value on that; it’s my future.”
That future is bright at Minden Mill Distilling, with the distillery and brand poised to expand and utilize the significant infrastructure with which they have to work. Huff is now a Foley Family Spirits national ambassador, a role that will have him overseeing the growing Foley Family Spirits portfolio, including an array of ultra-premium spirits coming from Minden Mill.
The distillery just opened to the public again, offering Foley Family Wines, a curated cocktail list featuring cocktails developed by Huff (try the sarsaparilla old fashioned—trust me) and even a vodka-and-caviar tasting experience with one of the best views in all of Nevada.
“The people who did not see the distillery before we closed now have an opportunity to experience it, and that’s all that matters,” Huff said. “It is a second chance at a first impression.”
For more information, visit foleyfamilywines.com/spirits.