Dave Dafoe, Flavorman.

Is 2012 shaping up to be a year of drinking and eating or what?

Here’s the second out-of-the blue announcement in about 12 hours.

Grease Monkey Distillery, Moonshine University and Challenge Bottling are coming to a part of Old Louisville just south of downtown, the second big story in two days after yesterday’s story about St. Charles Exchange opening at 626 W. Main St.

This time, it’s drinks wizard Dave Dafoe, whose Favorman firm is behind all sorts of soft drinks, sports drinks and cocktails, most notably Howard Sturm’s Dumante Vendenoce pistachio liqueur.

Dafoe apparently is creating Epicenter, a center/distillery/entertainment complex where you can watch booze being made and bottled, then buy the first products made in downtown Louisville since Prohibition started 93 years ago. The address is 801 S. Eighth St., which is just down the street from Flavorman’s labs at 809 S. Eighth.

So we’re guessing he’s bought a building and is proceeding full stream, which is the way Dave works! (We’ve been watching his career since he bolted from Brown-Forman to start his own firm, and he’s one of the many below-the-radar success stories in this town.)

Here’s the release in full:

Building on Kentucky’s rich distilling history, the Distilled Spirits Epicenter will open in April in downtown Louisville, where it will provide a unique facility for creating custom vodkas, whiskeys, rums, moonshines and more! This education and training center and artisan distillery were created by Flavorman custom beverage company founder David Dafoe. It establishes the first distillery in downtown Louisville since before prohibition. Making it possible for entrepreneurs, distillery operators and industry experts to create their own custom spirits, The Epicenter will offer the expertise of the “Beverage Mechanics” who will manage each project from start through finish. The Epicenter is named as a tribute to Louisville’s location at the epicenter of the distilling industry. Its operations will focus on education and training to enable startup productions to benefit from the area’s wealth of experience and knowledge and utilize the artisan distillery sized for training, pilot productions and small runs.

Grease Monkey Distillery, Moonshine University and Challenge Bottling will all operate under The Epicenter, offering state-of-the-art Vendome equipment, expert-led classes and onsite bottling services. The Epicenter will claim no trademark on its creations, making each product entirely the property of the client. The cost for developing a custom spirit will vary according to the complexity of the product and the level of service needed.

“For more than 20 years, Flavorman has been proud to be the beverage development partner for premier companies across the United States,” said Dafoe. “With our sister company, the Distilled Spirits Epicenter, we will continue to provide our expertise to clients with the added benefit of facilitating access to spirits experts and the latest distilling and bottling equipment. We are proud of Kentucky’s distilling legacy in all types of spirits and excited to offer this unique facility where people can gain hands-on experience and expert support throughout the process. Louisville is the perfect place to launch this distinctive project.”

The Epicenter is part of a growing national trend toward artisan distilleries. While there were 143 distilled spirits plant licensees in the United States in 2006, there are now over 700. In order to facilitate this market growth, The Epicenter features event space with wi-fi and full audiovisual capabilities for groups who wish to collaborate on technical details, business planning or other industry topics. The versatile facility is suitable for everything from small teambuilding activities to receptions for 200. For information on event rentals or custom distilling projects, contact Kevin Hall at [email protected] or (502)301-8130.

Opening in April 2012 at 801 S. 8th St., the Distilled Spirits Epicenter consists of Grease Monkey Distillery, Moonshine University and Challenge Bottling and offers educational and training resources focusing on artisan spirits. Through hands-on distilling instruction, classes and bottling services, the Epicenter brings Kentucky’s unique distilling legacy to life. The Distilled Spirits Epicenter is the sister company to Flavorman, an international custom beverage development and ingredient supply company. Flavorman’s Beverage Architects and the Epicenter’s Beverage Mechanics can take your idea through every phase of beverage development and production…from start through finish. For more information, visit www.flavorman.com.

More as we know more.