Black Kentucky Dads Aim To Build Distillery On Land Previously Owned By KKK Leader

In April 2023, Aaron Floyd and Antonio Santago founded D.A.A.D Distilling to foster community for single fathers and boost Kentucky’s economy through their shared love for bourbon. Now their dream includes opening a family-friendly distillery on land they say was once owned by a Kentucky KKK leader.

The men, along with two other partners, plan to bring their vision to life in the Lancaster area of Garrard County, a place they frequent despite its history.

“Garrard County is a place where we come to free our minds. We came to the nature preserves here. It’s very peaceful and relaxing,” Floyd said. “We really had a strong gravitational pull to that area, and we wanted to really just reshape the area and change the ties to that particular area.”

The men of D.A.A.D also intend to debunk the myth of the absent Black father through their commitment to their own families and support of fathers in the area.

“Growing up without a father, I had a stepfather, and I actually just met my biological father three years ago,” Santago said. “After having a long conversation with him, he pretty much explained to me my main purpose of being a father and what I needed to do.”

The family-friendly nature of their planned location will provide an alternative solution for places to spend quality “daddy and me” time. “We want to be able to do more for the children as well as for the families and the communities, give back to city services as well as just be a pillar within the community and show what dads are capable of doing,” said Floyd.

D.A.A.D Distilling estimates its vision for the 100 acres of land will cost over $1 million to bring to life. It is currently raising $100,000 via its GoFundMe.

The history of racial tensions in Kentucky has continued in recent years, with KKK propaganda being posted throughout several cities in June 2023. In 2017, the state reportedly had four active Klan chapters.