Bardstown Bourbon Co.’s distillery in Nelson County will make a $28.7 million investment creating 29 full-time jobs and increasing the operation’s annual capacity by approximately 55,000 barrels.
The project will include an expansion of over 15,000 s.f. to the existing distillery, bringing the total square-footage of the facility to over 390,000. The operation will add space to one of the fermenter buildings, 16 new fermenters, a new distillation column and necessary equipment to accompany it, a hot water processing tank, grain handling equipment, chemical treatments and glass towers to hold the still that will be seen from the parkway.
“The commonwealth’s investment in Bardstown Bourbon Co. will help us increase our distilling capacity by 50% by 2024, creating a number of new high-paying jobs and helping small Kentucky-based bourbon brands grow,” said Mark Erwin, the company’s president/CEO. “We are truly grateful for the support of these incentives in helping solidify Bardstown as the ‘Bourbon Capital of the World.’”
The Bardstown Bourbon Co., founded in 2014, is one of America’s largest new distilleries. The company started commercial production in September 2016 and produces whiskey, bourbon and rye for its own brands as well as for their Collaborative Distilling Program partners. Its campus is a first-of-its-kind Napa Valley-style building featuring a state-of-the-art whiskey distillery that has been expanded to quadruple production since its opening. The company has added a unique and transparent educational experience, integrated visitor center, event space, whiskey library, bar and restaurant. Currently, Bardstown Bourbon Co. employs over 150 Kentucky residents.
The bourbon and spirit industry remains one of Kentucky’s most prominent sectors. Today, roughly 60 spirits facilities employ more than 5,300 people. Since the start of 2020, Kentucky’s spirits industry has seen more than 40 new-location or expansion announcements with over $698 million in planned investments and approximately 600 announced full-time jobs.
Nelson County Judge/Executive Dean Watts is thrilled about the company’s continued expansion and growth in the region.
“Bardstown Bourbon Co. continues to make history here in Nelson County with aggressive expansions beyond our expectations,” Judge/Executive Watts said. “We thank the company for their tremendous investment and wish them much continued success.”
To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) on Thursday preliminarily approved a 10-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $750,000 in tax incentives based on the company’s investment of $28.7 million and annual targets of:
• Creation and maintenance of 29 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 10 years; and
• Paying an average hourly wage of $38.08 including benefits across those jobs.
Additionally, KEDFA approved Bardstown Bourbon Co. for up to $250,000 in tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA). KEIA allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing.
By meeting its annual targets over the agreement term, the company can be eligible to keep a portion of the new tax revenue it generates. The company may claim eligible incentives against its income tax liability and/or wage assessments.
In addition, Bardstown Bourbon Co. can receive resources from Kentucky’s workforce service providers. Those include no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job-training incentives.
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