Bourbon producer to invest more than $35 million
FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 27, 2013) – Brown-Forman Corp. plans to add 15 jobs and invest more than $35 million to expand operations at its Woodford Reserve Distillery in Versailles, Gov. Steve Beshear announced today.
The distillery, located off McCracken Pike in Versailles, has 30 full-time employees. The expansion will include the addition of new bourbon maturation warehouses, new stills, improvements to the bottling line, and other upgrades designed to increase capacity, efficiency and productivity at the facility.
“We’re proud of Brown-Forman’s rich heritage at the Woodford Reserve Distillery, which is an integral part of Kentucky’s world famous bourbon industry,” Beshear said. “This expansion, including 15 new jobs and more than $35 million in investment, will help grow sales and exports for a Kentucky product that is increasingly in demand across the globe.”
Kentucky produces 95 percent of the world’s bourbon, and the 4.9 million barrels of aging bourbon here outnumber the state’s population of 4.3 million. More than 8,600 jobs in Kentucky are connected to distillery-related enterprise, generating approximately $413 million in payroll.
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“As a 142-year-old Kentucky company, Brown-Forman is proud to expand the Woodford Reserve Distillery, allowing us to meet the growing global demand for Woodford Reserve and continue to invest in our community,” said Chris Morris, master distiller at Woodford Reserve.
In addition to Woodford Reserve, Brown-Forman Corporation produces numerous brands, including Jack Daniel’s, Southern Comfort, Finlandia, Herradura, Early Times and Old Forester. The company was founded in 1870 by George Garvin Brown in Louisville, Ky. Today, the company is headquartered in Louisville and employs nearly 4,000 people worldwide.
The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $2.5 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the term of the agreement through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.
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KEDFA also approved Brown-Forman for tax benefits up to $500,000 through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act, which allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing equipment.
“We are very excited Brown-Forman decided to expand its Woodford Reserve operations in our community,” said Versailles Mayor Fred Siegelman. “The beauty of this distillery, along with its rich history, continues to attract many tourists to Kentucky and Versailles.”