Augusta Distillery, founded in 2018 in Augusta, Bracken County, Kentucky, celebrated the groundbreaking for its new $23 million distillery and destination. The distillery is located in the historic F.A. Neider building on Seminary Avenue, which provided metal stamping services dating back to 1883 until its closure in 2007. The 40,000-square-foot building located on 1.8 acres will house Augusta Distillery’s first full-scale operation.
“The Augusta Distillery team is proud of our plan to build a state-of-the-art facility in Augusta, Kentucky,” said Augusta Distillery Co-Founder and Board Vice Chairman Judd Weis. “We are creating an extraordinary distillery, guest experience and event center. Our hope is that, by delighting our consumers, this investment will create a spike in local tourism and additional economic opportunity for our neighbors in Augusta and Bracken County.
“One of the things that we are eager to create is what we call a “bourbon centric ecosystem“ in Augusta. While the distillery is going to be a magnet, we are really interested in people having lots to do while they’re here. In fact, Augusta Distillery cofounders Lalani and Lance Bates and Ryan and Jamie Edwards own a fantastic restaurant [Beehive Augusta Tavern] and bed-and-breakfast [Augusta Guest House], respectively. Because of that, there is now an opportunity for people to come into town, have a great meal, come see us at the distillery, and spend the night.“
Drag the arrows below left or right to compare today’s historic F.A. Neider Building to a rendering for the new Augusta Distillery in Augusta, Kentucky.
Augusta Distillery Now Offering a Popup Tours & Tastings
“We are open for tours right now and have been for about a month. We’ve created what we think is a surprising and unique experience. We do tastings that include our 13-year single barrel brand expression, a whiskey thieving experience where you get to dip into the barrels of our one year, 2.5 year, and four year expressions, and a “pardon our dust“ tour of our 40,000 square-foot facility.”
Augusta Distillery plans call for a 14” wide by 32.5-foot-tall Vendome Copper & Brass Works column still. Starting out the distillery will be producing 6,000 barrels of whiskey per year. They expect to begin production in Q1 2024.
Weis added, “We would like to thank the Commonwealth of Kentucky, City of Augusta and Bracken County for providing the support necessary to make this project a reality. This is a very exciting time for our team and our neighbors. Come visit us to have a taste and see our plans.”
Special guest at the groundbreaking was Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear.
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“I want to thank Augusta Distillery’s leadership for this commitment in Northeastern Kentucky,” said Beshear. “The commonwealth’s signature bourbon industry continues to grow, creating quality job opportunities for our residents and building toward the future. This project breathes new life into a historic building in Bracken County, and I look forward to seeing what this location will become in the years ahead.”
Today’s groundbreaking continues recent growth of the Kentucky’s bourbon and spirits sector. Since 2019, Kentucky’s spirits industry has seen more than 50 new-location or expansion announcements with over $1.1 billion in planned investments creating more than 900 announced full-time jobs. Currently, roughly 60 spirits facilities directly employ more than 5,300 people. Kentucky’s bourbon sector is a nearly $9 billion signature industry, generating more than 22,500 jobs with an annual payroll exceeding $1.23 billion. The Kentucky Governor has worked with U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo to remove harmful bourbon tariffs on trade with the United Kingdom and European Union, ensuring continuing strength in the export market.
Rep. William Lawrence spoke on the economic impact the project will contribute to the area.
“I’m thrilled by what Augusta Distillery has planned and will bring to the region. I know how much positive impact this distillery project will bring,” Rep. Lawrence said. “I will continue to support Augusta Distillery and the people of Bracken and Mason counties.”
Bracken County Judge/Executive Tina Teegarden said the project contributes to a larger effort to create a brighter future throughout the region.
“Economic development and building tourism within the communities of our county are vital. We are pleased that the partners of the Augusta Distillery chose our beautiful river town, Augusta, to build and develop,” Judge Teegarden said. “I believe their growth and success will be immediate and I look forward to watching their new endeavor thrive along with all of Bracken County.”
Augusta Mayor Michael Taylor said the community is growing fast thanks to businesses like Augusta Distillery.
“Augusta’s tourism continues to grow. The river, our history and quaint town-center are the perfect place to spend a day or night,” Mayor Taylor said. “The Beehive Augusta Tavern on the riverbank and the newly renovated, 10-room Augusta Guest House are proof that things are happening in Augusta. We congratulate Augusta Distillery and are thrilled to have them in town and open to receive guests!”
To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in March approved the company for 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.
Augusta Distillery leadership is focused on creating authentic, curated bourbon-centric experiences in Augusta and across the United States. Augusta’s initial brand expression, Buckner’s 13-year single barrel cask strength bourbon, is distributed nationally and is available now via retail in Kentucky and Ohio. The company was recently added as a Craft Member of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association. The distillery is expected to create at least 14 full-time jobs.