Bluegrass Bottling a Kentucky-based, woman-owned business, will construct a new 50,000 square foot bottling facility on 98 acres in Lancaster, Garrard County, with a $6.25 million investment.
The new Bluegrass Bottling facility will operate under the name Poor Ridge Distillery. The project will more than double the company’s storage space to a total of 49,000 square feet. Bluegrass Bottling will retain its current staff of 14 in its current bottling facility in neighboring Lincoln County, where the company will maintain a distribution presence. The new bottling facility is expected to add an additional 27 full-time jobs.
Construction is expected to begin in September 2022 with completion slated for March 2023.
“We could not be more excited and proud to be a part of Kentucky’s bourbon industry,” said Lisa Strevels, owner of Bluegrass Bottling. “This investment will be vital to our company’s continued growth in the commonwealth, and we look forward to expanding our presence in Lancaster.”
“I could not be happier to see so many existing bourbon-related businesses growing in the commonwealth,” said Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear. “This is truly a great project for Garrard County and the surrounding region. I look forward to this new bottling plant opening next spring and hope to see Bluegrass Bottling continue to grow into new markets in the years ahead.”
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Established in 2020, Bluegrass Bottling’s services include blending, proofing, brand development, labeling, private labeling, specialized packaging and designing of spirits brands. The company provides resources that allow distilleries, small-craft distillers, and bourbon enthusiasts to market their products and reach their full potential.
Bluegrass Bottling’s investment builds on recent bourbon and spirits growth across Kentucky. The state’s bourbon sector is a nearly $9 billion signature industry, generating more than 22,500 jobs with an annual payroll exceeding $1.23 billion. Since 2019 the spirits industry has announced more than 50 new-location or expansion projects totaling over $1.1 billion in planned investments and creating more than 900 announced full-time jobs. Currently, approximately 60 spirits facilities directly employ more than 5,300 people.
Garrard County Judge/Executive John Wilson is eager to see the company’s growth in the community.
“On behalf of Garrard County, we are proud to welcome Bluegrass Bottling to our community and are excited to be a part of their growth in this region,” Judge Wilson said.
Lancaster Mayor Marshall Norton said the community welcomes the investment and job creation.
“We’re glad as a city and county to have Bluegrass Bottling locate this new facility here,” Mayor Norton said. “We need the industry, and we look forward to working with them and assisting them however we can.”
David Land, chair of the Lancaster/Garrard County Industrial Development Authority, looks forward to the company’s continued growth.
“On behalf of the Lancaster/Garrard County Industrial Development Authority, we welcome Bluegrass Bottling to our community,” Land said. “We know that Bluegrass Bottling will be a great development for our community, and we look forward to them growing and prospering here in our county.”
To encourage investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in July preliminarily approved a 15-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $405,000 in tax incentives based on the company’s investment of $6.25 million and annual targets of:
- Creation and maintenance of 27 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 15 years; and
- Paying an average hourly wage of $23 including benefits across those jobs.
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, the company 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.