Brown-Forman - Gets Approval for $96 Million Distillery Expansion, Cover 1

Brown-Forman Distillery, makers of Old Forester, Woodford Reserve and Cooper’s Craft bourbons, in LouisvilleKentucky has been making, bottling and selling bourbon since its founding 150 years ago in 1870.

The company has received preliminary approval on a $96 million distillery expansion from The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA). In December of last year Brown-Forman applied for permits as a preliminary step in a production expansion review.

Old Forester Distillery - Whiskey Row, Louisville, Kentucky
Old Forester Distillery.

The company is not ready to release any details of its expansion plans but did release this statement.

“The preliminary approval for tax incentives is another step in our process as we evaluate options related to growing and modernizing our Louisville-based distillery. We have no announced project at this time.”

Here’s a summary of the plans submitted to the state that were approved along with a negotiated tax incentive totaling $5,000,000.

“Project Description: The distillery equipment utilized today by Brown-Forman Distillery, Inc. is from an expansion that took place over 50 years ago. The facility and equipment, while operational, are being operated long past their useful lives and a reinvestment is necessary to sustain long-term operations. Brown-Forman is operating at maximum capacity and will require an expansion in order to meet forecasted demand of Kentucky bourbon.”

The company says the project would not be economically feasible without the incentives. If approved, the company anticipates the project being completed by the end of 2023.

The plans include the following.

Anticipated Equipment and Related Costs Total Investment
Building (new construction/additions) $40,000,000
Improvements $16,000,000
Equipment $40,000,000
Total $96,000,000

The proposal includes up to 35 new full-time jobs with an average hourly wage excluding benefits of $35.83. There is no mention of a start date but as stated above the project would be completed by the end of 2023.

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Luckett & Farley - Woodford Reserve Distillery Pot Stills

Brown-Forman Corporation brands include Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, Finlandia, Korbel, el Jimador, Woodford Reserve, Old Forester, Coopers’ Craft, Herradura, New Mix, Sonoma-Cutrer, Chambord, BenRiach, GlenDronach, Slane, and Fords Gin. Brown-Forman’s brands are supported by approximately 4,800 employees and sold in more than 170 countries worldwide.

Learn more about Old Forester Distillery.
Learn more about Woodford Reserve Distillery.
View all Louisville Distilleries.
View all Kentucky Distilleries.

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