Independent Stave Company Ground Breaking with Governor Matt Bevin and Brad Boswell

Independent Stave Company President Brad Boswell, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin and several other dignitaries recently wrapped up Bourbon Heritage Month with a groundbreaking for the companies sixth stave mill. As the worldwide boom for bourbon and wine barrels grows, so does the need for new oak staves that make up the barrels.

Expanded Size and Capacity

The company originally announced the project back in April with a $12 million investment and 40 jobs. The latest release shows that investment has grown by $6 million to $18 million and the jobs have expanded to 47. The overall size of the mill also expanded from 40,000 to 50,000 square feet. The company says they expanded the size and capacity of the new mill to meet the latest demand.

“Our state always welcomes new additions to its flourishing bourbon industry, particularly when it’s by a group with Independent Stave Company’s track record,” said Gov. Matt Bevin. “Independent Stave Company’s growth over the past two years speaks volumes about its ability to thrive in a competitive market. We are grateful for their continued investment and look forward to watching their success in the months and years ahead.”

Independent Stave Mill Groundbreaking
Independent Stave Company Ground Breaking on Barrel Stave Mill

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Independent Stave Company will construct a 50,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art stave mill on a 48-acre property in Benton, Kentucky. Company executives expect to complete the project by July 2017. The company’s Morehead Wood Products mill in Rowan County opened in September 2015. Since then, it added second and third shifts, increasing employment to more than 100.

The Morehead mill supplies – as will the new Marshall County mill – the company’s cooperages in Lebanon, Ky. and Missouri. The new stave mill will increase the number of barrels the cooperages craft each year. The company’s previous sourcing of white oak logs from Marshall County factored into its decision to select the site.

“We are committed to pursuing any project or product that will support the continued growth, innovation and quality of Kentucky’s bourbon industry and the wine and spirits sectors as a whole,” confirmed Brad Boswell, Independent Stave Company president. “This mill is a strategic addition to our portfolio and representative of our long-term vision to serve our customers with a diverse range of high quality barrels and ever-increasing supply. This investment also mirrors current and future expansion to our cooperage operations, which will bring our production to record levels. It’s an exciting time for our family business as we support the growth our customers are also experiencing.”

Independent Stave Company is a family-owned cooperage company that serves distilleries, wineries and breweries in more than 40 countries. The Boswell family founded the company in 1912, first as a domestic supplier of staves (the wooden pieces that make up the barrel,) and today as a cooperage company crafting a wide range of barrels and oak products.

The company owns six stave mills in total – one in northeastern France – and five American oak mills. Those include the Morehead facility, two in Missouri, one in Indiana and one in Ohio. ISC also owns and operates six cooperages. In 1983 it purchased the Lebanon, Ky. cooperage, known as Kentucky Cooperage, where it currently employs 400 people.

“Today’s groundbreaking is important for four special reasons,” Representative Will Coursey, of Benton, Ky said. “First, it represents a major step forward for ISC and, second, it is the latest in a string of positive job announcements for Marshall County. This new site will add even more value to a hardwood industry that already leads the South, and it means we are about to play an even larger role in Kentucky’s booming bourbon business. I’m proud to see ISC take this step, and I want to thank its leaders for investing here and creating so many jobs.”

Tax Incentives and Training
Independent Stave Company - Kentucky Bourbon Festival

To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in March preliminarily approved American Stave Co., a subsidiary of ISC, for tax incentives up to $750,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the agreement term through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.

Additionally, KEDFA approved the company for up to $200,000 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.

The company can also receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies are eligible to receive no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives. Last year, the Kentucky Skills Network trained more than 84,000 employees from more than 5,600 Kentucky companies.

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Resources: Photos courtesy of Gov. Matt Bevin.

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