Construction on the new Old Forester Distillery on Louisville, Kentucky’s “Whiskey Row” was officially kicked off this week with a gathering that included Old Forester President Campbell Brown, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, Brown-Forman and Old Forester Master Distiller Chris Morris and three generations of Brown family descendants.
Old Forester Distillery Logo Reveal at Kick-Off
— Old Forester (@oldforester) July 22, 2015
Old Forester is investing $45 million in this project at an historic property at 117 and 119 Main Street. The combined buildings have approximately 55,000 square feet with 52 linear feet facing Main Street. The buildings were built around 1857 and used for warehousing barrels of whiskey produced at numerous distilleries in the areas. At least nineteen distillers, wholesalers, and other whiskey-related businesses called this block of West Main Street home. By the mid-1870s, this stretch of Main Street was known as “Whiskey Row.” Old Forester is the only surviving brand from the time.
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If you recall, there was a massive fire on Whiskey Row just a few short weeks ago right next to this location. Fortunately, the Old Forester properties were not harmed during the fire.
- Fire Crews Put Out Massive Fire on Louisville’s Historic Whiskey Row [Video]
- Louisville’s Whiskey Row Fire Determined to be Accidental
The Old Forester Distillery will include fermentation, distillation, barrel making, filling and dumping of barrels, and bottling. Each step of the way, visitors will experience the careful craft of making great bourbon. With hands-on displays and interactive capabilities, guests will be given an inside peek at the art involved in the final product.
“From barrel making to bottling, this facility will showcase the process and pride that goes into making every bottle of Old Forester bourbon” said Campbell Brown, fifth generation Brown descendant and president of Old Forester. “Bringing our founding brand back to the site where it first began, is cause for celebration at Brown-Forman for both our employees and my family but it’s also a dedicated investment into this region that we hope will drive great tourism interest to the community.”
The investment will include renovating the buildings and purchasing equipment. The new distillery will be able to distill 100,000 cases of bourbon annually with additional production capabilities at the Brown-Forman distillery located at 2921 Dixie Highway in Louisville. It’s expected to create up to 20 new jobs.
To encourage the investment and job growth in Louisville, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $900,000 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.
KEDFA also approved Brown-Forman for tax benefits up to $410,000 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.
In addition, Brown-Forman is eligible to 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.