Log Still Distillery in Gethsemane, Nelson County, Kentucky continues its path toward its next grand opening with the announcement of a $24 million investment for phase II of its distillery and tourist destination.
Founder J.W. ‘Wally’ Dant announced the project on National Bourbon Day in 2019. Phase I included a $12 million investment that would create 20 full-time jobs. Since then the sound of earth moving equipment, saws, hammers and contractors has been busy bringing this one time bustling distillery back to life. Phase II is expected to create 126 full-time jobs with a $24 million investment.
Log Still Distillery and Dant Crossing, a 300-acre campus, will be home to the distillery and other amenities. New jobs created with the second phase of the project will include hospitality, event operations, restaurant and distillery operations positions.
“We continue to position Kentucky for a better future while overcoming the challenges we all faced over the past year. The growth, success and support of the distilling industry played an important role last year and will continue to move our state forward,” said Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear. “Log Still Distillery not only continued with its plans for growth, but expanded those plans in an impressive way. This company’s vision for the future makes it a great fit for Nelson County and for Kentucky.”
The first lodging amenity to open at Dant Crossing, the Homestead Bed & Breakfast, welcomed its first guests earlier this year, and spirits from Log Still will be available in the coming weeks. The company expects to open additional amenities this year, including a tasting room, amphitheater, restaurant, train depot and event/conference center, with plans to add a visitor’s center, museum and gift shop in 2022. Log Still’s products will include bourbon, rye whiskey and gin under the Monk’s Road brand and a line of Tennessee whiskeys under the Rattle and Snap label.
“We are grateful to Gov. Beshear, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority and the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet for believing in our vision for Log Still Distillery,” said Wally Dant, Log Still Distillery president/distiller. “We are thrilled to move forward in creating destinations that will bring vibrancy, jobs and economic growth to southern Nelson County and the state of Kentucky as a whole. Southern Nelson County has been home to generations of Dants, and we are honored to help put it back on the tourism attraction map. We look forward to welcoming guests in the weeks, months and years to come.”
“Investing in tourism and economic development is how we ensure Kentucky will continue to be known internationally as a premier travel destination and the ideal place for companies to do business,” said Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Mike Berry. “Our advanced distribution network combined with a highly recognized bourbon industry will position the Log Still project for long-term success and continue to bring visitors and jobs to Nelson County.”
Kentucky tourism is an $11.8 billion industry in the commonwealth. Known as the Bourbon Capital of the World®, Nelson County generated over $42 million in economic impact from visitor and travel spending in 2019. The commonwealth is home to 66 spirits operations employing more than 5,100 people full-time statewide. In 2020, the industry announced 20 projects in Kentucky, totaling more than $300 million in new investment and nearly 230 projected jobs.
Donald Blincoe – President of Buzick Construction, Dick Heaton – Mayor of Bardstown, Thomas Blincoe – Board Chairman of Buzick Construction, Tessie Cecil – Mayor of New Haven, John Dant Architect – Dean and Dean Associates/ Architects, Charles Dant – Vice President of Operations/Distiller, J.W. “Wally” Dant – President/Distiller, Lynne Dant – Chief Operating Officer/Distiller, Kim Huston – President of Nelson County Economic Development, Keith Metcalfe – District 1 Magistrate(L to R).
Nelson County Judge/Executive Dean Watts said the company provides a unique twist on Kentucky’s thriving bourbon industry.
“We are very excited to see the continued investments being made by the Dant family. This project will be one of the most unique and inviting experiences that any community could have,” Judge/Executive Watts said. “What a great vision and economic opportunity this is for Nelson County.”
Kim Huston, president of the Nelson County Economic Development Agency, welcomed the company’s continued growth.
“Log Still Distillery will be a true destination experience, unlike anything seen in bourbon country,” Huston said. “We are thrilled about all the Dant family is creating here in Nelson County.”
Upon the recommendation of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, Log Still Distillery received approval from the Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority for incentives through the Tourism Development Act. Eligible businesses receive an annual reimbursement for taxes paid on qualifying tourism development projects admission tickets, food and gift sales and lodging costs. Log Still Distillery will receive a tax incentive totaling $6 million for its Phase 2 tourism expansion.
To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in March approved Log Still for up to $500,000 in tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA) based on the company’s total investment of $24 million. 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.
Log Still also can receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies can receive no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives.