The West Virginia Great Barrel Company is starting a brand new barrel cooperage operation located in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. The company says the brand new state-of-the-art stave and cooperage operation includes a 90,000-square-foot plant that will be situated on 23-acres to build barrels for the bourbon, whiskey and rye distilling spirits.
The project was first announced in 2017. At the time West Virginia Secretary of Commerce H. Wood Thrasher (as in H.ard Wood) said, “This project brings good value-added jobs to the state. West Virginia Great Barrel Company will create 113 new high quality jobs in their manufacturing plant and another 25 new jobs in a stave mill and log yard. And using West Virginia’s own white oak will support jobs in our state’s timber industry, on which many families and communities rely.”
After a few delays in getting started the construction project is going full steam ahead and is now taking Fall 2019 reservations in anticipation of the cooperage’s first production of 53-gallon Appalachian White Oak barrels. The Audrina Mill has been inventorying logs and cutting staves since February and will have six-month seasoned staves in September. Production will begin at a pace of 100 barrels per day and grow to 500 per day during the first half of 2020. Their goal is to produce 125,000 barrels a year.
“Our state-of-the-art mill is cutting and seasoning Appalachian White Oak staves while West Virginia Great Barrel Company is completing the most advanced Cooperage on the planet.”
~ Co-Founder of West Virginia Great Barrel Company and Smooth Ambler Spirits TAG Galyean
Not surprisingly, the company said the first full truck delivery is promised to Smooth Ambler Spirits with additional shipment expected for Grain & Barrel Spirits and a major Scotch company to follow. It’s now taking orders for additional new customers.
West Virginia Great Barrel Company was approved for a $6 million loan in 2017 from the West Virginia Economic Development Authority to finance the purchase of equipment and the land. David Warner, WVEDA executive director said the project also has attracted another $6 million from banks. Combined with funds from private investment sources, the total project funding amounts will be more than $30 million.
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The Marshall University Center for Business and Economic Research completed an economic impact analysis that puts the total annual economic impact of the manufacturing facility at over $50 million dollars.
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