Maker’s Mark Distillery plans to expand operations at its National Historic Landmark distillery in Loretto, Kentucky. The addition will be identical to the two existing stills that currently produce Maker’s Mark and will increase production capacity for the handcrafted bourbon by 50 percent.
Maker’s Mark will also create a replica of its existing stills and add new barrel warehouses and other infrastructure improvements. The nearly $70 million project will result in the hiring of 30 additional workers.
“This expansion will ensure that every step in the meticulous, purposefully inefficient handcrafted bourbon making process remains exactly the same as it has for the past 60 years,” said Maker’s Mark Chief Operating Officer Rob Samuels. “Anyone can build a distillery, but we are choosing to replicate every aspect of the original to preserve the integrity of our handmade bourbon and the National Historic Landmark structure.”
“Maker’s Mark is known and enjoyed the world over,” said Governor Steve Beshear. “This expansion will allow the company to meet that growing global demand while still continuing to handcraft the product in the same manner that it has for six decades. We are very excited that this iconic Kentucky brand continues to grow in popularity.”
In 1980, the distillery was designated a National Historic Landmark, becoming the first distillery in America to be so recognized. It is also decreed as “the oldest operating bourbon distillery in the world” by the Guinness World Records Book.
To encourage the investment and job creation in Marion County, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $4.25 million 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 the company for tax benefits up to $750,000 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.