Clermont Distilling Co. plans to construct a new distillery and create 22 high-paying jobs in Bullitt County, Kentucky. The project is part of a $13.4 million, Phase I investment.
Company leaders expect to begin construction on the distillery in spring 2021. Phase I of the project comprises building a traditionally designed, energy-efficient distillery off Interstate Highway 65 at the Clermont/Bardstown exit. The distillery’s operations will span 15 acres alongside Kentucky Highway 245 leading to Bardstown.
“The venture – spearheaded by well-established regional developer Lee Wilburn, also holds the potential for significant future expansion and additional job creation,” Team Kentucky officials said.
“As a fifth-generation Kentuckian, our family has deep ties to the bourbon industry through various bloodlines. This project brings us great excitement to have our new distillery joining the iconic Kentucky bourbon industry,” said Wilburn, Clermont Distilling’s founder. “The land chosen for Clermont Distillery had been held by the same family for over 90 years and became available for purchase at the most perfect time.”
Larry Tucker, executive director of the Bullitt County Economic Development Authority, said the project demonstrates the business community’s continued confidence in his county.“Bullitt County is highly sought after by developers and provides desirable investment return for those who are investing in our community,” Tucker said. “Many of them, including Lee Wilburn, continue to express their confidence in Bullitt County with additional investments and expansions. We are pleased to have Mr. Wilburn and his developments in Bullitt County.”
To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) on Thursday preliminarily approved a 10-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $800,000 in tax incentives based on the company’s investment of $13.4 million and annual targets of creation and maintenance of 22 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 10 years, and paying an average hourly wage of $56 including benefits across those jobs.
By meeting its annual targets over the agreement term, the company can be eligible to keep a portion of the new tax revenue it generates. The company may claim eligible incentives against its income tax liability and/or wage assessments.
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. In addition, Clermont Distilling can receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network.
“This is great news for Kentucky’s signature bourbon industry,” Governor Andy Beshear said. “I want to thank Lee and his team for recognizing that paying good wages strengthens families and communities.”
Kentucky is home to 95% of the world’s bourbon supply, which plays an important role in the commonwealth’s rapidly growing food and beverage sector. Currently, more than 350 food and beverage facilities operate in Kentucky, employing over 52,000 people.
Plans for the distillery include a tasting room, a gift shop, a brick house to store 24,000 bourbon barrels and a grain house. The operations also are expected to include a 36-inch continuous still, which will provide flexibility to upscale production as high as 50,000 barrels per year.