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Kentucky Bourbon Distillers Expands Washington County, Kentucky, Operations

Kentucky Bourbon Distillers, doing business as Willett Distillery, will establish warehouses and additional production facilities in Washington County, Kentucky. The $93 million project is expected to create 35 jobs.

To meet the growing demand of the Willett collection of brands, the investment will support a distillery operation, barrel storage warehouses and a water storage area for fire prevention. Construction on the new 70,000-square-foot facility, located on 150 acres in Springfield, is scheduled to begin in January 2023.

“We are grateful for each person that picks up a bottle of our family’s whiskey,” said Britt Kulsveen, president and chief whiskey officer at Willett Distillery. “It is both humbling and the greatest honor to be included in any celebration. Our intention is always to make a personal connection with our customers and fill their glass with cheer.”

To encourage investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) 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 $92.8 million and annual targets of creation and maintenance of 35 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 10 years; and paying an average hourly wage of $34.96 including benefits across those jobs, and an average base pay of $24 not including benefits.

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.

“Kentucky’s bourbon industry is experiencing incredible momentum throughout the entire state,” noted Governor Andy Beshear. “The demand for our bourbon is stronger than ever, and that’s a testament to the companies and distillers we have in the commonwealth who produce high-quality, world-class bourbon. Willett Distillery, which has been a staple of Kentucky bourbon for over eight decades, is bringing quality jobs to Washington County. I want to thank their leadership for continuing to support the commonwealth and look forward to many more years of their success.”

In addition, Willett Distillery can receive resources from Kentucky’s workforce service providers. Those include no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job-training incentives.

“The world’s finest spirits are made and aged right here in Central Kentucky, and Willett has established themselves as an iconic brand, known for their commitment to quality,” added Daniel Carney, executive director of the Springfield-Washington County Economic Development Authority. “This is a perfect fit, as they continue the growth of their family owned distillery in Springfield and Washington County.”

Founded in 1936, Willett Distillery is a family owned and operated distillery located in Nelson County, Kentucky.

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