Thursday, June 27, 2013
Woodford Reserve Announces $35 Million Distillery Expansion
Kentucky's taxpayers are kicking in $3 million of the announced $35 million expansion at the Woodford Reserve Distillery near Versailles. One great thing about these state-financed incentives is that they get the company on the public record about exactly what they plan to do, making it easier to report that information to the bourbonially-curious.
This expansion will increase distilling and warehouse capacity at the historic distillery, established in 1780. The plan was announced today by Governor Steve Beshear. Details remain to be confirmed but Woodford has in the past talked about adding a second set of three Forsyths stills and the necessary fermenters, cookers, and other ancillaries to support them, which would essentially double capacity. Today's announcement also mentioned a new barrel aging warehouse and bottling line expansion.
In the currency of state government, the 15 full-time jobs it will add is the key metric, bringing Woodford's staff count from 30 to 45.
As you might imagine, whiskey making is big business in Kentucky. The Kentucky Distillers' Association estimates that more than 8,600 jobs in Kentucky are connected to distillery-related enterprises, generating approximately $413 million in payroll.