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.


Lazer said...

Any plan to put more whiskey on the shelves is a good plan!

sam k said...

Considering they're only using one warehouse there now, with multiple others empty (or at least they claimed on my recent tour), why not use those existing instead of building more?

It was by far the most beautiful of the seven active distilleries we esorvisited, though.

Anonymous said...

$3 mills for 15 jobs? Horrible waste of public money. Better not raise the price of the booze as well.


Kyle Henderson said...

This has been a long time coming for Woodford!

Anonymous said...

Aging warehouse now in use has two foot thick limestone field stone walls and heat system.

Warehouses NOT in use are different design using tile exterior.

My belief Woodford Reserve intends to continue with their "Historic Look & Design" for new aging warehouses.

Anonymous said...

Gary said . . .

"Bourbonially-curious" . . . so that's what my problem has been all these years LOL

How much Woodford Reserve is distilled and aged at the "Historic Woodford Reserve" location? I thought I read somewhere that this was a portion of the production for that label, but that Brown Forman put juice in Woodford Reserve from some of their other distilleries (and aged some elsewhere).

Just curious if Chris has a particular ratio of copper-still juice to "other" that he's looking to maintain, or if all WR is made there on-site (and the increase is needed just to keep up with demand)?

Chuck Cowdery said...

Woodford Reserve bourbon is now, always has been, and always will be a mixture of whiskey distilled at the Woodford County distillery and whiskey distilled at the company's Jefferson County distillery. Typically, the Jefferson County juice is brought to Woodford in barrels to finish aging there. Each bottling batch contains some whiskey from each source but the percentages are never the same. Logic suggests that since Woodford is run to capacity and the brand keeps growing, the Jefferson percentage has gone up, hence the expansion at Woodford.

Anonymous said...

Funds from State of Kentucky are minimal in comparison to Brown-Forman's.

Think About This......

Many construction workers supporting families while building new facility.

Many local construction supply firms selling material and making money.

Truck drivers delivering raw materials including grain, barrels, bottles, etc.

Truck drivers supporting families.

Additional "Tourism" adding to State of Kentucky income.

State of Kentucky collecting MORE TAXES.

Low State of Kentucky investment with high long term return.