Kentucky – Bluegrass Bottling Facility in Lancaster

Bluegrass Bottling to Create 27 Full-Time Jobs with New $6.25 Million Bottling Facility in Lancaster

FRANKFORT, Ky. (STL.News) Gov. Andy Beshear announced Bluegrass Bottling LLC, a Kentucky-based, woman-owned business, will construct a new bottling facility in Lancaster with a $6.25 million investment that will create 27 full-time jobs for Kentucky residents.

“I could not be happier to see so many existing bourbon-related businesses growing in the commonwealth,” Gov. Beshear said.  “This is truly a great project for Garrard County and the surrounding region.  I look forward to this new bottling plant opening next spring and hope to see Bluegrass Bottling continue to grow into new markets in the years ahead.”

Bluegrass Bottling operates in Garrard and Lincoln counties, currently employing 14 people in the commonwealth. Company leaders will construct a new 50,000-square-foot bottling facility on a 98-acre site at 51 Poor Ridge Pike in Lancaster, where the company will operate under the name Poor Ridge Distillery.  The project also will more than double the company’s storage space to a total of 49,000 square feet.  Bluegrass Bottling will retain its employment base from its current bottling facility in neighboring Lincoln County, where the company will maintain a distribution presence. Construction is expected to begin next month with completion slated for March 2023.

“We could not be more excited and proud to be a part of Kentucky’s bourbon industry,” said Lisa Strevels, owner of Bluegrass Bottling.  “This investment will be vital to our company’s continued growth in the commonwealth, and we look forward to expanding our presence in Lancaster.”

Established in 2020, Bluegrass Bottling’s services include blending, proofing, brand development, labeling, private labeling, specialized packaging and designing of spirits brands.  The company provides resources that allow distilleries, small-craft distillers and bourbon enthusiasts to market their products and reach their full potential.

Bluegrass Bottling’s investment builds on recent bourbon and spirits growth across Kentucky.  Since the start of the Beshear administration, the commonwealth’s spirits industry has announced more than 50 new-location or expansion projects totaling over $1.1 billion in planned investments and creating more than 900 announced full-time jobs. Currently, approximately 60 spirits facilities directly employ more than 5,300 people.

Kentucky’s bourbon sector is a nearly $9 billion signature industry, generating more than 22,500 jobs with an annual payroll exceeding $1.23 billion.  Gov. Beshear also worked with U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo to remove harmful bourbon tariffs on trade with the United Kingdom and European Union, ensuring continuing strength in the export market.

Garrard County Judge/Executive John Wilson is eager to see the company’s growth in the community.

“On behalf of Garrard County, we are proud to welcome Bluegrass Bottling to our community and are excited to be a part of their growth in this region,” Judge Wilson said.

Lancaster Mayor Marshall Norton said the community welcomes the investment and job creation.

“We’re glad as a city and county to have Bluegrass Bottling locate this new facility here,” Mayor Norton said.  “We need the industry, and we look forward to working with them and assisting them however we can.”

David Land, chair of the Lancaster/Garrard County Industrial Development Authority, looks forward to the company’s continued growth.

“On behalf of the Lancaster/Garrard County Industrial Development Authority, we welcome Bluegrass Bottling to our community,” Land said.  “We know that Bluegrass Bottling will be a great development for our community, and we look forward to them growing and prospering here in our county.”

Bluegrass Bottling’s investment and planned job creation furthers recent economic momentum in the commonwealth, as the state builds back stronger from the effects of the pandemic.

In 2021, the commonwealth shattered every economic development record in the books.  Private-sector new-location and expansion announcements included a record $11.2 billion in total planned investment and commitments to create a record 18,000-plus full-time jobs across the coming years.  Kentucky’s average incentivized hourly wage for projects statewide in 2021 was $24 before benefits, a 9.4% increase over the previous year.

In the past year, the Beshear administration announced the two largest economic development projects in state history. In September 2021, Gov. Beshear and leaders from Ford Motor Co. and SK Innovation celebrated a transformative $5.8 billion investment that will create 5,000 jobs in Hardin County.  And in April of this year, the Governor was joined by leadership at Envision AESC to announce a $2 billion investment that will create 2,000 jobs in Warren County.  These announcements solidify Kentucky as the EV battery production capital of the United States.

The economic momentum has carried strongly into 2022, with both S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings upgrading Kentucky’s financial outlook to positive in recognition of the commonwealth’s surging economy.

And Site Selection magazine placed Kentucky at 6th in its annual Prosperity Cup rankings for 2022, which recognizes state-level economic success based on capital investments.

Kentucky has posted record low unemployment rates for four consecutive months, falling from 3.9% in April to 3.8% in May and 3.7% for June and July.

In July, the Governor reported the highest annual growth rate in 31 years.  And for the second year in a row, Kentucky’s General Fund budget surplus has exceeded $1 billion.  Also in July, Gov. Beshear reported that the state’s Rainy Day fund is up to a record balance of $2.7 billion, significantly higher than the $129 million balance the fund had when the Governor took office.

To encourage investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in July preliminarily approved a 15-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program.  The performance-based agreement can provide up to $405,000 in tax incentives based on the company’s investment of $6.25 million and annual targets of:

  • Creation and maintenance of 27 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 15 years; and
  • Paying an average hourly wage of $23 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.

In addition, the company 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.

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