Diageo plans to build a $130 million distilled spirits manufacturing facility in Kentucky, to support its growth ambition in the bourbon and American whiskey categories.
The proposed facility will consist of a distillery, dry house, and warehousing in Lebanon, Marion County, with the capability to distil a variety of American whiskey brands.
London-headquartered Diageo said the facility will supplement its other Kentucky operations in Stitzel-Weller, Louisville, and The Bulleit Distilling Company in Shelbyville.
Diageo has also received approval of an incentive package from the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority that will allow it to take the next step toward building the new site. The company anticipates the creation of 30 new full-time jobs at the site.
Barry Becton, senior director of federal affairs and whiskey at Diageo North America, said: “We thank the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority, governor Matt Bevin, the Marion County Industrial Foundation, and the city of Lebanon for their continued support of Diageo as we look to further invest in Kentucky’s spirits industry.
“Bourbon and American whiskey are vibrant and growing categories and we are excited to expand Diageo’s footprint in Kentucky to support our ambitions in this space.”
Diageo said the US bourbon category has experienced a “resurgence” in recent years and its Bulleit bourbon brand continued its double-digit growth in the country with organic net sales up 10% in the last year.
Kentucky governor Matt Bevin said: “This latest investment by Diageo is indicative of continued growth for the company and within our bourbon and spirits industry.
“We are proud to further our relationship with Diageo, and of the job growth associated with these announcements. On behalf of the state, our thanks go out to Diageo for its commitment to the commonwealth.”
Last month, Diageo sold 19 brands to US firm Sazerac for $550 million, in a move to focus on growing its premium spirits portfolio.
Brands included in the transaction were: Seagram’s VO, Seagram’s 83, Seagram’s Five Star, Myers’s, Parrot Bay, Romana Sambuca, Popov, Yukon Jack, Goldschlager, Stirrings, The Club, Scoresby, Black Haus, Peligroso, Relska, Grind, Piehole, Booth’s and John Begg.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019
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