Wednesday, 04 09, 2014
Joe Hall 502-564-4886
Features new tasting rooms, shops and other
VERSAILLES, Ky. (April 9, 2014) – Governor
Steve Beshear today joined company officials and local leaders to celebrate the
expansion and renovation of the Woodford Reserve Distillery visitor center in Versailles.
“I’m honored to celebrate this milestone at the Woodford Reserve
Distillery,” said Gov. Beshear. “Woodford Reserve is an integral part of
Kentucky’s world-famous bourbon industry, and this expansion will only increase
the popularity of one of Kentucky’s signature products. This is also a great
enhancement to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail experience.”
owner of Woodford Reserve, invested more than $1.9 million into the
7,500-square-foot visitor center. Enhancements include a dedicated tasting
room, updates to retail shops, new displays and other infrastructure
improvements. Last year approximately 130,000 people visited the distillery in
Reserve is one of the fastest-growing super premium bourbons in the world and
has received increasing numbers of visitors to its distillery since its
opening,” said Paul Varga, Brown-Forman’s CEO. “The world’s taste for premium
North American whiskey is driving record exports of U.S. spirits. The
opportunity is exciting, both within and outside of the United States.”
Brown-Forman also invested $35 million to include new bourbon
maturation warehouses and stills, improvements to the bottling line and other
upgrades designed to increase capacity, efficiency and productivity at the
facility. The company plans to add 15 new jobs as a result of the investment.
In addition to Woodford Reserve, Brown-Forman
produces numerous other brands,
including Jack Daniel’s, Southern Comfort,
Finlandia, Herradura, Early Times and Old Forester. The company was founded in
1870 by George Garvin Brown. Today, the company is headquartered in Louisville
and employs nearly 4,000 people worldwide.
Kentucky produces 95 percent of the world’s bourbon, and the 4.9 million
barrels of aging bourbon here outnumber the state’s population of 4.3 million.
More than 8,600 jobs in Kentucky are connected to distillery-related
enterprise, generating approximately $413 million in payroll.
encourage the investment and job growth in Woodford County, the Kentucky
Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved the
company for tax incentives up to $2.5 million through the Kentucky Business
Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a
portion of its investment over the term of the agreement through corporate
income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment
also approved Brown-Forman for tax benefits up to $500,000 through the Kentucky
Enterprise Initiative Act, which allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky
sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in
research and development and electronic processing equipment.
Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority approved incentives for a $1.63
million renovation and expansion of the visitor center. The company is
eligible for up to $407,000 in incentives over a 10-year period. The incentives
are in the form of a rebate based on sales tax generated by the tourism
authority considers applications under the Kentucky Tourism Development Act,
which allows eligible tourism attractions a rebate of sales tax up to 25
percent of project capital costs over a 10-year period. Projects must meet
certain criteria to be eligible, such as having a positive economic impact for
the Commonwealth and attracting at least 25 percent of guests from out of
state. The rebate is based on sales tax generated by the tourism attraction.
“I am excited that the Brown-Forman
Corporation is expanding its Woodford Reserve Distillery in Versailles,” said
Sen. Julian Carroll, of Frankfort. “This investment means additional job
opportunities and a boost to the economy in Woodford County and the
Commonwealth of Kentucky. It is also a tribute to our dedicated and skilled
workforce. Woodford Reserve has been a good corporate partner, and I look
forward to this partnership continuing for many more years.”
“I am proud to see this kind of reinvestment from the primary
tourism driver in our community,” said Versailles Mayor Brian Traugott. “We all benefit from the success of this iconic brand and
look forward to seeing them continue to prosper and grow.”
are thankful to have Brown-Forman/Woodford Reserve as a corporate citizen of
Woodford County,” said Woodford County Judge-Executive John Coyle. “The
Woodford Reserve Distillery brings tens of thousands of visitors to our
community, and we wish them much success with this expansion.”
information on Brown-Forman, visit www.brown-forman.com.
County has also been certified by the Kentucky
Workforce Investment Board as a Work Ready Certified Community. The certification is an assurance to business and
industry that the community is committed to providing the highly skilled
workforce required in today’s competitive global economy.
on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com. Fans
of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion on Facebook or follow on Twitter. Watch the Cabinet’s
“This is My Kentucky” video on YouTube.
community profile for Versailles (Woodford County) can be viewed here.