Company plans to renovate historic facility; use innovative technology

FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 7, 2014) – Governor Steve Beshear today announced TerrePURE Kentucky Distillers Inc. plans to restore and reopen the historic Charles Medley Distillery in Daviess County.

The company will invest $23 million to purchase and refurbish the nearly 130-year-old facility and create 70 full-time jobs.

“This is another great day for Kentucky’s iconic bourbon industry,” said Gov. Beshear. “TerrePURE’s investment will not only restore one of the state’s most historic distilleries, but it will also put more Kentuckians back to work and create a real, positive impact for the local community.”


TerrePURE plans to renovate and repair buildings on the 28-acre site, as well as install new equipment. The goal is to have the distillery up and running in the next 18 months.


“From the first time we visited Owensboro this past December, we have been impressed with the hospitality, progressive thought and passion of the community,” said TerrePURE CEO Earl Hewlette. “We are now delighted to play a part, as a corporate citizen, in restoring an historic distillery and look forward to the production here of ultra-premium Kentucky bourbon.” 


TerrePURE is owned by South Carolina-based Terressentia Corp., which creates spirits for various retailers by expediting the purifying process. TerrePURE uses ultrasonic energy and oxygenation to enhance the quality of distilled spirits by reducing impurities, an important benefit for unaged spirits. The company plans to age some of its bourbon naturally and use its TerrePURE process on some of it.


Charles Medley is the site of one of the oldest distilleries in Owensboro, having started operations back in 1885. The facility, on Distillery Road, shut down stilling operations more than two decades ago.


“This announcement is exciting for our community for so many reasons,” said Sen. Joe Bowen, of Owensboro. “TerrePURE is restoring a piece of Daviess County history while, at the same time, creating jobs and economic development opportunities. I’m excited to welcome them to our community.”


“I applaud what is a significant announcement for our community and welcome the new investment in such a historic facility,” said Rep. Tommy Thompson, of Philpot. “This will build upon the legacy of a growing and lasting industry that means so much to our region and the Commonwealth. I’m pleased to see the number of new jobs this will provide.”


“I want to thank TerrePURE Kentucky Distillers for deciding to restore one of our community’s irreplaceable landmarks,” said state Rep. Jim Glenn, of Owensboro. “The bourbon industry is undergoing phenomenal growth, so this is the ideal time to invest in places like the Charles Medley Distillery. I also appreciate the work our local and state economic development officials have done to make this possible.”


“It is a pleasure to announce TerrePURE will be making a considerable investment into the Old Medley Distillery, allowing our community to enjoy several more years of its rich history,” said Daviess County Judge-Executive Al Mattingly. “The new jobs the company will bring to Owensboro will enable our families to spend their dollars in our restaurants and stores. We can't wait to see the new life brought into the facility as the renovations begin in the near future.” 


To encourage the investment and job creation in Daviess County, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $1.2 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 targets. 


KEDFA also approved TerrePURE for tax benefits up to $100,000 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.


For more information on TerrePURE, visit www.terressentia.com


Bourbon distilling contributes nearly $2 billion in gross state product each year and has more than doubled its importance to the state’s overall economic activity in the past 13 years. Kentucky exported $383 million of its distilled spirits in 2013, a full 21 percent of the U.S. total.


Information 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.


A detailed community profile for Owensboro (Daviess County) can be viewed here.



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