US whiskey maker Willett Distillery is to invest roughly US$93m towards the creation of production and storage capacity in Washington County, Kentucky.

The $92.8m investment project will be used to build a 70,000-square-foot facility that includes a distillery operation and barrel storage. The site will be located in Springfield and will also feature a water storage station for mitigating fires.

Construction on the distillery and associated facilities is due to start next month. The building work and distillery operations are expected to create at least 35 full-time jobs. Currently, Willett Distillery has a workforce of 67 people.

Willett Distillery, also known as Kentucky Bourbon Distillers, was founded in 1936 and has a family-operated distillery located in nearby Nelson County. The group has 11 brands that are distributed in 40 states, such as Willett Pot Still, Old Bardstown and Pure Kentucky.

“Kentucky’s Bourbon industry is experiencing incredible momentum throughout the entire state,” said Kentucky State Governor Andy Beshear. “The demand for our Bourbon is stronger than ever, and that’s a testament to the companies and distillers we have in the commonwealth who produce high-quality, world-class Bourbon. Willett Distillery, which has been a staple of Kentucky Bourbon for over eight decades, is bringing quality jobs to Washington County.”

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority approved a ten-year incentives program with Willett Distillery that makes the group eligible for up to US$800,000 in tax incentives if it can hit a set number of targets.

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Last week, spirits major Pernod Ricard announced plans for a new distillery in Kentucky. The French group is to build a facility for US whiskey brand Jefferson’s Bourbon in Marion County.

Beverage M&A round-up, November 2022 – What Just Drinks thinks