Sazerac to invest $600m in barrel expansion

Buffalo Trace owner Sazerac will invest US$600 million to build up to 10 new barrel warehouses in Kentucky’s Laurel County.

London-Laurel County Economic Development Authority (LLCEDA) has sold its 80-hectare Rowland Acres Industrial Park to Sazerac to enable it to use the land for its new warehouses. The new project will create up to 50 new jobs.

The US$600m project, based in London, Laurel County, will be one of the largest single investments made in the state of Kentucky for a new distilled spirits storage site.

“This is a significant investment in Kentucky by Sazerac as our signature Bourbon industry continues to grow at an incredible rate,” Kentucky governor Andy Beshear said.

“I am so glad to see this job creation in southeastern Kentucky, as well as the growth of a company that has invested so much in the commonwealth over the past 25 years.”

Work on the development is expected to start in the coming weeks, with the first seven barrel warehouses due to be completed in spring 2025.

The venture also includes a 72,000-square-foot expansion of Robinson Stave and Cumberland Cooperage in Laurel County, which Sazerac acquired in 2014, to increase production capacity for barrels used to store the company’s ageing whiskeys.

The cooperage, which currently has 320 Sazerac workers, produces white oak Bourbon barrels exclusively for the company.

“We’re delighted to bring new jobs to London-Laurel County and appreciate the warm welcome shown to us by the city leaders and Economic Development Authority,” said Mark Brown, Sazerac president and chief executive officer.

“We respect the hard-working residents in this area and look forward to using their talents to further help grow one of Kentucky’s signature industries – Bourbon.”

To date, Sazerac’s investment in the state has included approximately US$1.2 billion to double production at its Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort.

The company’s Kentucky operations also includes Barton 1792 Distillery in Bardstown, The Glenmore Distillery in Owensboro, and its headquarters in Jefferson County.

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Author: Nicola Carruthers