Company to expand existing cooperage, add barrel warehousing in London
From the Office of Ky Governor Andy Beshear -
Gov. Andy Beshear announced the largest distilled spirits-related investment on record in Kentucky, as Louisville-based Sazerac Co. will invest $600 million to construct nearly 20 barrel warehouses and expand Robinson Stave and Cumberland Cooperage in London, creating up to 50 full-time jobs and supporting the company’s continued growth.
“This is a significant investment in Kentucky by Sazerac as our signature bourbon industry continues to grow at an incredible rate,” Gov. 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. Thank you to the leaders at Sazerac for further deepening their roots in the Bluegrass State.”
The Sazerac Co. is acquiring the 198-acre Rowland Acres Industrial Park from the London-Laurel County Economic Development Authority to construct nearly 20 new barrel storage warehouses in Laurel County, which will create up to 50 full-time jobs for Kentucky residents. The project also includes a 72,000-square-foot expansion of Robinson Stave and Cumberland Cooperage, which Sazerac acquired in 2014, to increase production capacity for barrels used to store the company’s aging whiskies.
Work on the project is expected to begin in the coming weeks, with the first seven barrel warehouses expected to be completed in the spring of 2025.
To date, Sazerac’s investment in Kentucky has included approximately $1.2 billion invested at Buffalo Trace Distillery, the company’s primary distillery, located in Frankfort. The company’s Kentucky presence also includes Barton 1792 Distillery in Bardstown, The Glenmore Distillery in Owensboro and its headquarters in Jefferson County.
“We are delighted to expand further in Laurel County and appreciate the warm welcome given to us by the local government and the economic development authority,” Mark Brown, Sazerac president and CEO, said. “We’ve invested in London-Laurel County because we know the residents are hardworking Kentuckians who take pride in their craft. Our construction of new barrel storage warehouses and expansion of our barrel cooperage operations will allow for the continued growth of Kentucky’s signature bourbon industry.”
Sazerac is an American, family-owned, leading producer and marketer of distilled spirits headquartered in Louisville. Founded in 1850, Sazerac maintains eight major facilities in the United States and currently employs around 4,700 people across all U.S. operations.
The commonwealth’s bourbon sector is a nearly $9 billion signature industry in Kentucky, generating more than 22,500 jobs with an annual payroll exceeding $1.23 billion. Since the start of the Beshear administration, more than 60 spirits-related announcements have generated over $1.4 billion in new investment, creating more than 1,100 full-time jobs for Kentuckians.
Laurel County Judge/Executive David Westerfield noted the long-term impact the project will have in the region.
“This multimillion-dollar expansion is monumental for Laurel County,” Judge Westerfield said. “Sazerac’s Cumberland Cooperage in East Bernstadt offers some of the best jobs in our county and we are thrilled they are expanding their presence in our community.”
London Mayor Troy Rudder highlighted the importance of existing business growth.
“It’s always exciting when one of our existing businesses expands and invests further in our community,” Mayor Rudder said. “Sazerac’s Cumberland Cooperage offers some of the best paying jobs and benefits in the area and we are fortunate to have them continue to grow here.”
Paula Thompson, executive director of the London-Laurel County Economic Development Authority, welcomed the company’s significant commitment in the community.
“What an exciting time for London,” Thompson said. “Sazerac already provides quality jobs with great benefits, and we are happy they chose Laurel County for their operation expansion and this record-breaking investment in our community.”
Carol Wright, president and CEO of Jackson Energy Cooperative, is ready to work more closely with company leaders as Sazerac grows its presence in Laurel County.
“Jackson Energy looks forward to supporting and serving the needs of Sazerac-Buffalo Trace in Rowland Acres Industrial Park,” Wright said. “As a local business partner with the London-Laurel County Economic Development Authority, Jackson Energy recognizes the potential economic growth and job opportunities this industry will bring to our region.”
Sazerac’s investment and planned job creation furthers recent economic momentum in the commonwealth as the state builds back stronger from the effects of the pandemic.
In 2021, the commonwealth shattered every economic development record in the books. Private-sector new-location and expansion announcements included a record $11.2 billion in total planned investment and commitments to create a record 18,000-plus full-time jobs across the coming years. Kentucky’s average incentivized hourly wage for projects statewide in 2021 was $24 before benefits, a 9.4% increase over the previous year.
For more information on Sazerac Company, visit Sazerac.com.