The Barton distillery is getting a $22,000,000 investment that will create new jobs across the state and upgrade distilling and bottling operations in Frankfort and Owensboro.
Distiller Sazerac North America makes Buffalo Trace, Very Old Barton and Ridgemont Reserve.
Kentucky helped by kicking in tax incentives up to $3.25 million. Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort and Sazerac North America in Owensboro, a bottling facility, were approved for tax breaks.
Sazerac plans to add 300,000 square feet to the Owensboro plant at an estimated cost of $10.5 million. That expansion will require approximately $8.25 million in new equipment. As a result, Sazerac will add 50 jobs to the 188 workers already there.
Buffalo Trace would undergo a $9 million expansion, resulting in 39 jobs added to a 270-person work force.
Sazerac’s more affordable brands, including Charter and Ancient Age are enjoying sales growth as more people drink at home instead of restaurants amid the worst recession in decades, Pape said.
“We are looking to expand,” said CFO Paul Pape, who left Brown-Forman two years ago for Sazerac. “When people consume, they are looking for more standard brands.”
“The addition of Sazerac would help enrich Louisville’s position as the urban gateway to bourbon country,” said Joe Reagan, president of Greater Louisville Inc.
Even in a tough economy, Sazerac says the demand for bourbon is still strong and growing
“Everything we’re making, we’re selling,” said Angela Traver of Sazerac. “That’s the thing about bourbon, you just can’t make it quick enough when people are demanding it.”
This expansion is a welcome surprise after concerns of layoffs and downsizing at this plant.