LEBANON, Ky., December 13, 2018 – Diageo today announced its intention to build a new distilled spirits manufacturing facility in Kentucky, to support its growth ambition in the bourbon and American whiskey categories. This project will represent a further investment in Kentucky’s spirits industry of $130 million over three years. The proposed facility will consist of a distillery, dry house, and warehousing in Marion County’s Lebanon, Kentucky, with the capability to distill a variety of Diageo bourbon and American whiskey brands. This facility will supplement the company’s other Kentucky operations: Stitzel-Weller in Louisville, and The Bulleit Distilling Co. in Shelbyville.
Diageo has also received approval of an incentive package from the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority that will allow the company to take the next step toward building this new manufacturing facility. The company anticipates the creation of 30 new full-time jobs at the site.
“We thank the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority, Governor Matt Bevin, the Marion County Industrial Foundation, and the City of Lebanon for their continued support of Diageo as we look to further invest in Kentucky’s spirits industry,” said Barry Becton, Senior Director Federal Affairs and Whiskey at Diageo North America. “Bourbon and American whiskey are vibrant and growing categories and we are excited to expand Diageo’s footprint in Kentucky to support our ambitions in this space.”
The U.S. bourbon category has experienced a resurgence in recent years and, over the next 10 years, the bourbon category is expected to continue growing, both within the U.S. and globally.1 In fiscal 2018, Diageo’s Bulleit bourbon continued its double-digit growth in the U.S., with organic net sales up 10 percent.
“This latest investment by Diageo is indicative of continued growth for the company and within our bourbon and spirits industry,” said Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin. “We are proud to further our relationship with Diageo, and of the job growth associated with these announcements. On behalf of the state, our thanks go out to Diageo for its commitment to the commonwealth.”
“With Marion County’s rich history in the bourbon industry we are proud and humbled to add Diageo’s name to this evolving legacy,” commented Gary Crenshaw, Mayor of Lebanon, Kentucky.
Marion County Judge Executive, David Daugherty added, “Marion County has worked hard to create good jobs for the skilled workforce in Central Kentucky and we welcome Diageo’s commitment to help us continue our efforts.”
Diageo’s Bulleit Distilling Co. in Shelbyville began operations in 2017, and a new Visitor Experience at that site is scheduled to open its doors to the public in the summer of 2019. Diageo’s Stitzel-Weller distillery in Louisville is home to the Bulleit Frontier Whiskey Experience.
Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands including Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, Bulleit and Buchanan’s whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness.
Diageo is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE) and our products are sold in more than 180 countries around the world. For more information about Diageo, our people, our brands, and performance, visit us at www.diageo.com. Visit Diageo’s global responsible drinking resource, www.DRINKiQ.com, for information, initiatives, and ways to share best practice.
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1 International Wine & Spirits Record (IWSR) anticipates estimated volume growth for bourbon category to be 5.3% annually through F21 and Premium + bourbon segment to be +11%.