A new long-term project is expected to boost the local Kentucky whiskey economy. Pernod Ricard plans to construct a new distillery for bourbon brand Jefferson’s in central Kentucky — just a 30-minute drive from nearby Bardstown, Ky., a popular site for whiskey distilling.

Spirits corporation Pernod Ricard holds brands such as Jameson Irish Whiskey, Absolut Vodka, and Glenlivet. It’s investing an initial $196 million (with a potential to grow to $250 million in the next decade) to construct a 75,000-square-foot facility to house Jefferson’s production, according to a Dec. 8 press release from the State of Kentucky.

“The commonwealth’s bourbon industry continues to gain momentum and grow to new heights,” Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear states in the press release. “This investment by Pernod Ricard is a welcome addition to the Lebanon and Marion County community and will reinforce our bourbon industry and set us apart in our continued sustainability efforts. I want to thank the leaders of Pernod Ricard for their vision to grow in Kentucky, and I look forward to seeing their success in the coming years.”

Plans for the 265-acre space in Lebanon, Ky., include a distillery, drying operation, three warehouses, and a visitor center. Construction is expected to begin in January 2023 and run through July of the year after.

The venture is expected to produce 55 full-time positions and will also include a focus on using zero fossil fuel, as all products will be fully carbon neutral. It’s anticipated that the planned 7.5 million proof-gallon facilities will produce 115,000 barrels annually.

“American whiskey is booming, and Jefferson’s growth has been phenomenal,” Pernod Ricard North America chairman and CEO Ann Mukherjee states in the release. “We’re very bullish on the brand’s potential, and we’re committed to making our new Jefferson’s facility one of the most exemplary and sustainable distilleries in the world in order to achieve it.”

This news only adds to Kentucky’s recent wins, as the state recently experienced a record year in spirit aging and distilling.

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