FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Governor Steve Beshear joined company officials and local leaders to break ground on the Buffalo Trace Distillery expansion in Frankfort Tuesday.
“It’s a gift that keeps on giving and we’re very happy that the bourbon industry is a signature industry here in the Commonwealth,” says Gov. Beshear.
Buffalo Trace is one of three upcoming expansions with Sazerac.
Sazerac is the largest bottler of distilled spirits in the Commonwealth and employs 1,300 people statewide. The company is expanding all three distilleries to meet projected growth and demand for bourbon.
At Buffalo Trace, the 228-year-old distillery will invest more than $20 million to add a new 83,000-square-foot warehouse center in Frankfort. The new portion of the warehouse will be connected to the existing distribution center and will have a state-of-the-art Automated Storage and Retrieval System.
"It's unique to distilled spirits manufacturing because at the heart of it, while it's a distribution center on the outside, the inside is pretty much fully automated," says Jeff Conder, Sazerac's Vice President of Manufacturing.
Buffalo Trace plans to add 40 new full-time jobs over the next two to three years.
The company is investing additional funds in the project to ensure that the new building maintains the distillery’s current look and feel from an architectural standpoint, thereby enhancing its status as a National Historic Landmark.
The project is expected to be complete in June 2015.
Sazerac is also helping to expand the Glenmore Distillery in Owensboro and the Barton 1792 Distillery in Bardstown.
Bourbon distilling contributes nearly $2 billion in gross state product each year, and has more than doubled its importance to the state’s overall economic activity in the past 13 years. Kentucky exported $383 million of its distilled spirits in 2013, a full 21 percent of the U.S. total.