Henderson Distilling Co. To Create 12 Full-Time Jobs With New $5 Million Distillery in Henderson County
Company repurposing downtown Henderson Municipal Power & Light facility
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 26, 2023) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear announced a new investment from Kentucky’s signature bourbon industry as startup Henderson Distilling Co. will establish a new distillery in Henderson County, creating 12 full-time jobs with a $5 million investment.
“This investment by Henderson Distilling Co. adds momentum to the commonwealth’s always growing signature bourbon industry,” said Gov. Beshear. “Henderson Distilling Co. is a welcome addition to the community and will continue to set Kentucky apart as the world’s leading producer of bourbon. I want to thank the leaders of Henderson Distilling Co. for their vision to grow in Kentucky, and I look forward to seeing their success.”
The company will locate on the former Henderson Municipal Power & Light campus in downtown Henderson, which will be rehabilitated and breathe new economic life into the facility. The project will create a full production distillery, along with a corresponding tourism and retail space.
“The Henderson Distilling Co. is excited to bring this project to Henderson and rekindle the robust pre-Prohibition history of such a beautiful community,” said Henderson Distilling Co. co-founder and President Andrew Powell. “We are grateful for our state and local leaders that have partnered with us to bring this opportunity to fruition. Bourbon is distinctly American and fully enmeshed in Kentucky’s vibrant landscape. We are thrilled to establish our company in Henderson.”
Henderson’s planned project builds on recent bourbon and spirits growth across Kentucky. Since the start of the Beshear administration, the commonwealth’s spirits industry has seen roughly 80 new-location or expansion projects totaling over $2.9 billion in planned investments and creating more than 1,400 announced full-time jobs. Last year represented the best year on record for growth of Kentucky’s bourbon and spirits industry, with $2.1 billion in new investments expected to create 700 full-time jobs.
Henderson County Judge/Executive Brad Schneider commented on the bourbon tourism aspect of the project.
“Bourbon tourism is booming, and getting Henderson on the map will introduce our county to a whole new segment of visitors,” said Judge Schneider. “We’re also very proud of the local ownership group for making this terrific investment in our community. Great things are happening in Henderson County. Cheers!”
Henderson Mayor Brad Staton spoke on the importance of the new distillery.
“A new distillery in our downtown will generate tens of thousands of new and unique visitors to our city on an annual basis. It will add jobs and additional tax revenues. And it could quite possibly be the last domino to fall when we’re talking about adding new hotels and other fantastic tourism-related ventures,” said Mayor Staton. “It literally puts us on the map, and for that reason, I couldn’t be more excited to support such an interesting and exciting project.”
Kentucky Distillers Association President Eric Gregory showed his excitement for the project.
“This is incredibly exciting. I couldn’t be more thrilled,” said Gregory. “It warms my heart that my hometown is getting a distillery. Henderson has got a lot of roots in brewing and distilling. Especially to have it downtown, with the riverfront and all the visitors, we couldn’t ask for anything better. A home run!”
Henderson Economic Development Executive Director Missy Vanderpool said the new project is the key for future development in Henderson.
“The bourbon industry is booming, and having a distillery in our downtown is key to future development,” Vanderpool said. “We are thankful for the local visionaries that poured into this project. We often say that economic development is a team sport. This project proves, once again, that Henderson has an amazing team.”
Henderson Tourism Commission Executive Director Abby Dixon mentioned the potential for growth.
“Visitors travel from all around the world to experience America’s native spirit in its homeplace – Kentucky,” said Dixon. “To offer a bourbon experience to visitors right here in Henderson is a catalyst for growth of our local tourism industry, and we’re eager to begin telling the story of Henderson-made bourbon to our guests.”
Henderson’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.
Since the beginning of his administration, Gov. Beshear has announced the creation of over 42,000 full-time jobs and more than 800 private-sector new-location and expansion projects totaling $24 billion in announced investments.
With the books closed on 2022, the Governor has now secured the best two-year period in state history for economic growth.
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.
That momentum continued strongly into 2022 with 248 new-location and expansion announcements totaling 16,000 full-time jobs behind nearly $10.5 billion in new investment.
The robust job creation has been accompanied by rising wages across the commonwealth. The average incentivized hourly wage in 2022 was $26.78 before benefits, the second-highest mark since 2010 and an 11.5% increase over the previous year.
Gov. Beshear also announced the two largest economic development projects in state history. In September 2021, Gov. Beshear and leaders from Ford Motor Co. and SK Innovation celebrated a transformative $5.8 billion investment that will create 5,000 jobs in Hardin County. And in April 2022, the Governor was joined by leadership at Envision AESC to announce a $2 billion investment that will create 2,000 jobs in Warren County. These announcements solidify Kentucky as the EV battery production capital of the United States.
Kentucky’s success has been noted by both S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings, which have upgraded the state’s financial outlook to positive in recognition of the commonwealth’s surging economy. In addition, Site Selection magazine placed Kentucky at 6th in its annual Prosperity Cup rankings for 2022, which recognizes state-level economic success based on capital investments.
Gov. Beshear’s administration is projected to post the four highest years of budget surpluses in Kentucky history, and the state’s rainy day fund has a record balance of $2.7 billion.
To encourage investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) today preliminarily approved a 10-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $200,000 in tax incentives based on the company’s investment of $5 million and annual targets of:
- Creation and maintenance of 12 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 10 years; and
- Paying an average hourly wage of $22.56 including benefits across those jobs.
By meeting its annual targets over the agreement term, the company can be eligible to keep a portion of the new tax revenue it generates. The company may claim eligible incentives against its income tax liability and/or wage assessments.
In addition, Henderson Distilling Company can receive resources from Kentucky’s workforce service providers. Those include no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job-training incentives.
A detailed community profile for Henderson County can be viewed here.
Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at CED.ky.gov. Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion at facebook.com/CEDkygov, on Twitter @CEDkygov, Instagram @CEDkygov and LinkedIn.
Read about other key updates, actions and information from Gov. Beshear and his administration at governor.ky.gov, kycovid19.ky.gov and the Governor’s official social media accounts Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.