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SPI Group to grow Bourbon business with new distillery

SPI Group has revealed plans for its new US$150 million Bourbon distillery in Kentucky, which will be home to “additional” American whiskey brands that the company “will create or acquire”.

SPI Group’s new Kentucky Owl Park complex has an expected completion date of 2020

SPI Group purchased the Haydon Materials Quarry, formerly Cedar Creek quarry, along with the John Rowan Boulevard in Bardstown.

The new 420-acre complex will be called Kentucky Owl Park, and will comprise of a distillery, visitors center, cooperage, rickhouses, bottling center, restaurant and other facilities.

The park will be home to SPI Group’s newly-created American Whiskey division, including it’s Kentucky Owl Bourbon brand, which the company acquired in January this year. The acquisition marked SPI Group’s debut in the American whiskey category.

The construction of the distillery is set to begin early next year with a planned opening for 2020.

In the long-term, the company plan to establish the park as a “premier destination” on the Bourbon trail, which will create 77 full-time jobs. The group’s plans also include a freshwater lake for fishing and recreation, a gourmet restaurant, a convention center and hotel, a vintage passenger train and a refurbished train station.

In September, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to US$2 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. KEDFA approved SPI Group for up to US$1.2 million in tax incentives in October, through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA).

“Stoli Group will put great resources into these endeavours — both the distillery experience and the growth of this very important category for our company. As master blender, Dixon Dedman will continue to manage the production of Kentucky Owl — the crown jewel of the new division, which will remain a small batch offering,” said Dmitry Efimov, head of Stoli Group’s American Whiskey division.

“This site will be home to additional brands that we will create or acquire. With the continued strength and growth of American whiskies and Bourbons, we are beginning to evaluate those opportunities.”

“Global demand for Bourbon continues to bring significant economic impact to Kentucky through jobs, investment and tourism,” said Matt Bevin, governor of Kentucky.

“This new project by Stoli Group in the heart of Bourbon country will serve to accelerate this trend. Stoli Group will offer numerous employment opportunities and support many families in and around Nelson County. I congratulate the company and look forward seeing this concept come to life over the coming years.”

The proposed map of the Kentucky Owl Park in Bardstown

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