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Fresh Bourbon Distilling Co to build $5.4m distillery

Kentucky-based Fresh Bourbon Distilling Co will invest US$5.4 million to build a new whiskey distillery, with work scheduled to begin this year.

An artist’s impression of the Fresh Bourbon Distilling Co site in Kentucky

The 35,000-square-foot site will be located near the Distillery District in Lexington, Kentucky. The site will produce a new range of Bourbons and other whiskeys, and will host tours and guided tastings. The project, which also includes an events space, will create around 25 jobs.

Founded by Lexington native Sean Edwards, Fresh Bourbon Distilling Co was registered in 2017 with the aim of creating a “premier, African-American-owned Bourbon brand”.

Fresh Bourbon Distilling’s products are mashed, fermented, distilled, matured and bottled entirely in Kentucky, and are currently produced under contract through Hartfield & Co Distillery in Paris, Kentucky.

“For nearly three years, we have been diligently developing an authentic and unique Bourbon and spirits line,” said Edwards.

“We chose not to buy Bourbon from someone else and just place our name on a bottle. We have been very intentional and deliberate in crafting our spirits – from the mash bills up – and also our Fresh Bourbon team, including in selecting our master distiller, the first African-American master distiller in Kentucky since slavery.”

The company recently completed its first round of financing, with a second round near finalisation.

In December, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved a 10-year incentive deal with Fresh Bourbon Distilling through the Kentucky Business Investment Programme.

The performance-based contract can provide up to US$200,000 in tax incentives based on the firm’s investment of US$5.4m and the meeting of a number of annual targets. The targets include the creation and upkeep of 15 local full-time jobs across 10 years and paying an average hourly wage of US$18 including benefits across those jobs.

The KEDFA has also approved Fresh Bourbon Distilling Co for up to US$125,000 in tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA), which can be used to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development, and electronic processing.

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