Woodford Reserve expansion to double productionBy Nicola Carruthers
Brown-Forman has revealed plans to expand the Woodford Reserve Distillery in Kentucky, which will double its production capacity to meet ‘growing demand’ for the Bourbon brand.
Construction on the Woodford Reserve site, located at McCracken Pike in Woodford County, US, will begin this spring and is expected to be completed in summer 2022. Brown-Forman said the distillery will be fully operational during this period.
The expansion will include the installation of three new copper pot stills, as well as a new building that will house the boiler plant, additional fermentation tanks, a grain unloading area, a barrel unloading and storage area, and a conference and training centre for employees.
Master distiller Chris Morris added: “Woodford Reserve is celebrating its 25th anniversary throughout 2021, and the expansion of the distillery allows us to look to the next 25 years.”
Brown-Forman opened the Woodford Reserve Distillery and introduced the Bourbon brand in 1996. Distilling at the site began in 1812.
Woodford Reserve surpassed one million cases for the first time in 2019.
During Brown-Forman’s third quarter, premium Bourbons rose by 18%, with ‘strong’ double-digit growth from both Woodford Reserve (up 18%) and Old Forester.
The announcement of the firm’s Q3 results also saw Brown-Forman’s board of directors approve a US$125m investment to expand Bourbon production in Kentucky.
Brown-Forman CEO Lawson Whiting said: “Woodford Reserve is a key driver of growth for the company – and the investment ensures the brand continues to expand around the world.
“Woodford Reserve has enjoyed exceptional growth over the last decade, maintaining a double-digit net sales growth rate year to date with more than one million case sales.”
The news comes just a month after Brown-Forman moved forward with its US$95 million distillery expansion in Louisville, Kentucky.