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Eastern Light Distilling plans Bourbon site

The former master distiller of Kentucky Peerless Distilling Co will open a US$143.7 million Bourbon distillery in the US state.

Caleb Kilburn, Kentucky Peerless Distilling Co’s former master distiller
Kentucky Peerless’s former master distiller, Caleb Kilburn, is behind the new project

Based in Eastern Kentucky, Eastern Light Distilling will build a new distilling operation in Rowan County. The project is expected to create at least 50 new jobs in the area in the coming years.

The development is led by Kentucky Peerless Distilling Co’s former master distiller, Caleb Kilburn, and its ex-chief operating officer Cordell Lawrence.

“Eastern Light is the culmination of a lifelong dream to see our state’s signature Bourbon industry in my home of Eastern Kentucky,” Kilburn said.

Eastern Light Distilling said it would introduce an ‘innovative’ new concept that will grow the state’s Bourbon industry in Eastern Kentucky. The site will serve as a custom contract distiller to support small whiskey producers.

The project will enable “new entrants to access the thriving spirits marketplace”, according to Lawrence, CEO of Eastern Light Distilling

The new facility received nearly US$600,000 in state support earlier this year, and US$100,000 in tax incentives.

Kentucky governor Andy Beshear added: “This new distilling operation will not only help foster growth in our craft Bourbon industry but will also bring more than US$143m in new economic development investment, well-paying jobs and another great reason for tourists to visit the region.”

Since the start of Beshear’s administration in 2019, the state’s spirits industry has seen approximately 85 new developments or expansion projects totalling more than US$3 billion in planned investments and creating 1,500 announced full-time jobs.

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