Leaders announce new distillery in downtown Henderson
HENDERSON, Ky. (WFIE) - Officials with Henderson Economic Development have announced a new distillery downtown.
The announcement happened Thursday morning.
Officials say the new startup, Henderson Distilling Company, will establish 12 full-time jobs with a $5 million investment.
“This investment by Henderson Distilling Company adds momentum to the commonwealth’s always-growing signature bourbon industry,” said Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear. “Henderson Distilling Company 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 Company 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.
The utility company will move to a new location soon, and the distillery will make the building at the corner of Fifth and Water Street its new home.
Company officials say they hope to move into the building in January of 2024 and open their doors in the late summer or early fall of 2024.
The project will create a full-production distillery, along with a corresponding tourism and retail space.
“The Henderson Distilling Company is excited to bring this project to Henderson and rekindle the robust pre-Prohibition history of such a beautiful community,” said Henderson Distilling Company 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.
Officials say, in recent years, 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.
They say 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 to 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.”
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