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African American owned bourbon distillery to create 25 jobs in Lexington

The company announced Wednesday its plans to construct a 34,000 square-foot distillery in Lexington.
Credit: Kentucky.gov

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — African American owned Fresh Bourbon Distilling Comapny announced Wednesday its plans to construct a new distillery and create about 25 jobs in Lexington.

“Bourbon is a mainstay of Kentucky’s economy, and I am thrilled to see this step toward greater inclusivity in this iconic industry,” Gov. Beshear said. “Creating opportunities for all Kentuckians is essential, and our administration aims to pave the way for progress. I sincerely thank Fresh Bourbon Distilling Co. for choosing to build its distillery in our state.”

Fresh Bourbon Distilling plans later this year to begin constructing a 34,000-square-foot distillery near Lexington’s Distillery District. The site would produce the company’s new line of bourbons and other whiskeys, as well as host tours and guided tastings. Plans also include an event space.

Company leaders will celebrate with an announcement event Wednesday evening in Lexington, during which guests will partake in an inaugural bourbon tasting. Fresh Bourbon Distilling will officially launch its line of spirits in late 2020.

“For nearly three years, we have been diligently developing an authentic and unique bourbon and spirits line,” said Sean Edwards, Fresh Bourbon Distilling Co. owner and founder. “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. We are excited to receive economic incentives from the State of Kentucky to build our distillery and share with the world what we have created.”

Fresh Distillery’s products are mashed, fermented, distilled, matured and will ultimately be bottled entirely in Kentucky. The unique recipes are currently produced under contract through Hartfield & Co. Distillery in Paris, Ky.

A Lexington native, Edwards registered the company in 2017 with the goal of establishing a premier, African American owned bourbon brand and opening a distillery in his hometown. The company recently completed a first round of financing, with a second round near finalization.

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

In addition, Fresh Bourbon Distilling Co. can receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies can receive no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives.

For more information on Fresh Bourbon Distilling Co., click here.

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