New Jessamine County distillery at Camp Nelson to create 52 jobs

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ/Press Release) – Startup distiller E.J. Curley & Co. will soon establish a facility in Jessamine County with an over $5 million investment anticipated to create 52 full-time jobs.

Camp Nelson, the same site as the original E.J. Curley & Co. operation that ran in Jessamine County from the late 1860s, will be the location of the new distillery.

“The continued growth of the bourbon industry in our state is great news for the future of Kentucky and our residents,” Gov. Andy Beshear said. “E.J. Curley & Co. is bringing back a historic distillery to our state, and this new venture will create quality job opportunities in Jessamine County and the surrounding region. Thank you to the leaders at E.J. Curley for this commitment to the commonwealth, and I look forward to watching the company grow well into the future.”

The company’s investment includes the construction of a 22,500-square-foot facility at 7777 Old Danville Road at the Kentucky River Palisades at Camp Nelson. The new distillery will offer two Kentucky mash bills that will reflect traditional bourbon whiskey, with plans to launch a first-of-its-kind Kentucky-blended international spirit in the near future.

Plans are in motion for an E.J. Curley & Co. Revival Tour. This soft launch will allow visitors to buy spirits and mixed drinks, visit historic nature trails and enjoy other experiences. Spirits production is expected to start by May 2022, along with the opening of a tasting room. Company leaders expect to welcome more than 100,000 visitors each year.

“Phase 1 jobs will include distilling operations, management personnel, sales and other key positions,” said Rick Baker, CEO of E.J. Curley. “Within 18-24 months, Phase 2 will be supported by $10 million in new capital investment to increase production capacity to 15,000 to 18,000 barrels per year with significant rickhouse storage, also in Jessamine County.”

“We are delighted to be the lone distillery in Jessamine County,” E.J. Curley President Matthew Parker said. “The history of Camp Nelson and Boone’s Knoll is a shining star for the commonwealth, and it thrills us to revive production of America’s spirit at the original location of E.J. Curley & Co. We are thankful for the steadfast support of our economic development partner, Craig McAnelly, Jessamine County Judge/Executive David West and our Kentucky project manager Annie Franklin.”

“We are excited to bring E.J. Curley Distillery back to Jessamine County. The 52 new jobs and progressive investments planned by this company for Jessamine County will make a tremendous impact on our community,” Judge/Executive West said. “E.J. Curley Distillery has deep roots in Jessamine County that go back to its beginnings after the Civil War. Many of our residents’ families are historically tied to this company, so we’re delighted help E.J. Curley become the next member of Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail!”

“Several years in the making, this project has seen several potential investors,” McAnelly, executive director of the Jessamine County Joint Economic Development Authority, said. “Knowing the rich history and story to be told, we’re certain this site will someday become a destination location for Kentucky. Jobs produced by this distillery won’t just come from manufacturing but will also be generated by tourism. We want to thank the Cabinet for Economic Development for their assistance throughout this project.”

To encourage investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) on Thursday preliminarily approved a 10-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $350,000 in tax incentives based on the company’s investment of over $5 million and annual targets of:

  • Creation and maintenance of 52 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 10 years; and
  • Paying an average hourly wage of $37 including benefits across those jobs.

Through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA), the KEDFA approved E.J. Curley for up to $50,000 in tax incentives. 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.

If it meets its annual targets over the agreement term, the distillers can qualify to keep a portion of the new tax revenue it generates. The company may claim eligible incentives against its income tax liability and/or wage assessments.

Additionally, the company 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.

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