USA – World’s leading distiller, Diageo has broken ground on a new US$130 million distillery in Marion County’s Lebanon, Kentucky.

The facility sitting on an approximately 144-acre space is expected to be fully operational in 2021.

It will include a 72,000 square-foot distillery and dry house, as well as 12-barrel warehouses.

It will primarily produce a variety of Diageo bourbon and American whiskey brands, employing approximately 30 full-time team members.

“Today marks a significant moment in Diageo’s continued commitment to the Kentucky spirits industry, as we officially begin construction on the Diageo Lebanon Distillery and become a member of the Marion County community,” said Erik Snyder, president, North America Supply and Procurement for Diageo.

“We are appreciative of the county, city, state and community leaders, and the support they have shown in our journey to this day.”

The new facility is expected to complement Diageo’s Kentucky operations at the historic Stitzel-Weller distillery in Louisville and the Bulleit distillery, which began operations in 2017.

It is also an addition to its Visitor Experience in Shelbyville, which collectively employ more than 100 additional people.

Commending Diageo on its commitment to the region, Lebanon Mayor Gary Crenshaw said: “Diageo is providing new jobs and business growth and investing in our future workforce.

“This investment provides a bright future for, and enhances our community’s economic vitality, and we welcome them.”

“One thing I’ve learned about Diageo doing business in Kentucky is that it is focused on environment and sustainability and cares for every community it builds,” said Tom Lund, president, Marion County Economic Development.

“We are excited to have Diageo extend its footprint right here in Lebanon.”

Diageo which aims to enhance premiumization of its whisky portfolio investedUS$185.8 million in Johnnie Walker global brand attraction & distillery programme in Scotland in April 2018.

The investment included construction of a new Johnnie Walker facility in Edinburgh to change Scotch whisky visitor experiences while acting as the hub for Diageo’s operations in Scotland.  

In November, Diageo sold 19 spirits brands to US-based company Sazerac for US$550 million to focus on its premium brands.