This week Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced barrel producer Kentucky Cooperage LP Ltd., a subsidiary of Independent Stave Co. (ISC), will expand its existing used barrel operation in Marion County with a more-than-$4.1 million investment that will create up to 20 full-time jobs.
“Independent Stave Co. is an important part of the bourbon industry in Kentucky, and I am glad to see the company expand its footprint at Kentucky Cooperage in Marion County,” Gov. Beshear said. “ISC provides quality jobs in four Kentucky communities, and the company’s continued growth is another positive sign for the long-term success of bourbon in the commonwealth.”
The expansion will more than double the size of the current 28,000-square-foot used barrel operation at 715 W. Main St. with a 41,000-square-foot addition. The project will provide increased warehouse and processing capacity to grow the number of used barrels serviced by the company. Leaders at the company anticipate work on the expansion to begin this spring and be completed by February 2023.
ISC maintains five locations in the state, with operations in Benton, Lebanon, Louisville and Morehead, employing 685 people statewide.
“In 2017, we entered the used barrel industry by partnering with Tim Ratliff and Kentucky Bourbon Barrel in Louisville, Kentucky,” said Brad Boswell, CEO of ISC. “Together, we grew the KBB used barrel operations by opening a facility in Lebanon. Today, we are proud to begin an expansion on that facility, which will give our customers even more options for used barrels. We appreciate the state of Kentucky’s continued support of the growing spirits industry.”
ISC, a family-owned cooperage company headquartered in Missouri, was founded in 1912, initially serving as a domestic supplier of staves, and today operates as a cooperage company crafting a wide range of barrels and oak products. ISC provides for distilleries, wineries and breweries in more than 40 countries. In addition to its U.S. facilities in Missouri, Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio, the company has international cooperage facilities around the globe. ISC owns seven stave mills, including one in northeastern France, and six American oak mills.
The company’s growth is in support of Kentucky’s thriving spirits industry, which includes more than 65 facilities employing over 5,000 people across the state.
State Sen. Jimmy Higdon said the project benefits the state, as well as the local region.
“It is certainly good news to hear of the Kentucky Cooperage expansion in Lebanon/Marion County,” Sen. Higdon said. “The new jobs and the investment in our industrial base will benefit our community, the region and the state. I would like to thank the Kentucky Cooperage family for being such outstanding corporate citizens.”
Marion County Judge/Executive David Daugherty thanked the company for its continued commitment to the community.
“It is great to see Kentucky Cooperage continue to grow in Marion County,” Judge Daugherty said. “We are so appreciative of every dollar they have invested and every new job they have created in our county since they first opened their doors in 1960. Kentucky Cooperage remains a worldwide leader in the coopering industry, and we are proud to have them in Marion County.”
Lebanon Mayor Gary Crenshaw said the project helps drive the local bourbon industry forward.
“The City of Lebanon is proud to support Kentucky Cooperage’s expansion. They are the premier barrel manufacturer in Kentucky,” Mayor Crenshaw said. “Each job that will be created as a result of this project will enhance our local economy and add to the luster of the bourbon industry in Marion County.”
Kentucky Cooperage’s investment and planned job creation furthers recent economic momentum in the commonwealth, as the state builds back stronger from the effects of the pandemic.
Gov. Beshear recently announced that on Jan. 28, S&P Global Ratings revised Kentucky’s financial outlook to positive from stable and affirmed its “A-” credit rating. S&P cited a reduced reliance on one-time items to balance the budget and a higher balance in the state’s rainy day fund as primary factors influencing the change.
That follows a 2021 during which the commonwealth shattered every economic development record in the books. Private-sector new-location and expansion announcements included a record $11.2 billion in total planned investment and commitments to create a record 18,000-plus full-time jobs across the coming years. Kentucky’s average incentivized hourly wage for projects statewide in 2021 was $24 before benefits, a 9.4% increase over the previous year.
In September, Gov. Beshear, Ford Motor Co. Executive Chair Bill Ford and CEO Jim Farley, along with Dong-Seob Jee, president of SK Innovation’s battery business, announced the single largest economic development project in the history of the commonwealth, celebrating a transformative $5.8 billion investment that will create 5,000 jobs and places Kentucky at the forefront of the automotive industry’s future.
Kentucky also saw an all-time, record-setting budget surplus in fiscal year 2021 and enters 2022 with an estimated $1.9 billion more than budgeted.
To encourage investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in January approved the company for up to $150,000 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.
The company can receive resources from Kentucky’s workforce service providers. Those include no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job-training incentives.
For more information on Independent Stave Co., visit IndependentStaveCompany.com.
A detailed community profile for Marion County can be viewed here.