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Sources have been telling Insider Louisville that Michter’s, which makes its bourbons and ryes in Nelson County, was rethinking its plans to build a Louisville operation.

But whoever runs their Twitter account says, “Not true.”

Michter’s Whiskey, part of New York City-based Chatham Imports, has reconfirmed Louisville plans via Twitter.

Insider Louisville broke the story last summer that Michter’s would invest about $8 million to build an urban distilery in the star-crossed Fort Nelson Building at Eighth and Main streets.

The Kentucky  Economic Development Finance Authority approved as much as $200,000 in tax incentives under the Kentucky Business Investment program, and up to $180,000 in sales tax rebates in exchange for creating about 10 new jobs.

Since then, we’ve heard from sources the deal is dead, as well as the deal is proceeding. But there doesn’t seem to be any contruction work on a project that was scheduled to start about now, with completion in 2013.

Last night on Twitter, a worried fan of their bourbons, ryes and whiskies queried them on a rumor Michter’s is ending production.

Not true, came the reply:

Michter’s ‏ @MichtersWhiskey Close

@Bordash Au contraire! We have plans to *increase* production after the construction of our new distillery in Louisville. No worries, then!

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9:29 PM – 11 Mar 12 via web · Details

Why is this important?

Well, aside from the obvious investment downtown, which can use all the investment it an get, bourbon injects into Kentucky’s economy about $246 million, excluding fringe benefits, in payrolls, according to the Kentucky Distillers Assocations. Kentucky distilleries ship about $2.5 billion in products annually, and account  for around 35 percent of the value of all distilled spirits produced in the United States, according to the KDA.

More as soon as we can reach Michter’s executives in New York.

Kentucky’s distillery economy will get another boost aside from whether Michter’s ever opens in Louisville.

Limestone Branch Distillery has joined the KDA even though it doesn’t appear to have product on the shelf, yet.

Limestone Branch was founded recently by brothers Steve and Paul Beam down in Lebanon, which is in Marion County, just south of Louisville.

If the Beam name sound familiar, they’re Kentucky bourbon royalty. As in Jim (Jacob) Beam.

We found this in a KDA news release:

Most importantly, Steve and Paul’s great-great grandfather, Joseph Washington Dant began distilling sour mash whiskey in 1836 only a few miles down the road. As the operation grew its management was taken over by their great grandfather, W.W. Dant. W. W. was also a partner at this time in the Smith and Smith distillery in Loretto, KY. After W. W. passed away, John Proctor Dant, his brother moved the Loretto distillery to Louisville. The Dant family made many contributions to the early Kentucky bourbon industry. At the same time, just over the county line in Nelson County, their other great grandfather, Minor Case Beam was busily producing Old Trump and T.J. Pottinger brands of fine sour mash and rye whiskeys. Minor Case was the eldest son of Joseph M. Beam. Joseph M. was a grandson of Jacob Boehm, who in 1788 passed through the Cumberland Gap to arrive in Kentucky. Family lore says that he came with a pot still strapped to his back. Jacob promptly changed his surname to Beam and sold his first barrel of whiskey in 1795.

The small batch craft distillery is producing a variety of whiskies from heirloom white corn grown on its Marion County property, according the KDA release.

The first offerings will be T.J. Pottinger corn whiskey and T.J. Pottinger Sugar Shine, with plans for an artisan rum and vodka.

Limestone Branch is KDA’s 10 member and the fourth Kentucky Craft distillery to join.

They join a bunch of newbies including Lexington based Alltech’s new Town Branch Bourbon operation.

At least Kentucky has one growing global business category cornered.

 

 



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