Pernod Ricard has announced a significant move to further leverage the growth of its premium American whiskey portfolio, The American Whiskey Collective with a €238 million ($250 million) investment over five years to build a state-of-the-art, carbon neutral distillery and aging warehouses in Marion County, Kentucky, for its Jefferson’s Bourbon brand.
The investment will also include the build of a world class visitor center facility that will welcome whiskey aficionados on the historic South Trail of Kentucky Bourbon.
Pernod Ricard intends for this new distillery to be carbon neutral once operational. The facility is also expected to be the first distillery of its size in the U.S. to achieve LEED certification, an internationally recognized sustainability framework for healthy, efficient, carbon and cost-saving environmentally friendly buildings.
The distillery and warehouses will include such low carbon technologies as electrode boilers powered by certified renewable electricity, enabling the distillery to not use fossil fuels during bourbon production.
In addition, as part of Pernod Ricard’s commitment to protect and nurture the terroir surrounding its facilities, Jefferson’s will continue to partner with local farmers and suppliers to source ingredients and casks.
“American whiskey is an extremely vibrant spirits category, and our strategic investments over the last few years have proven successful,” said Alexandre Ricard, chairman and CEO, Pernod Ricard.
“Our philosophy of partnering with entrepreneurial brand founders, while preserving the heritage and terroir associated with the brands they created, has made us an established player in premium American Whiskey. Jefferson’s founder Trey Zoeller is no exception.
“This new investment will allow us to grow our share of category sales not only in the U.S., but also in export markets.”
Ann Mukherjee, chairman and CEO, Pernod Ricard North America, said: “The new distillery will enable Jefferson’s to efficiently keep up with very strong consumer demand while staying true to the company’s longstanding commitment to sustainability.
“Our company is an agricultural company at its core and so it is vital that we lead the category forward – in partnership with our farmers and growers – and remain committed to the long-term sustainability of our people, our industry and our planet. This investment is the latest illustration of that belief.”