PIKE COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – A new distillery is coming to Pike County, bringing in new jobs and repurposing an old coal mine.
According to Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear’s office, Brothers Wright Distilling Co. is investing nearly $38 million into establishing a new distillery in Pike County as part of the commonwealth’s bourbon industry. Beshear and the company say the distillery will use a nearby repurposed coal mine to age their bourbon.
Officials say the project will create 28 full-time jobs between production, maintenance, sales and tours, as well as create 50 construction jobs.
“Our family of companies’ footprint in Pike County stretches back over 25 years. We have been blessed to live and work in the mountains of Central Appalachia over that time frame,” said Shannon Wright, co-owner and CEO of Brothers Wright Distilling Co. “Working in Kentucky’s coal mining industry has given us the opportunity to grow and support our families as well as our employees and their families. We are excited to marry two of the great state of Kentucky’s industries, bourbon whiskey and coal mining, in a new and unique approach that we hope will bring a new economic opportunity to the mountains that we call home.”
Shannon Wright and his brother Kendall Wright say the project will be located on a 1,200-acre property along Kentucky Highway 292. Once complete, the site will include a 12,000-square-foot distillery, rickhouse, welcome center, museum and restaurant, the governor’s office says.
According to Beshear’s office, the mine being rehabilitated was in operation from 1913 to 1946. The governor says the Brothers Wright company is already using the mine to age some of its first barrels.
“It is great to see the continued growth of our state’s bourbon sector, especially when we have companies that embrace Kentucky’s history the way Brothers Wright Distilling has with this investment,” Beshear said. “This is an incredibly innovative project that will use a once-forgotten coal mine to bring a great Kentucky product to market. I want to thank the company’s leaders for their commitment and for creating more great jobs for Kentuckians.”
Officials say construction is expected to start this year and scheduled to be finished by the end of 2024.