Business

Country Boy Brewery expanding to Scott County

UK students visited Country Boy last fall to learn about brewing craft beer and cider. The company  plans to build a 20,000-sq.-ft. brewery in Scott County.
UK students visited Country Boy last fall to learn about brewing craft beer and cider. The company plans to build a 20,000-sq.-ft. brewery in Scott County. Herald-Leader

Country Boy Brewing, the Lexington craft brewery founded four years ago, is about to begin a major expansion in Scott County.

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority approved as much as $275,000 in proposed tax incentives Thursday for a $4.35 million project in the Lane's Run Business Park, near the Toyota plant and a new Bluegrass Community and Technical College campus.

"This new facility project presents the opportunity for the company to increase their production capacity to meet overwhelming demand, as well as to build new executive office space and a first-rate taproom to accommodate a positive visitor experience," according to the KEDFA report.

Founders Daniel Harrison, Jeff Beagle and Evan Coppage plan to build a 20,000-square-foot building to house a new brewery and a canning line that would enable them to make more beer and ship more canned beer to stores.

At present, only Country Boy's signature Cougar Bait is available by the six-pack, but once the brewery opens in fall 2016, the owners hope to add Shotgun Wedding, Cliff Jumper and Halfway Home to the canned lineup.

Country Boy's taproom on Chair Avenue will stay open, Harrison said, and it "will turn the Lexington brewery back into an experimental playground" for developing more unique products, such as a recent strawberry-kiwi kolsch, along with ciders, sour beers and barrel-aged products.

Harrison said the planned brewery also will have a taproom to serve Country Boy beer directly to customers.

The expansion will create 20 jobs, with an hourly wage of $13.50 including benefits, according to KEDFA documents.

Harrison said Country Boy brewed 500 barrels its first year, 1,800 barrels its second, 5,000 last year and 8,500 this year. The Georgetown brewery will have capacity to produce more than 30,000 barrels a year, he said.

"We hope Kentucky stays thirsty," Harrison said.

That kind of growth will begin to bump up against the state's limit of 25,000 barrels for a brewery's ability to sell beer in its own taproom.

Harrison said the state's craft brewers plan to lobby the General Assembly in January to raise the limit.

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