To make bourbon, you have to have barrels, and Kentucky distillers need a lot of them. To accommodate that demand, East Bernstadt Cooperage in Laurel County is considering a $20 million expansion.
The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority on Thursday gave preliminary approval for up to $2,145,000 in tax incentives for the $20,250,000 project. According to the economic development report, the expansion would include the construction of a new facility to increase barrel production. The project would create 75 new jobs with average hourly wages (including employee benefits) of $15.05. The company will be required to maintain existing base employment of 91 full-time Kentucky-resident jobs.
East Bernstadt Cooperage and Robinson Stave Co. are owned by the Robinson family. They make white oak barrels for bourbon, wine and other wood products.
Wood figured into two other projects approved for tax incentives on Thursday.
Bed Wood and Parts in Hopkinsville in Christian County was approved for up to $1 million in tax incentives. The company, which makes high-quality bed kits in more than 20 species of wood for classic vehicle restorations, is considering a $3.72 million expansion that would create 42 jobs over the next 15 years with an average hourly wage (including benefits) of $36.
Graf Brothers Flooring in South Shore in Greenup County was approved for up to $450,000 in incentives. The company is considering a $1,629,000 expansion that would create 20 jobs with an average hourly wage (including benefits) of $12.55.