Pennyroyal Barrel Co. Bringing First Bourbon-Related Project to Adair County

FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 19, 2023) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear highlighted continued growth in Kentucky’s bourbon and spirits industry as Pennyroyal Barrel Co. (PBC), a bourbon incubator for third-party brands, plans to locate a bourbon-related project in Adair County with an $8.52 million facility creating 10 full-time positions.

“This project from Pennyroyal Barrel Co. adds even more momentum to our signature bourbon and spirits industry,” said Gov. Beshear. “Expanding the bourbon sector into counties that have not previously seen growth in this area is a huge accomplishment for the commonwealth, and I want to thank PBC’s leaders for their commitment to Adair County. I want to congratulate the company on this great project and look forward to seeing their success here in Kentucky.”

PBC’s entire 40-acre campus in Columbia will be built with its independent brands’ growth in mind. Brand partners will have facilities for warehousing, blending and bottling, meeting and public event space, as well as private event space. The campus will include a state-of-the-art blending and bottling facility, single-story rickhouses for consistent aging, a storefront to purchase each brand’s products and apparel, a tasting room in a repurposed grain silo, a single barrel selection room and a wooded amphitheater with walking paths.

“Adair County is where I grew up and getting to be a part of bringing such an exciting and unique concept to the area has me so excited,” said PBC co-founder Ross Hutchison. “I can’t wait until some of our partner incubators are calling Adair County – and particularly the Pennyroyal, home, just as I have.”

“The opportunity to be a part of and contribute to something so steeped in Kentucky history, while with our own unique spin, is such an honor,” said PBC co-founder Daniel Griffith. “I am excited to be part of something I care so deeply about and to work with the community we are joining. Columbia, Kentucky, and Adair County have been so welcoming, and we are excited to see what the future holds.”

Beyond the traditional warehousing, sourcing and bottling services that have been offered by others, PBC’s model makes each independent brand partner its focal point. At the campus, each brand will have the opportunity to curate its own consumer experiences. This creates an avenue to make the brand-to-consumer interaction more attainable without the risk associated with scaling up to a brick-and-mortar location. The model also creates a central hub for collaboration between brands and opportunities for brands to coordinate their consumer experiences with one another.

Tourism, Arts & Heritage Cabinet Secretary Lindy Casebier explained the tourism aspect of the project.

“Bourbon tourism is a major draw for visitors to Kentucky, and Pennyroyal Barrel Co. will serve as a wonderful new stop,” said Secretary Casebier. “In addition to a tasting room, walking paths, an amphitheater and more, Pennyroyal Barrel Co. will also provide bourbon consulting services for smaller brands, contributing to the commonwealth’s storied bourbon legacy.”

Adair County Judge/Executive Larry Russell Bryant welcomed the company to the community.

“I am so excited to hear that Pennyroyal Barrel Co. has chosen Adair County to be home. Adair County native Ross Hutchison being one of the owners makes this all the more special,” said Judge Bryant. “Adair Countians have anxiously awaited new industry and growth for several years, and I cannot think of a better scenario than to have one of our own to kick start that growth and provide an example for others to follow.” 

Columbia-Adair County Economic Development Authority Chairman Bobby Morrison spoke on the infrastructure improvements that are helping to attract the new facility.

“The EDA has been working on infrastructure improvements in the Green River Commerce Park, as well as a competitive incentive package for several years now,” said Morrison. “The vision of our EDA Board and the continued support of community leadership has made it possible for Pennyroyal Barrel Co. to locate in the commerce park, and I couldn't be more pleased. This collaboration will help bring much-needed jobs and economic opportunities to the area.”

Adair County Executive Director for Tourism Paige Nickel mentioned the opportunities PBC will attract.

“I am so excited to see what kind of new tourism and economic impacts Pennyroyal Barrel Co. will bring to our charming small-town community,” said Nickel. “I can taste the opportunities already. Cheers!”

PBC’s investment and planned job creation furthers recent economic momentum in the commonwealth.

Last month, Gov. Beshear announced there are more than 2 million jobs filled in Kentucky – the most in state history – according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in its federal survey of business establishments. And the Governor highlighted that 57,000 new jobs have been filled since the beginning of his administration.

The Governor recently announced that Kentucky set the record for the longest period with the lowest unemployment rates in state history. On May 18, Gov. Beshear announced that Kentucky set a new historic low unemployment rate of 3.7%, which is the lowest rate ever recorded in the commonwealth.

Since the beginning of his administration, Gov. Beshear has announced more than 860 private-sector new-location and expansion projects totaling over $26 billion in announced investments.

The robust job creation has been accompanied by rising wages across the commonwealth. The average incentivized hourly wage in 2022 was $26.78 before benefits, the second-highest mark since 2010 and an 11.5% increase over the previous year.

The Governor also secured the best two-year period in state history for economic growth and announced the two largest economic development projects in state history. In September 2021, Gov. Beshear and leaders from Ford Motor Co. and SK On celebrated a transformative $5.8 billion investment that will create 5,000 jobs in Hardin County. In April 2022, the Governor was joined by leadership at AESC to announce a $2 billion investment that will create 2,000 jobs in Warren County. These announcements solidify Kentucky as the EV battery production capital of the United States.

That position was strengthened even further in May 2023, when the Governor and leaders at Toyota announced a $591 million investment across multiple projects as the company’s largest manufacturing operation in Georgetown introduces its first battery electric vehicle. Growth within the EV sector continued into June as Gov. Beshear joined INFAC North America to break ground on the company’s $53 million investment to support EV-related production in Campbellsville.

Over a two-month period this year, Kentucky secured two credit rating increases from major agencies. On May 12, Gov. Beshear announced that his administration obtained the first state-level credit rating upgrade in 13 years and the first-ever upgrade from Fitch Ratings. On June 29, Gov. Beshear announced the commonwealth received its first-ever rating increase from S&P Global Ratings.

Site Selection magazine recently placed Kentucky first in the South Central region and top-5 nationally in its 2023 Prosperity Cup ranking, which recognizes state-level economic development agencies for their success in landing capital investment projects. The publication also placed Kentucky second nationwide and first in the South Central region for its annual Governor’s Cup ranking for 2022, which recognizes state-level economic success based on capital investments.

Gov. Beshear’s administration is projected to post the four highest years of budget surpluses in Kentucky history. Recently, the state reported receipts for fiscal year 2023 totaling $15.1 billion, which exceeded budgeted estimates by $1.4 billion, making it the largest revenue surplus in history.

Gov. Beshear recently announced a new “Supply Kentucky” initiative with the goal of boosting job growth, reducing costs and providing more security in the supply chains of our Kentucky companies.

To encourage investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in June preliminarily approved a 15-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $225,000 in tax incentives based on the company’s investment of $8.52 million and annual targets of:

  • Creation and maintenance of 10 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 15 years; and
  • Paying an average hourly wage of $20.40 including benefits across those jobs.

Additionally, KEDFA approved PBC for up to $150,000 in tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA). KEIA allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing.

By meeting its annual targets over the agreement term, the company can be eligible to keep a portion of the new tax revenue it generates. The company may claim eligible incentives against its income tax liability and/or wage assessments.

In addition, PBC can receive resources from Kentucky’s workforce service providers. Those include no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job-training incentives.

The Kentucky Tourism Development Act (TDA), the first of its kind in the nation, provides a state sales tax incentive for tourism development projects. This performance-based incentive allows developers of approved tourism projects to recover up to 25 percent of eligible project costs over a ten-year term through the state sales tax generated on the site. This program is in place to assist small tourism attractions to obtain financing necessary for their development or expansion.

This project also received preliminary approval from the Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority in June. The tourism components of the project include retail space, a single barrel select room, walking trails, an amphitheater, remodeling of a silo for a tasting room and a remodel of a feeding silo for an outdoor pavilion type area. The tourism development agreement can potentially provide up to $717,500 in tax incentives based on the company’s tourism-specific investment of $2.87 million and targets of:

  • Creation and maintenance of six Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs and;
  • Out-of-state visitation expectations of 25% of visitors from outside of Kentucky by the first year and 38% of visitors from outside of Kentucky by year five following completion of the project.

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For more information on Pennyroyal Barrel Co., visit

A detailed community profile for Adair County can be viewed here.

Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion at, on Twitter @CEDkygov, Instagram @CEDkygov and LinkedIn.

Read about other key updates, actions and information from Gov. Beshear and his administration at and the Governor’s official social media accounts FacebookTwitter and YouTube.