Cabinet for Economic Development
Governor Beshear Participates in Ribbon Cutting for Heaven Hill Distilleries’ Nearly $5 Million Expansion

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, February 16, 2011  
Contact Information:  Mandy Lambert, (502) 564-7670  

Governor and senior Heaven Hill executives roll out the first barrel of Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey into newest rickhouse

BARDSTOWN, Ky. (Feb. 16, 2011) – Gov. Steve Beshear today joined Heaven Hill Distilleries President Max L. Shapira and community officials to cut the ribbon commencing the distillery’s nearly $5 million expansion in Bardstown.  Leaders rolled out the first barrel of Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey into Rickhouse “J,” which was constructed as a result of the expansion to increase the company’s barrel storage capacity.

Kentucky is internationally known for its rich heritage in the Bourbon industry and this latest expansion at Heaven Hill further enhances that reputation,” said Gov. Beshear. “The Commonwealth is pleased to partner with one of its signature industries to make these investments possible.” 

Heaven Hill, the largest independent family-owned and operated bourbon distiller and distilled spirits producer in the United States, recently filled the company’s 6 millionth barrel, only the second continuously operated distillery in the country ever to do so.  Heaven Hill will require the new warehouse space for its growing inventory of approximately 900,000 aging barrels, the second largest in the world.   

“Heaven Hill Distilleries is extremely pleased to be dedicating our new rickhouses, not only because of the growth in our Bourbon and American Whiskey business that has necessitated this expansion, but also because of the positive impact this has on Bardstown, Nelson County and the Commonwealth,” said Max Shapira.  “We are most appreciative of the support we have received at both the state and local level, and as a family-owned, Kentucky-based company, we look forward to giving back to our community for many years into the future.” 

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority approved Heaven Hill Distilleries for tax benefits up to $88,200 through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act.  The incentive program allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on building and construction materials, equipment used for research and development and electronic processing systems. 

“Heaven Hill is a great community partner and we appreciate their investment,” said Sen. Jimmy Higdon of Lebanon. 

“The Bourbon industry has long been a staple of Nelson County and the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” said Rep. David Floyd of Bardstown. “This expansion is a boost to our economy, and it guarantees the company’s presence in our region for many years to come.” 

“We are very proud and fortunate to be a part of yet another expansion of Heaven Hill in our community,” said Bardstown Mayor Bill Sheckles. 

“Heaven Hill Distilleries is a very important part of Nelson County’s economic engine and we are excited about their continued growth and success,” added Nelson County Judge Executive Dean Watts. 

Founded in 1934, Bardstown, Ky.-based Heaven Hill Distilleries Inc. ( is the nation’s largest independent, family-owned and operated spirits producer and marketer and the world’s second-largest holder of Kentucky Bourbon. Heaven Hill’s diversified portfolio of brands includes The Christian Brothers Brandies; Evan Williams and Elijah Craig Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskeys; Burnett’s Vodkas and Gin; Hpnotiq Liqueur; PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur; Lunazul and Two Fingers Tequilas; and Dubonnet Aperitif. 

Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at   

A detailed community profile for Bardstown (Nelson County) can be viewed at