PIKE COUNTY, Ky. — An innovative new bourbon distillery is launching in Eastern Kentucky, refurbishing land used to power the state’s coal industry. Gov. Andy Beshear, D-Ky., announced the new endeavor from Brothers Wright Distilling Co., which will invest nearly $38 million and create 28 jobs in Pike County and use a rehabilitated underground coal mine to age the company’s products.

What You Need To Know

  • Brothers Wright Distilling Co. will build a new distillery in Pike County, using a rehabilitated underground coal mine to age the company's products

  • The endeavor represents a $38 million investment and the creation of 28 jobs in Pike County. The project is projected to have 50 construction and mine rehabilitation jobs as well

  • The company is already using the mines to age some of their products. The new facility will include a distillery, rickhouse, welcome center, museum and restaurant

  • Construction will begin later this year with expected completion in 2024

“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,” said Beshear.

Company leaders plan to construct a 12,000-square-foot distillery, rickhouse, welcome center, museum and restaurant on a 20-acre tract — part of a larger 1,200-acre property, along Kentucky Highway 292 in Pike County. Plans include lodging and an underground visitor experience.

The company will age its Kentucky-made bourbon in a rehabilitated coal mine, encompassing 1,400 acres underground, on the mine property that operated from 1913 through 1946.

Over 100 years after construction, the mine’s internal dry-stacked rock walls remain intact. The site already serves as home to the first barrels of the company’s product, which was distilled in Pike County.

Jobs at the operation will include 28 full-time position, ranging from production and maintenance to sales and tours. 50 construction and mine rehabilitation jobs are also projected.

Construction of the new facility is expected to begin later this year, with completion scheduled by the end of 2024.

“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.

“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,” he added.

In 2020, brothers Kendall and Shannon Wright purchased a 1,200-acre farm along the banks of the Tug Fork tributary of the Big Sandy River and began work to restore the property for use as a corporate retreat location. Following the acquisition, the brothers discovered coal mine maps of the property, which uncovered the location of the mine that is now being used to age the company’s bourbon.

The company’s owners also operate multiple other businesses all over Kentucky and central and southern Appalachia, including parent company Wright Concrete & Construction, employing over 200 people across all operations.

On their website, Brothers Wright Distillery currently boasts a line of three bourbons: Brothers Wright Reserve, Brothers Wright Wheated and Brothers Wright Rye. 


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