Kentucky distillers produce 95% of the world’s bourbon.
Right now, there are 5.6 million barrells of bourbon aging in Kentucky, which means there are more barrells of bourbon in Kentucky than there are people. (Kentucky’s population is 4.4 million.) More than 15,400 Kentucky jobs are connected to distillery-related enterprises.
When TerraPURE reopens Charles Medley Distillery, you can add 75 more.
Terressentia Corporation CEO Earl Hewlette announced today that “We have begun the local hiring process, and we anticipate adding approximately 50-75 jobs for the distillery operations” once the facility is fully refurbished.
Charles Medley Distillery (on Distillery Road) started operations in 1885, but has been vacant for more than two decades. With this acquisition, TerraPURE plans to invest $25 million to purchase and refurbish the nearly 80-year-old existing buildings on the 28 acre site.
TerraPURE creates spirits by using a patented technology that uses ultrasonic energy and oxygenation to rapidly mature it. The former Charles Medley distillery will be renamed the “O.Z. Tyler Distillery” in memory of the co-inventor of the TerrePURE distilling process. Tyler’s wife was on hand to cut the ribbon at the unveiling of the new sign today.
Very appropriately, today would have been O.Z. Tyler’s 81st birthday.
After thanking everyone for coming, including Governor Steve Beshear, Earl Hewlette explained two deciding factors for purchasing the Charles Medley Distillery here in Owensboro. “First, it takes a community with a skilled labor force. Also, it takes a community that people want to come to when you ask them to move. And this is a beautiful city.”
Hewlette described TerraPURE as a young, technology company in a very traditional industry. The company began in 2007, when the patent was issued, and has experienced rapid growth in three main markets:
- Spirits for people who want their own brand but don’t have a distillery (of which TerraPURE produces about 50)
- Creating brands for national retail chains (for which TerraPURE creates about 100 brands)
- Distilling products and shipping in bulk (TerraPURE produces about 750,000 gallons of various spirits)
“Now, we have the opportunity to operate beyond our current facilities,” Hewlette said. “This is a huge leap forward for us. We look forward to producing Kentucky bourbon right here in Owensboro.”