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Old Forester Distillery, Visitor Center Coming to Louisville Main Street

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Louisville-based Brown-Forman will open a distillery and "visitor experience" on Main Street for its founding brand, Old Forester, the city announced Thursday.It will go in two historic buildings at 117 and 119 Main Street, which have a combined 55,000 square feet, according to a city news release. The distillery will have the capacity to distill all of Old Forester's current business. The "visitor experience" will include tours, a tasting room, exhibits, demonstrations and more.The state is providing $900,000 in tax incentives for the project. The city said: The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the term of the agreement through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets. KEDFA also approved Brown-Forman for tax benefits up to $410,000 through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act, which allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing equipment.The project is expected to lead to as many as 20 new jobs, and the company is expected to invest about $30 million.In a released statement, Brown-Forman president and chief executive Paul Varga said: “George Garvin Brown introduced Old Forester, America’s first bottled bourbon, more than 140 years ago, and with that he changed our industry and Louisville community forever. As demand for high quality bourbon continues to increase, the Old Forester Distillery will enable us to expand capacity to share not only one of the greatest tasting bourbons with more of the world, but share the story of one of Kentucky’s bourbon icons.”