NEW HAVEN, Ky. (May 11, 2021) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear joined members of the Dant family who lead Log Still Distillery and local officials in Nelson County to cut the ribbon on the distillery’s tasting room, signifying a major step forward for a two-phase project expected to create 146 full-time jobs with $36 million in total investment.
“Today is a great day for Nelson County and Kentucky’s thriving bourbon industry,” Gov. Beshear said. “Log Still Distillery’s campus embodies everything that makes the bourbon industry so important to our state. This project will provide economic growth for the surrounding area while attracting visitors from across the state and beyond our borders. I want to thank Wally Dant and everyone at Log Still Distillery for bringing this promising investment to the commonwealth. We’re building a better Kentucky, and we’re doing it with companies that share our vision for the future.”
Built by Buzick Construction, the tasting room’s primary focal point is a Vendome Copper mini-still. It also features an overhead bi-fold door that opens as weather allows so visitors can enjoy outside tastings with a view of the Kentucky countryside.
The tasting room opens to the public May 18 and will premiere Log Still’s initial spirits. Debut products include Monk’s Road Dry Gin, Monk’s Road Barrel Finished Gin and Monk’s Road Fifth District Series Bourbon: Cold Spring Distillery, the first in a rotating series of bourbons named for historic pre-Prohibition distillers in the region. Company leaders plan additional products, including bourbon and rye whiskey under the Monk’s Road name and Tennessee whiskeys under the Rattle and Snap label.
Leaders of the startup distillery on Dee Head Road in southern Nelson County moved forward last month with a $24 million Phase 2 investment to establish Dant Crossing, a 300-plus-acre campus that is home to the distillery, including the newly opened tasting room, and other amenities. The announcement followed a Phase 1 investment of $12 million unveiled in 2019 to establish the operation at the historic site.
New jobs created across both phases of the project include distillery and bottling operations, hospitality, event operations and restaurant positions.
Dant Crossing’s first amenities debuted earlier this year with the opening of the Homestead Bed & Breakfast and the Poplar Cottage rentals. Additional amenities are expected to open later this year, including an amphitheater, restaurant, train depot and event/conference center, with plans to add a visitor’s center, museum and gift shop in 2022.
“This is a monumental day for the Dant family, and we are grateful that Gov. Beshear could be with us to celebrate,” said Log Still President Wally Dant. “We can’t wait for everyone to come out to campus and try our Monk’s Road bourbon and gins.”
Kentucky Tourism, Arts & Heritage Cabinet Secretary Mike Berry said the project signifies growth on multiple fronts for the commonwealth.
“The cabinet is honored to join Log Still Distillery in celebrating this exciting tourism and economic development project that will bring jobs and travel revenue to Kentucky,” Sec. Berry said. “The Beshear administration understands the value of investing in Kentucky business and the role this attraction will have in fostering economic recovery throughout the commonwealth.”
Log Still’s recent investment adds to a wave of recent economic momentum in the commonwealth, as the state builds back stronger following the effects of the pandemic.
Earlier this month, Fitch Ratings improved the state’s financial outlook to stable, reflecting the commonwealth’s solid economic recovery. The state’s April sales tax receipts set an all-time monthly record at $486.5 million, as did vehicle usage tax receipts at over $64 million.
In March, Site Selection magazine’s annual Governor’s Cup rankings for 2020 positioned Kentucky atop the South Central region, and third nationally, for qualifying projects per capita. The commonwealth also placed seventh overall in total projects, the highest of any state with a population under 5 million.
Nelson County Judge/Executive Dean Watts noted the company’s place within the historic bourbon industry in Central Kentucky.
“Log Still’s project further enhances the rich history of making bourbon in Nelson County,” Judge/Executive Watts said.
Kim Huston, president of the Nelson County Economic Development Agency, said the newly unveiled tasting room lies at the center of the rapidly growing operation.
“The tasting room at Log Still Distillery is at the heart of this beautiful 300-plus-acre distillery campus and is designed to make a unique experience out of the tasting of its crafted products,” Huston said.
Upon the recommendation of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, Log Still Distillery received approval from the Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority for incentives through the Tourism Development Act. Eligible businesses receive an annual reimbursement for taxes paid on qualifying tourism development projects admission tickets, food and gift sales and lodging costs. Log Still Distillery will receive a tax incentive totaling $6 million for its Phase 2 tourism expansion.
To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in May 2019 preliminarily approved a 10-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $500,000 in tax incentives based on the company’s Phase 1 investment of $12 million and annual targets of:
- Creation and maintenance of 20 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 10 years; and
- Paying an average hourly wage of $26 including benefits across those jobs.
KEDFA in May 2019 approved Log Still for up to $100,000 in tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA) based on the company’s Phase 1 investment of $12 million. In March 2021, KEDFA approved the company for up to $500,000 in tax incentives through KEIA based on the company’s Phase 2 investment of $24 million. 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.
Log Still also can receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies can receive no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives.
For more information on Log Still Distillery and Dant Crossing, or to book a tasting, visit LogStillDistillery.com and DantCrossing.com.
A detailed community profile for Nelson County can be viewed here. Information about Nelson County tourism is available at visitbardstown.com.
Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at CED.ky.gov. Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion at facebook.com/CEDkygov, on Twitter @CEDkygov and LinkedIn.
For the latest Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet updates, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn. To learn more about the cabinet or for information relating to tourism development projects, visit tah.ky.gov.