FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 22, 2022) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear congratulated New Riff Distilling LLC as the company broke ground on a more than $10 million barrel storage warehouse in Campbell County that will create five jobs for Kentucky residents.
“I am happy to see yet another distillery grow its presence in the commonwealth as New Riff Distilling continues to build its footprint in Northern Kentucky,” Gov. Beshear said. “This is a rapidly growing company that highlights the strength of Kentucky’s bourbon sector, and I look forward to seeing what they achieve next. Congratulations to the leaders at New Riff and to everyone in Campbell County and the surrounding region who is benefitting from the company’s success.”
The new 55,000-square-foot warehouse will be located on 10 acres in Silver Grove and will help meet growing customer demand at the flagship distillery in Newport. Company leaders expect the facility to be operational by spring 2023. The project represents continued growth for New Riff, which in 2021 saw an expansion of its Newport distillery to accommodate three new fermenters and increase production to 12,000 barrels annually, representing a 50% increase in capacity.
“We appreciate the support of state and local leadership for New Riff Distilling and the bourbon industry statewide,” said Ken Lewis, New Riff Distilling founder and CEO. “We are proud of the products we make and the people who make them and look forward to continuing to not just make great whiskey and gin, but to support our community through our success.”
Founded in 2014, independently owned New Riff released its first products to market in 2018 and has since grown to distribute to 16 states. The Campbell County distillery produces bourbon, rye and gin, with its bourbon and rye offerings available in single-barrel selections, in addition to a popular private-barrel selection program.
Warm Construction President Mark Wiegman said he is thankful for the opportunity to work with New Riff to construct the new facility.
“New Riff Distilling and their team are an incredible group of people to work with,” Wiegman said. “Warm Construction is proud and honored to be their construction partner, working alongside Platte Architecture, building our second barrel storage facility to meet New Riff’s exciting growth needs.”
Today’s groundbreaking builds on recent bourbon and spirits growth in Kentucky. Since the start of the Beshear administration, Kentucky’s spirits industry has announced more than 50 new-location or expansion projects totaling over $1.1 billion in planned investments and creating more than 900 announced full-time jobs. Currently, approximately 60 spirits facilities directly employ more than 5,300 people. The commonwealth’s bourbon sector is a nearly $9 billion signature industry in Kentucky, generating more than 22,500 jobs with an annual payroll exceeding $1.23 billion. Gov. Beshear also worked with U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo to remove harmful bourbon tariffs on trade with the United Kingdom and European Union, ensuring continuing strength in the export market.
Campbell County Judge/Executive Steve Pendery congratulated the leadership at New Riff on their continued success and the newest location in the county.
“New Riff is a homegrown success story, and we’re thrilled to see this expansion taking place in Campbell County,” Judge Pendery said. “Northern Kentucky’s bourbon trail, the B-Line, is the gateway to Kentucky’s bourbon experiences. New Riff is an excellent launching point for visitors to the Cincinnati region wanting to sample and learn about bourbon.”
Silver Grove Mayor Neal Bedel expressed his gratitude to New Riff’s leaders for choosing the city for a new bourbon operation.
“Silver Grove is excited to be home to New Riff’s new barrel warehouse facility and five new jobs,” Mayor Bedel said. “Bourbon is in our blood in Kentucky, and we’re thrilled that Silver Grove will play a part in the industry.”
Northern Kentucky Tri-ED President and CEO Lee Crume noted the bourbon industry is growing, and the region is an ideal location to serve Kentucky and the Cincinnati area.
“Kentucky bourbon is recognized all over the world, and Ken Lewis has built an internationally recognized company and award-winning collection of bourbon, rye and Kentucky Wild Gin,” Crume said. “Congratulations to Ken and his team on this expansion and their success.”
New Riff’s investment and planned job creation furthers recent economic momentum in the commonwealth, as the state builds back stronger from the effects of the pandemic.
In 2021, the commonwealth shattered every economic development record in the books. Private-sector new-location and expansion announcements included a record $11.2 billion in total planned investment and commitments to create a record 18,000-plus full-time jobs across the coming years. Kentucky’s average incentivized hourly wage for projects statewide in 2021 was $24 before benefits, a 9.4% increase over the previous year.
In the past year, the Beshear administration announced the two largest economic development projects in state history. In September 2021, Gov. Beshear and leaders from Ford Motor Co. and SK Innovation celebrated a transformative $5.8 billion investment that will create 5,000 jobs in Hardin County. And in April of this year, the Governor was joined by leadership at Envision AESC to announce a $2 billion investment that will create 2,000 jobs in Warren County. These announcements solidify Kentucky as the EV battery production capital of the United States.
The economic momentum has carried strongly into 2022, with both S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings upgrading Kentucky’s financial outlook to positive in recognition of the commonwealth’s surging economy.
And Site Selection magazine placed Kentucky at 6th in its annual Prosperity Cup rankings for 2022, which recognizes state-level economic success based on capital investments.
For April 2022, the state budget director reported the highest-ever monthly General Fund receipts of $1.84 billion. That is up 34.9% over last April’s collections, bringing Kentucky’s year-to-date growth rate to 16.4%.
Also in April, the state reported a 3.9% unemployment rate, which was the lowest rate ever recorded. In May, the rate fell to a new record low of 3.8%.
To encourage investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in May approved New Riff for up to $50,000 in tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA). 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.
For more information on New Riff Distilling, visit NewRiffDistilling.com.
A detailed community profile for Campbell County can be viewed here.
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, Instagram @CEDkygov and LinkedIn.