1st Known Black-Owned Bourbon Distillery In Kentucky Coming To Downtown Lexington

1st Known Black-Owned Bourbon Distillery In Kentucky Coming To Downtown Lexington

Bourbon distillery
The first Black-owned bourbon distillery in Kentucky is expanding to 34,000 square-foot premises in Lexington in a project worth $5.4M. Image: Terricks Noah/Pexels

The first Black-owned bourbon distillery in Kentucky — Fresh Bourbon Distilling Co., founded by Sean and Tia Edwards — plans to expand to downtown Lexington with a 34,000 square-foot distillery.

Sean registered the company in 2017 with the goal of establishing a premier, African-American-owned bourbon brand and opening a distillery in his hometown. The company recently completed its first round of financing, with a second funding round near finalization.

They plan to break ground in the summer but have yet to sign a contract for the location. Construction is expected to take about 18 months.

In December, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority gave the company approval for up to $325,000 in tax incentives for the $5.4 million project.

“Bourbon is a mainstay of Kentucky’s economy, and I am thrilled to see this step toward greater inclusivity in this iconic industry,” said governor Andy Beshear.

The owners of the new distillery will be working with another African-American distiller whose name is still confidential. This is something Sean says “hasn’t happened since slavery”.

Slaves helped create what is now one of the U.S.’s most iconic industries, with many slaves noted for their whiskey-making capabilities in tax records that list slaves as property.

Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 69: Jamarlin Martin

Jamarlin goes solo to unpack the question: Was Barack Obama the first political anti-Christ to rise in Black America? To understand the question, we have to revisit Rev. Wright and Obama’s decision to bring on political disciples David Plouffe, Joe Biden and Eric Holder.

“For nearly three years, we have been diligently developing an authentic and unique bourbon and spirits line,” Sean said in a statement.

“We have been very intentional and deliberate in crafting our spirits — from the mash bills up — and also our Fresh Bourbon team, including in selecting our master distiller, the first African American master distiller in Kentucky since slavery.”