A new Diageo distillery is now under construction in Shelbyville.
Officials broke ground on the $115M dollar facility Thursday.
Aiming to capitalize on the worldwide bourbon boom, London, England-based Diageo plans to open the doors to its new Bulleit Distilling Co. by the end of 2016. But if visitors are going to do any tasting, Shelby County voters will have to reconsider the region’s “dry” status.
Shelby County Judge-Executive Bob Rothenburger told WAVE 3-TV a referendum is in order.
"Because they're such a great brand, they're going to sell whether they have it or not. But we really want it, they really want it, because we want to be able to showcase not only Diageo and Bulleit Distilling but our fine community that we have," he said.
The distillery – named for Louisville native Tom Bulleit – is expected to bring 30 jobs to the community and contribute to the bottom lines of a number of Kentucky farms.
While Diageo’s brands include Crown Royal and Johnny Walker, the Shelbyville location will focus on the Bulleit brand with other potential bourbon and whisky varieties to follow.