LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – A brandy distillery called Copper & Kings is under construction in Louisville's Butchertown neighborhood, with a sign at the site indicating a spring 2014 opening.
Louisville Metro Planning & Design records say the distillery, at 1111 E. Washington St., will also include office space and a tasting room.
In late September, Riverhorse Inc., doing business as Riverhorse Distilling, filed papers with the Louisville Metro Revenue Commission to conduct business in "beverage manufacturing."
In February, the state and Louisville Metro government offered Riverhorse $400,000 in tax incentives to entice the company to establish a "start-up manufacturer and distributor of brandies" in Louisville. The new operation would eventually employee 30 people, according to tax incentive documents.
Cados LLC, the Minnesota company that was offered incentives on behalf of its affiliate Riverhorse, purchased the Butchertown property near the Blind Pig restaurant earlier this year, according to the Jefferson County PVA.
Riverhorse's revenue commission filing says it will be located at 110 W. Main Street, #301, in downtown Louisville. The W. Main Street address will be the company's corporate office, said a man who answered the Minnesota phone number listed in the business filing on Monday.
The man identified himself as a consultant to Riverhorse and said he would pass along a reporter's contact information to the company's owners.
Riverhorse is owned by Lesley Heron of Cape Town, South Africa, according to state tax incentive documents.
Dave Dafoe, owner of Louisville beverage development company Flavorman, said Monday that his company has worked with Joe and Lesley Heron for several years. Flavorman helped the Herons develop a "healthy soft-drink" product that was sold to Pepsi and a "hard apple cider" that was sold to Miller Coors, Dafoe said.
State tax incentive documents indicate Riverhorse will be working with Flavorman's subsidiary the Distilled Spirits Epicenter to "experiment with different brandies" at the new Louisville distillery. The epicenter is a company that helps entrepreneurs start distilleries, Dafoe said.
Dafoe declined to provide details on the Riverhorse project.
Asked why a brandy maker might be interested in coming to a bourbon town, he noted that companies with Louisville ties like Brown-Forman and Jim Beam make several varieties of liquor.
"Kentucky really is the center of all distilled spirits," he said. "All of that knowledge is right here."
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