Diageo broke ground for its new distillery called Diageo Lebanon Distillery in Kentucky, US, in July 2019.

The project was announced in December 2018 while the distillery will be operational by 2021.

It will be the third distillery to be built in Kentucky after the Stitzel-Weller distillery in Louisville, and Bulleit Distilling Company and Visitor Experience in Shelbyville.

The Stitzel-Weller distillery was opened in 2014 and the Bulleit Distilling facility became operational in June 2019.

The distillery will support the growing demand for Diageo bourbon whiskey category, which will continue to increase in the next ten years.

The project will generate 30 full-time jobs in the City of Lebanon, boost tourism growth and support future developments in the community.

Diageo Lebanon distillery location

The planned Diageo Lebanon distillery is located on a 58ha site at 100 Bourbon Drive in Lebanon, Marion County.

It is situated approximately 105km south-east of the company’s existing distillery in Louisville.

Diageo Lebanon distillery details

Diageo Lebanon distillery will feature a 72,000ft² distillery, a dry house and a 12-barrel warehouse.

The dry house will process the thick wastewater remaining after the distillation process.

The new facility will distil various types of Diageo bourbon and American whiskey brands.

Financing for Diageo Lebanon distillery

An estimated $130m will be invested in the Diageo Lebanon distillery project over three years.

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) will provide tax incentives up to $2.5m to Diageo through the Kentucky Business Investment programme to support job growth. KEDFA also approved tax incentives up to $1.5m through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA).

Diageo is also eligible to receive workforce from the Kentucky Skills Network, which provides benefits such as no-cost recruitment and employment, and employee training at a reduced cost.

Diageo’s product portfolio

Diageo’s popular brands include Guinness, Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, Bulleit and Buchanan’s and Windsor whiskies, as well as Smirnoff, Captain Morgan, Baileys, and Tanqueray among others.

Johnnie Walker is one of the most popular brands across the world. It comprises Johnnie Walker®  Colour range, John Walker & Sons range, and Johnnie Walker®  Explorers’ Club Collection™. Its popular drinks include Johnnie Walker red label, black label, double black, green label, and blue label among others.

Diageo’s Smirnoff is known as the world’s best-selling premium distilled spirit. Its production process involves three distillations and ten stages of filtration.

Captain Morgan, which is among the world’s most popular rum brands, includes products such as Captain Morgan® original spiced gold rum drink, Captain Morgan®  white rum, and Captain Morgan®  – the original rum.

The Baileys brand contains a blend of aged Irish whiskey and Irish dairy cream. It features Bailey’s Chocolat luxe, Baileys original Irish cream, Bailey’s orange truffle, and Baileys with a hint of coffee flavour.

The Guinness brand is brewed in across 50 countries and includes Guinness® draught, Guinness® foreign extra stout, Guinness® original, and Guinness® black lager among others.

Marketing commentary on Diageo

Diageo is a producer and global supplier of alcoholic beverages with more than 200 brands. It was formed in 1997, following the merger of Guinness and Grand Metropolitan. The company was formed by the contribution of Arthur Guinness, John Walker and Elizabeth Cumming.

Over the years, Diageo acquired Meta Abo Brewery, Hanoi Vodka, United Spirits, Peligroso Tequila, and Don Julio.

Diageo produces 240 million equivalent units of liquor from more than 150 manufacturing centres across 30 countries. The company currently employs 30,000 people worldwide and retails in 180 countries.

In April 2018, the company announced a £150m ($213m) investment in its Scotch whisky business over three years. The investment aims to transform Diageo’s Scotch whisky visitor experiences and develop its 12 malt whisky distillery visitor centres.