7/20/18 Speyside Bourbon Cooperage To Establish Operations In Smyth, Washington Counties

Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission
Speyside Bourbon Cooperage to Establish New Operation

Richmond, VA – Governor Ralph Northam announced today that Speyside Bourbon Cooperage, Inc. will establish a bourbon barrel cooperage in Smyth County and a stave mill facility in Washington County. The Company plans to invest $26 million to establish the cooperage and a further $9 million in the stave mill. The project is expected to create 125 new jobs in Smyth County and 35 new jobs in Washington County. The Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission is supporting this project with a $415,000 Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund (TROF) grant for Smyth County and a $95,000 TROF grant for Washington County.

Tobacco Commission member, Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball said, “This major win is a tremendous example of state, regional, and local collaboration to secure Speyside Bourbon Cooperage’s newest supply and production facilities in the U.S., and will have a positive impact on Smyth and Washington Counties, Southwest Virginia, and the Commonwealth. The projects also demonstrate the value and efficiency that Virginia’s robust logistics infrastructure adds to companies’ supply chain management. We thank Speyside for its significant investment and 160 new, 21st-century jobs.”

Tobacco Commission member, Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring added, “Through its commitment to making significant investments in Virginia, Speyside Bourbon Cooperage is further supporting Virginia’s forest industry, loggers, and landowners, a critical part of Virginia’s economy. I am thrilled the Commonwealth could partner with Washington County through the AFID program to support this company in a flourishing industry. This project fills a critical gap in the spirit industry supply chain and through Speyside’s handcrafted barrels, Virginia-grown forestry products will be a part of making craft beverages all around the world.”

Tobacco Commission member, Senator Bill Carrico said, “Bringing a new business to Southwest Virginia is always good news, especially when it will create a large number of new jobs. We have a dedicated and skilled workforce in our region and it’s great to see that recognized by a company like Speyside through their decision to locate here. I’m also pleased that the Tobacco Commission chose to support this project and look forward to seeing Speyside get their workers hired and operations underway.”

Speyside Cooperage has specialized in providing barrels for spirit-making since 1947. Speyside makes top quality barrels to meet the requirements and expectations of spirit-makers all over the world. Speyside Bourbon Cooperage, Inc. is a subsidiary of Tonnellerie Francois Freres, a global cooperage company. Speyside has cooperages and stave mills located around the world and are specialists in every aspect of the industry. Speyside Bourbon Cooperage aims to ensure that barrels become a modern spirit-making instrument by combining age-old craftsmanship and state of the art techniques and equipment developed by their research and development department.

General Manager of Speyside Bourbon Cooperage, Inc. Darren Whitmer said, “Speyside Bourbon Cooperage is very excited to be expanding our operations in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Working with state and local authorities has been a wonderful experience for us, and thanks to these groups of people we have been able to locate excellent sites for our upcoming expansions. Virginia is perfect for us from a business standpoint; the communities that we are working in have been very welcoming. Logistically, the access that Virginia has fits our business model, and from a resource standpoint, Virginia cannot be beat. All of these factors have played an important part in leading us to Virginia, and we look forward to a long and prosperous future here.”

Chairman of the Smyth County Board of Supervisors, Todd Dishner added, “On behalf of the Smyth County Board of Supervisors and the citizens of Smyth County, I am excited to welcome Speyside to our community and region as a whole. We are very pleased with the decision to locate one facility here in Smyth County and a second facility in Highlands Business Park, which we partner with our good neighbors from Washington County in the Glade Springs area. Together, we are looking forward to beginning what is sure to be a win-win relationship for both our communities and Speyside moving forward.”

Chairman of the Washington County Board of Supervisors, Saul Hernandez said, “Today’s announcement exemplifies the power of partnerships in helping to catalyze new job creation and new investment opportunities which benefit both Washington County residents, and our neighbors. We are delighted to be celebrating not just one project today, but two. The people of Washington and Smyth Counties hit a homerun today with the location of Speyside to our communities.”

Developing a diverse economy in Southern and Southwest Virginia is the primary goal of the Tobacco Commission. Attracting new businesses to the area, like Speyside, along with the jobs and investment that they bring is an integral part of this mission.



Contact: Jordan Butler
Telephone: 804-786-7692
Cell: 757-692-0878
Email: jbutler@revitalizeva.org
Website: www.revitalizeva.org