Horse Soldier Groundbreaking Team Board – VITOK Engineers

As part of the elite distillery design team for Horse Soldier Distillery, VITOK Engineers  participated in the Groundbreaking Ceremony this week.

Gov. Andy Beshear joined leaders from the Somerset, KY community this week in congratulating the Horse Soldier Bourbon Team on the official groundbreaking of the new $200 Million Distillery complex. This project will bring new jobs, bourbon, and tourism to Pulaski County.

Gov. Beshear stated, “I want to thank the team at Horse Soldier Bourbon for their service to our country. We are excited that your next chapter includes making Horse Soldier Bourbon in Somerset and investing in the commonwealth. Your story reinforces our belief that Kentucky is truly destined for greatness.”

President and CEO of Horse Soldier Bourbon, John Koko stated, “We are every person you have ever known in your family. We’re average guys. It was just our turn to do something. And we are proud to be doing it in a place where our story so naturally fits. Horse Soldier Farms will make this already outstanding community stronger and better, with the values its people have always had — values that are also important to us. We are honored to come home, to make our dreams a reality in Somerset.”

The distillery complex will consist of a 27,585 square-foot distillery visitor center, 4,600 square-foot activity center, 5,000 person capacity amphitheater, 500 person outdoor event space, an adventure center, a 3,200 square-foot wedding chapel, 60 room luxury lodge with 20 cabins, and a retail village.

Distillery Village at Horse Soldier Distillery

Currently distilled in Columbus, Ohio, Horse Soldier Bourbon will transfer its operations to Somerset following completion of the $200 million distillery project. The new distillery will complement Lake Cumberland as the premier, off-the-water attraction in Somerset bringing new jobs, bourbon and tourism dollars to the Somerset community.

“Horse Soldier Farms has, from the beginning, been a project that challenges people to believe anything is possible,” said Somerset Mayor Alan Keck “That has been a key part of my vision for this community, and it’s what makes this partnership so special. I’m grateful the Horse Soldier team has been willing to dream big with us. As these two stories intertwine, as we forge our path to becoming a Kentucky Bourbon Trail experience, we will continue to build excitement and a more enduring legacy for Somerset.”

Adding bourbon to Somerset’s thriving tourism industry is expected to have a major economic impact in the local community. Currently, the community’s tourism attractions welcome nearly 5 million visitors annually, generating $115 million in economic impact.

Eric Gregory, president of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association, said the historic trade group is proud to welcome the Horse Soldier family to the commonwealth and thanked them for their service to our country, impressive investment and visionary tourism plans.

“Here we have true American heroes who have come together to produce America’s only native spirit: Kentucky Bourbon,” Gregory said. “With this endeavor, the team at Horse Soldier brings a bold sense of adventure and an all-American dedication to preserving Kentucky’s legacy as the one true and authentic home for Bourbon. We’re honored that they chose our beloved Bluegrass as their home, and we look forward to adding them to the KDA’s world-famous Kentucky Bourbon Trail experience.”

Upon the recommendation of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, Horse Soldier Farms LLC received approval from the Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority for incentives totaling over $29.9 million for the new distillery project. Through the Tourism Development Act, eligible Kentucky businesses can receive an annual reimbursement for taxes paid on qualifying tourism development projects.

Throughout the pandemic, spirits companies have continued pledging to invest and create jobs in the commonwealth. Today, roughly 70 spirits facilities employ more than 5,100 people. Since the start of 2020, Kentucky’s spirits industry has seen more than 30 new-location or expansion announcements with over $550 million in planned investments and approximately 500 announced full-time jobs.

Horse Soldier Bourbon’s investment and planned job creation furthers recent economic momentum in the commonwealth, as the state builds back stronger in response to the effects of the pandemic.

Water Garden Tribute Design for Horse Soldier Distillery


Aerial View of Horse Soldier Distillery