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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Fortune Brands Betting on Bourbon: Company Invests $120 Million to Expand Distilleries

Follow the money. If you take that advice and look at Fortune Brands you will come to the conclusion that Bourbon is back in vogue.

The company is heavily investing at facilities in Kentucky. The Booker Noe Distillery in Bardstown that makes Jim Beam is getting a $70 million upgrade that will enable it to boost production by 50 percent to 15 million gallons of whiskey a year. Meanwhile, almost $50 million is being spent by Fortune Brands at the Maker's Mark Distillery in Loretto and another facility in Frankfort.

The investment is being prompted by the biggest boom is Bourbon consumption since just after the end of World War II. Much of the growth is coming from higher end products and distillers are expanding now anticipating they will need the whiskey several years down the line to keep up with worldwide demand.

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