News & Releases

Spirits in the mountains: Explore moonshine and bourbon distilleries in Eastern Kentucky

May 20, 2024
Louisville Courier Journal

The Kentucky Bourbon Trail boasts more than 40 distilleries scattered throughout the middle of the state. But if you venture an hour or two off the eastern edge of that beaten path, there’s even more in store.

In recent years, Eastern Kentucky has welcomed a growing collection of moonshine and bourbon distilleries, and more on are on the way.

Contract Distilling Is on the Rise. What Will It Mean for Bourbon?

February 12, 2024

Cordell Lawrence, co-founder of Eastern Light Distilling in Morehead, Ky., which is set to begin operations in 2025, says that this is the “next generation” of contract distillation. “The prior giants of the contract world have aged out, meaning they have now been able to grow to a point that it makes more monetary sense for them to focus on their consumer-facing brands and less so on contract,” he explains, pointing to examples like Wilderness Trail, which had previously contract- distilled until it was acquired by Campari last year.

Why the co-founders of Eastern Light Distilling are investing $144M in Rowan County

January 9, 2024
Louisville Business First

As Cordell Lawrence and Caleb Kilburn have set off into their next venture in the bourbon industry, the conversation inevitably turns to the following question about Eastern Light Distilling: Why build it in Rowan County? Or for that matter, why Eastern Kentucky?

The answers, they said, of their planned all-in $143.7 million investment in Morehead are numerous.

Eastern Light unveils official brand

January 3, 2024
The Bourbon Flight

As a new day dawns on Kentucky bourbon, Eastern Light Distilling officially unveils its new brand as co-founders Caleb Kilburn and Cordell Lawrence commit their full focus to creating a new craft bourbon distillery in Eastern Kentucky. In December, Kilburn and Lawrence departed from Kentucky Peerless Distilling Company, where they had honed their craft for nearly the past decade.

Eastern Light Unveils Official Brand as Co-Founders Commit Full Focus to New Craft Bourbon Distillery in Eastern Kentucky

January 3, 2024
Press Release

MOREHEAD, KY. As a new day dawns on Kentucky bourbon, Eastern Light Distilling officially unveils its new brand as co-founders Caleb Kilburn and Cordell Lawrence commit their full focus to the creation of a new craft bourbon distillery in Eastern Kentucky. 

Here's the latest on 10 major Kentucky distillery projects

Nov 28, 2023
Louisville Business First

When all is said and done, 2023 will be another banner year for the bourbon industry.

Aside from the profits and investments of preexisting distilleries and brands, what is most noticeable is the number of new distillery projects that have been announced — some of which are being constructed in counties that previously did not have distilleries.

Gov. Beshear: Eastern Light Distilling Creating 50 Full-Time Jobs With New $143.7 Million Venue in Morehead

June 29, 2023
Office of Governor Andy Beshear

FRANKFORT, KY. – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear recognized new growth in Kentucky’s signature bourbon and spirits industry with Eastern Light Distilling, an Eastern Kentucky-based distilling company investing more than $143.7 million in a new venue located in Rowan County, expected to create at least 50 new jobs in the area in the coming years.

Launch of Eastern Light Distilling Heralds New Day for Kentucky Bourbon

June 29, 2023
Press Release

LOUISVILLE, KY.— A new day is dawning for Kentucky bourbon as Eastern Light Distilling introduces an innovative concept to expand Kentucky’s signature bourbon industry into Eastern Kentucky, bringing significant new investment, new jobs and new tourism opportunities to the region.

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