For Immediate Release:
August 16, 2016
Office of the Governor: Brian Coy, (804) 225-4260, Brian.Coy@governor.virginia.gov
| Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Elaine Lidholm, (804) 786-7686, Elaine.Lidholm@vdacs.virginia.gov
Governor McAuliffe Announces Craft Distillery Expansion in City of Manassas
~KO Distilling to Create Six New Jobs, Triple Production Capacity, Purchase 100% Virginia-Grown Grains~
RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that KO Distilling will expand its operations in the City of Manassas. The company will create six new jobs in the city and source 100 percent of its corn, wheat, and rye needs from Virginia agricultural producers. This is the first project in the City of Manassas to receive discretionary incentives during the McAuliffe administration and the first since 2010.
“KO Distilling is a great example of the importance a diverse agricultural sector can and will play in building the new Virginia economy,” said Governor McAuliffe, speaking about the announcement. “In addition to creating jobs, KO Distilling’s investment in Manassas leverages Virginia’s excellent agriculture assets to bring together multiple aspects of economic development – entrepreneurship, manufacturing, and tourism – in one operation. Congratulations to KO Distilling on its expansion and enhancing Virginia’s reputation as a world-class craft beverage producer.”
“KO Distilling’s investment represents the company’s commitment to Manassas and to Virginia’s grain producers, who are successfully marketing their Virginia-grown inputs to the craft beer and distilled spirit industries,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore. “This project not only promotes Virginia’s agricultural sector, it also demonstrates the role agriculture can play in urban areas of the Commonwealth. With more than 270 wineries and cideries, 150 craft breweries, and 40 craft distilleries, Virginia is emerging as the preeminent craft beverage player on the East Coast. These entrepreneurial ventures are helping the Governor’s efforts to build the new Virginia economy by creating jobs and generating revenue throughout the supply chain.”
KO Distilling will invest $675,000 in the site improvements and equipment needed to expand its distillery, tasting room, and remote-licensed ABC store, tripling production capacity at their existing location in historic Manassas. The company produces award-winning gin and white whiskey, and has begun production of aged bourbon, wheat, and rye whiskeys. KO is currently available in more than 100 Virginia ABC Stores and throughout the District of Columbia.
John O’Mara, President and Head Distiller KO Distilling added, “We are truly appreciative of the Commonwealth’s and the City of Manassas’ support in the growth of our distillery’s production capability. With the new column still and the upgrades to our grain handling system we are anticipating a 300 percent increase in our production capabilities. This will require the use of an additional 300 tons of Virginia grain and an increase in our work force to support the additional production runs. We are looking towards the future and we hope to be in the top five producers of distilled spirits in the Commonwealth of Virginia within the next year. Team KO is excited.”
“We are honored that KO Distilling selected the City of Manassas as their home for business,” said Manassas Mayor Harry J. Parrish II. “This expansion and the subsequent jobs it brings is inspiring to future entrepreneurs. The expansion triples KO’s production capacity and we welcome the investment for KO Distilling and the City of Manassas.”
Speaking about the AFID grant’s impact for KO Distilling, Senator Jeremy McPike commented, “Small businesses like KO Distilling are vital to our effort to diversify the New Virginia Economy. It's great to see hard work and great partnerships come together to support this expansion, which will allow KO to triple their production. KO is not only creating jobs here in Manassas, but the company has committed to purchasing an additional 300 tons of corn, wheat, and rye from Virginia producers."
Delegate Jackson Miller added, “I’m excited to see KO expanding its operations and choosing to stay in Manassas. Bill and John have already won a number of awards for their spirits, and I can’t wait to see what they’re able to achieve with the additional space.”
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) worked with the City of Manassas to secure this project for Virginia. Governor McAuliffe approved a $25,000 grant from the AFID Fund to assist Manassas with the project.
Since the beginning of the McAuliffe Administration, 766 economic development deals have been closed in Virginia with over $13 billion in capital investment, which is more than any previous governor in the first 30 months in office.