Posted by

Eastern Light Distilling Kentucky

Cordell Lawrence, CEO of Eastern Light Distilling, a new innovative Kentucky-owned business, tells they have embarked on a mission to expand the state’s signature bourbon industry into Eastern Kentucky near Morehead, Kentucky. This expansion is set to bring significant new investment, job opportunities, and tourism prospects to the region. The company’s project received preliminary approval for a 15-year incentive agreement from the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) under the Kentucky Business Investment program.

Eastern Light Distilling is not just another distillery, but rather a business that will support craft distillers in a unique way, making Kentucky’s rich bourbon heritage more accessible. The company is led by industry veterans Caleb Kilburn, the Master Distiller, and Cordell Lawrence, the CEO (both pictured below). Kilburn hails from Eastern Kentucky and has always dreamed of seeing the bourbon industry flourish in his home region.

“This is about far more than a single spirit brand. It’s about helping build Kentucky’s craft bourbon industry through a customized approach working hand in hand with craft distillers,” Cordell Lawrence, CEO of Eastern Light Distilling tell us. “We’re grateful to Governor Beshear, local officials in Morehead and Rowan County, and to everyone else who has helped us realize this dream of creating a unique and innovative concept to advance Kentucky’s time-honored bourbon industry and help new entrants access the thriving spirits marketplace.”

For many years, Kilburn and Lawrence have proudly worked alongside the Taylor family in Louisville as they continue to honor the fine tradition that is Kentucky Peerless Distilling Company. While they will eventually depart from Peerless to take on their new endeavor, they are immensely grateful for the opportunities their time with the Taylor family has offered.

“Caleb and Cordell have poured their hearts into Kentucky Peerless, and I am grateful for all they have done for our family and our brand,” Corky Taylor, CEO of Kentucky Peerless tells “We are thankful for their service and admire their entrepreneurial spirit. They should be proud of what we achieved together, and I am excited that they are claiming this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to elevate Kentucky’s craft distilling industry.”

A Significant Economic Impact

Eastern Light Distilling’s establishment is seen as a milestone in Kentucky’s economic development. Governor Andy Beshear lauded the company’s initiative, emphasizing that it would bring over $143 million in new economic development investment and create well-paying jobs. The company’s presence is also expected to attract tourists to the region, further boosting the local economy.

Eastern Light Distilling plans to invest upwards of $200 million in Rowan County in the coming years to create a comprehensive venue. This venue will include a distillery, rickhouses, and professional offices, contributing to increased economic and tourism opportunities in Eastern Kentucky. To support this endeavor, the company has been granted up to $2 million in state economic development tax incentives.

“Eastern Light is the culmination of a lifelong dream to see our state’s signature bourbon industry in my home of Eastern Kentucky,” said Caleb Kilburn, Master Distiller of Eastern Light Distilling. “This is especially important to me because it creates opportunity right here in our own community. It means the next kid from Eastern Kentucky with a dream of becoming a master distiller won’t have to leave home to find their start.”

A Bright Future for Craft Distilling

According to Cordell Lawrence, the CEO of Eastern Light Distilling, the company’s mission goes beyond creating a single spirit brand. Instead, it aims to build Kentucky’s craft bourbon industry through a customized approach, working hand in hand with craft distillers.

The project has received praise from Eric Gregory, president of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association, who believes that extending the world-famous Kentucky Bourbon Trail tour to Eastern Kentucky will provide more opportunities for craft distillers, new investment in different communities, and new jobs.

Eastern Light Distilling’s innovative approach is set to further elevate Kentucky’s craft distilling industry, as it plans to provide forward-thinking solutions to address growing challenges in the spirits industry, particularly for craft distillers.

We will be keeping you updated on For more details about this exciting venture, visit


Love Whiskey? Join our weekly whiskey tasting events!

Bourbon Whiskey Tastings

Comments are closed.