December 18, 2017

Sazerac plans $1M expansion at Lewiston bottling plant

Courtesy / Serra Public Affairs
Courtesy / Serra Public Affairs
Andy Muschinski, Sazerac Co. plant manager, speaks to employees, media and city officials at the Lewiston plant, which is slated for a $1 million expansion that will add at least 30 jobs.

Boston Brands of Maine, a division of Sazerac Co., will invest $1 million to expand its Lewiston bottling plant, adding at least 30 jobs, the company said in a news release.

The Lewiston plant, on Saratoga Street, employs 130 people. The new positions will pay from $16 to $18 an hour.

Earlier this year, Sazerac officials said that a proposal to ban 50-milliliter bottles threatened the expansion plans, the Sun Journal reported. Instead of banning the small bottles, known as nips, the state, which controls liquor sales, raised the price from 99 cents to $1.49.

Sazerac, based in suburban New Orleans, bought the distillery in 2013 from Beam, which acquired it in 2012 when it took over White Rock Distilleries brands.

The move into the Lewiston plant "was an excellent decision," said Gerry Reid, director of business development for Boston Brands of Maine. "We are now happy to be expanding and investing further in Maine's economy."

Sazerac's Fireball whiskey 50ml makes up half of all nip products sold in the state, the release said. In addition to Fireball, the company's whiskey portfolio includes Pappy Van Winkle, Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare and Sazerac Rye. It also makes Southern Comfort, Platinum Vodka and Mr. Boston liquors.

Six of the 25 most popular-selling liquors in Maine were bottled at the plant, based on state records, the Press Herald reported. Besides the Fireball Cinnamon Whisky, the other popular brands are Crown Russe Vodka, Barton Vodka, Boston Coffee, Fleischmann's Vodka and Canadian LTD.

Family-owned Sazerac, which has 2,000 employees worldwide, has operations in Louisiana, Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee, Maine, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Maryland, California, as well as the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, India, Australia and Canada. The company does not disclose its sales revenues.

Read more

Retailers: Proposed nips ban will stifle business

Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages proposes ban on nips

Fate of 'nips' bill rests with Senate after House overrides LePage veto

LePage threatens outright ban if lawmakers pass 'nips' deposit bill

Liquor minis could see bottle deposit


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