Food & Beverage Growth in East Kentucky


The Food & Beverage Sector is Growing in Eastern Kentucky

Recent Announcements

On July 30, 2015, Alltech broke ground on Dueling Barrels Brewing & Distilling in downtown Pikeville, Kentucky.  The combined brewery and distillery represents a $13 Million USD investment.  The facility will feature Eastern Kentucky inspired beer and spirits, including legal moonshine and bourbon.  The name of the facility was inspired by the notorious feuds between the Hatfields and McCoys, two warring families ingrained in U.S. history from Pike County, Kentucky and West Virginia.



Food & Beverage Cluster

food beverage ag cluster

  • Kellogg’s – Breakfast and Snack Bars (Pop-Tarts)
  • Kentucky Mist Distillery – Moonshine and related products
  • Brown Food Service – Food Distribution
  • Coca-Cola – Soft Drink Distribution
  • East Kentucky Beverage Company – Pepsi Product Distribution
  • Mother Nature Spring Water – Bottled Water
  • HT Hackney – Grocery and Convenience Store Distribution


Above U.S. Average Stats

The One East Kentucky region has more employees working in the following industries than the U.S. Average:

  • 23 times US average in Cookie and Cracker Manufacturing
  • 11 times US average employed by Packaged Frozen Food Merchant Wholesalers
  • 4 times US average employed by Confectionery Merchant Wholesalers
  • 4% more employed by Animal Production and Aquaculture

Since 2011, the One East Kentucky region has seen growth in the following sectors:

  • 122% growth in people employed by Confectionary Merchant Wholesalers
  • 55% growth in people employed in Crop Production
  • 50% growth in Support Activities for Animal Production
  • 9% growth in people employed in Food Processing


Skilled Labor in East Kentucky

The One East Kentucky region is home to the following amount of skilled workers pertinent to this sector:

  • 2,568 Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers
  • 1,042 Farmers, Ranchers and Other Agricultural Managers
  • 737 Cooks, Institutions and Cafeteria
  • 649 First Line Supervisors of Feed Preparation
  • 207 Food Service Managers
  • 117 Butchers and Meat Cutters
  • 74 Bakers
  • 31 Chefs and Head Cooks

We have the labor companies need to grow! See how quickly our workforce can be put to work for your company.

kentucy powerElectric Power Provider

We are served by AEP Kentucky Power, a publicly traded investor-owned electric utility. AEP owns more of the nation’s electricity transmission system than all the other U.S. transmission systems combined. AEP consistently ranks as a top-10 utility company for economic development by Site Selection Magazine.


spectra energyNatural Gas

Natural Gas pipeline infrastructure is abundant in our region giving metalworking companies cheap access to natural gas.  Spectra Energy’s Big Sandy Pipeline has a capacity of 0.2 Trillion British thermal units per day.

Columbia Gas Transmission is a natural gas pipeline that gathers gas in the Gulf of Mexico and transports it north through our region owned by NiSource. Columbia handles more than 3 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day.


University of Kentucky’s Department of Agriculture

The University of Kentucky features a Department of Forestry in its Agriculture, Food and Environment School.  Faculty of the Department of Forestry conduct basic and applied research on these disciplines: ecology, economics, genetics, hydrology, mensuration, physiology, silviculture, soils, surface mine reclamation, timber management, wildlife biology and wood utilization.

Click here to view the courses in the program.


Support Programs at Community/Technical Colleges

community technical colleges

More than 14,000 students are currently enrolled in technical and community college programs at three colleges in our region.  The following programs are offered to support the Food/Beverage/Agriculture Sector:

Culinary Arts

culinery arts

Certifications Available:

  • Food and Beverage Management
  • Fundamentals of Culinary Arts


Transportation Access

North – South:  U.S. Highway 23 provides 4-Lane access North and South throughout Eastern Kentucky.

East -West: The Mountain Parkway, Hal Rogers Parkway and U.S. Highway 119 provide 4-Lane access East and West throughout Eastern Kentucky.

transportation access map


Rail Access

We have access to 2 Class I Railroads: CSX and Norfolk Southern.

rail access


Port Access from Eastern Kentucky

The Port of Huntington Tri-State is the largest inland port in the United States and is part of our region.  The port averages an annual cargo tonnage of over 60 million tons per year and is the 15th largest port of any kind, inland or deep water, in the U.S.A.

port access