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With investors making a major down payment, J.K. Williams Distilling eyes 2022 expansion

Tim Shelley / Peoria Public Radio

A major foreign investment will allow a Peoria-based whiskey distillery to ramp up production and branch out to other states.

British investors Rory and Elizabeth Sweet have made a big down payment into J.K. Williams Distilling's future.

It's ten times larger than we've gotten from anyone else, said company president Andy Faris. "It's a significant amount of money."

Faris took over the business operations in 2019.

Though Faris declined to disclose a dollar amount at the Sweets' request, he said the investment will allow J.K. Williams to significantly expand its distribution footprint.

"We're looking to expand into three of four more states in 2022, including Minnesota, either Iowa or Indiana, Missouri, Kentucky," he said.

To serve a wider area, production will also ramp up. Faris says a new 1,000 gallon distilling system is slated to arrive to Peoria this spring.

"We'll be able to produce 10 to 12 53-gallon barrels a week," Faris said. "So that really changes the nature of what we've been able to do so far."

Faris says he's also working to open a new whiskey tasting room on the Peoria riverfront soon.

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Tim is the News Director at WCBU Peoria Public Radio.