Today’s Solutions: July 20, 2024

When the Landree Coal Mine in Jasonville, Indiana went under, its owners planned to leave it sitting abandoned. Two Indiana University graduates had more ambitious plans for the site and have purchased it to turn it into a “farm to bottle’ distillery. 

The company, Land Betterment Corp, bought the distillery from a defunct New York hedge fund last August and is repurposing the building and the surrounding land into an innovative new distillery. The “farm to bottle” concept involves using the 22 acres of farmland surrounding the mine to produce brewing ingredients, such as rye, for use in the distillery’s craft vodka and bourbon. 

The company has also removed harmful coal refuse from the site and is undergoing an extensive environmental assessment to ensure the new facilities are sustainable.  

The renovated mine will be named Coal Craft Spirits as a nod to its former purpose and will employ dozens of local workers including former coal miners who lost their jobs when the site shut down. Land Betterment Executive Chairman Mark Jensen says he has already spoken with former employees who are excited about the site’s new function and renewed job possibilities. 

Loss of jobs is a primary concern for those who oppose replacing coal with green energy sources, but the potential job creation in green industries and innovative projects such as this demonstrate that the economy can successfully revolutionize to support environmentally-friendly energy sources. Coal Craft Spirits is also ensuring that the abandoned land is repurposed to benefit the economy and the local community.

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