It’s not often these days that you see a Republican Governor and a Democrat Secretary of State come together and agree on anything but, come on, it’s Bourbon. Kentucky’s Governor Matt Bevin and Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes both signed this year’s proclamation declaring September 2017 Bourbon Heritage Month.
What is Bourbon Heritage Month?
As the annual Kentucky Bourbon Festival kicks off in Bardstown, The Bourbon Capital of the World, Gov. Matt Bevin today praised Kentucky’s $8.5 billion Bourbon industry for its growing impact on the state’s economy and notable boost to tourism.
The state of Kentucky has lots to celebrate when it comes to Bourbon. The world’s thirst for bourbon generates some impressive numbers for all parties involved. And, just to be clear it’s not just bourbon. There are plenty of the large and small craft distilleries that also produce whiskey, rum, gin and brandy.
- Barrel warehouses across the state currently hold more than 6.8 million barrels of Bourbon, the highest inventory in 44 years
- There is 1.5 barrel for every person living in the Bluegrass state
- The industry provides as many as 17,500 jobs
- Creates over $800 million in payroll
- Generates more than $825 million in local, state and federal tax revenue
- Local corn purchases from distilleries are up 65 per cent over the last two years
- The state’s official drink? Bourbon? Nope, its milk.
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Engineering, Manufacturing, Farming and more
“Kentucky’s historic Bourbon industry is currently enjoying tremendous growth. The love of Bourbon is quickly becoming a global phenomenon”, Gov. Bevin said. “This homegrown success story is a testament to our proud tradition of engineering and manufacturing excellence.
America’s original and only native spirit, Bourbon was officially named a distinctive product of the United States by Congressional Resolution in 1964. Although Bourbon can be made anywhere in the country, Kentucky produces 95 percent of the world’s supply.
“You can make bourbon anywhere but, if you want to sell it, you better damn well make it in Kentucky.”
~ Parker Beam, Heaven Hill Master Distiller Emeritus, 1941-2017
“The remarkable growth of Kentucky’s signature spirit has had an extraordinary ripple effect for adjacent industries,” Kentucky Distillers’ Association President Eric Gregory said. “With $1.2 billion dollars in capital projects just finished or underway, the industry is utilizing local farmers, researchers, manufacturers, architects, builders, engineers and laborers.
“Kentucky Bourbon is clearly the new fuel for the Bluegrass economy”
In his official Proclamation, Gov. Bevin highlighted the impact the Kentucky Bourbon industry has had on state tourism, citing the more than one million visits to Kentucky Bourbon Trail® and Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour® distilleries in 2016.
The Kentucky Distillers’ Association fully expects this record-breaking milestone to be surpassed in 2017 as many Kentucky Bourbon Trail® experiences now include by-the-drink sales and cocktail programs thanks to the passage of landmark tourism reforms under Senate Bill 11 in 2016.
“Thanks to this new legislation, our members are investing money and energy to make each visitor’s experience unique and memorable,” Gregory said. “Now guests can relax, sip a cocktail and enjoy genuine Kentucky Bourbon hospitality as part of their tour.”
Gregory said: “We thank Governor Bevin for this honor and his continued support, and we look forward to his partnership as we continue the tradition of hard work and hospitality that has advanced Kentucky’s distilled spirits industry to be the tremendous economic driver it is today.
“We look forward to this week’s Kentucky Bourbon Festival and encourage everyone to celebrate Kentucky Bourbon Heritage Month by enjoying Bourbon like a true Kentuckian: responsibly.”