Bourbonism is a word combining Bourbon Whisky and Tourism.

Bourbonism: The blending of bourbon and tourism. The act of visiting Louisville and Kentucky to experience the bourbon culture.  

Bourbon has been good for Louisville’s economy since the city was settled in 1778 — but it is particularly strong these days, with the bourbon industry in Jefferson County providing 4,200 jobs, $263 million in payroll, $32 million in tax revenue and $50 million in capital projects in 2012 alone. Louisville is indeed experiencing a bourbon boom.

What is “Bourbonism?” Four Things.

Watch the video and listen to Louisville, Kentucky Mayor Greg Fischer, as he explains what Bourbon is.

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Bourbon has seen it’s ups and downs over the years from the entrepreneurial farm distilleries in the 1700’s, to the Whiskey Rebellion in 1791-1794, to Prohibition when it was only available for medicinal purposes, to the post-Prohibition growth and good times, to the closing or consolidation of many distilleries through the 90’s, to the today’s billion dollar bourbon boom. In fact, the good times pendulum has swung so far that you can come across a frequent debate about whether this is a bourbon shortage or not – The Bourbon Shortage is ‘VERY Real’ and it’s coming for the Good Stuff or There is a Bourbon Shortage.

Kentucky and it’s distilleries want to become the Napa Valley of bourbon. Bourbon tourists are coming to the city in greater numbers — and they stay longer and spend more than the average visitor, studies show. Louisville wants to leverage the organic growth and popularity of the bourbon industry as a means to reveal and capture latent demand in its tourism and culinary sectors. You can find a full copy of the Louisville’s Bourbon Report here.

Behind the sales numbers is a dramatic shift in bourbon’s image. Authenticity is everything today, and bourbon, with its long history and made-in-America honesty, is as authentic as it gets. Vodka and gin can be made anywhere, and are — but bourbon has deep roots in American history, from the settlers who first set up stills in Kentucky in the late 18th century through the pioneers who carried it farther west after the Civil War. Clay Risen, Fortune Magazine

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