Close Menu

Bourbon adds $1bn to KY economy in two years

Bourbon distilleries have contributed an additional US$1 billion to Kentucky’s economy over the last two years alone, according to figures from the Kentucky Distillers’ Association (KDA).

The Bourbon industry’s economic contribution to the state of Kentucky has been boosted by the near-eilimination of its barrel tax

In total, the Bourbon industry now adds US$8.5bn each year to the state’s economy, providing US$825m in tax revenue, the association claims in its biennial study, conducted in collaboration with the University of Louisville’s Urban Studies Institute.

Kentucky Bourbon distillers generate about 17,500 jobs with an annual payroll of more than US$800m. Around 2,000 distillery-related jobs have been added to the Bourbon-industry’s workforce in the last two years.

The sector is also currently benefiting from a US$1.2m building boom, with a host of new distilleries under development.

“The powerful growth of Kentucky’s Bourbon industry is a testament to our proud history of innovation, engineering and manufacturing,” said governor Matt Bevin. “It is a genuine, home grown, only-in-Kentucky success story.

“As we continue cutting bureaucratic red tape across the Commonwealth, we will pave the way for even more economic opportunity and job growth in the Bourbon industry, as well as every other industry across the Bluegrass state.”

Senate president Robert Stivers said that the “virtual” elimination of taxes on ageing barrels of Bourbon in Kentucky has aided the industry’s growth.

House Speaker Jeff Hoover added: “The more we do as a legislature to responsibly regulate this industry in this global economy, will only serve to fuel this growth in good-paying jobs and investment.”

The report also states that 200 people are employed by ‘craft’ distilleries across Kentucky, while the use of locally-grown corn has risen 65% in the last two years.

The number of Kentucky distilleries has grown to 52 – the highest number since the repeal of Prohibition. Meanwhile, the state’s Bourbon barrel inventory has hit 6.7m – its highest level since 1974.

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No