It’s that time of year, where the Kentucky governor wears his “bourbon is awesome” hat and signs a piece of paper that declares September “Bourbon Heritage Month” in the Bluegrass. Okay, he didn’t actually where a hat.

“Kentucky Bourbon is a thriving, homegrown industry that’s hailed around the world,” said Gov. Matt Bevin in a Kentucky Distillers’ Association press release. “It’s a privilege to proclaim September “Bourbon Heritage Month” in celebration of this historic craft and the continued success of America’s only native spirit. As I travel around the Commonwealth, it’s exciting to witness distilleries – both big and small – investing in operations and creating jobs. It’s a tremendous success story that we’re proud to share with the world.”

 

According to the KDA press release, in his official proclamation, Gov. Bevin highlighted the following facts:

  • “Bourbon is a thriving $3 billion economic engine that generates more than 15,400 jobs with an annual payroll topping $700 million and $166 million in tax revenue every year.
  • “The distilled spirits industry is in the middle of a $1.3 billion building boom, creating new good-paying jobs and spurring economic growth with the Commonwealth’s second-highest job multiplier carrying an average salary of more than $91,000.
  • “Bourbon production has skyrocketed more than 315 percent in the last 16 years, with 1.8 million barrels filled in 2015, the largest production year since 1974.
  • “There are 6.7 million barrels of Bourbon currently aging in Kentucky warehouses, the highest inventory in 40 years with a tax-assessed value of $2.4 billion, up 135 percent in the last 10 years.
  • “A record 762,009 visitors from all around the world poured into the Bluegrass last year to visit the nine distilleries that comprise the famous Kentucky Bourbon Trail tour.
  • “The nine Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour members recorded 134,000 visits in their second full year of existence, foretelling a bright and spirited future for this next generation of craftsmanship.”

 

It’s a great time to be a bourbon fan.

If you haven’t already, make sure you purchase tickets to the Kentucky Bourbon Festival and celebrate Bourbon Heritage Month with a fine dram.

Photo: Governor Bevin with the KDA staff and legislators after signing a recent bourbon tourism bill.

 

Learn who brought bourbon back in Fred Minnick’s latest book, Bourbon: The Rise, Fall & Rebirth of An American Whiskey, available now on Kindle and in stores nationwide soon.