FRANKFORT – Gov. Steve Beshear has proclaimed September “Bourbon Heritage Month” in Kentucky, praising the legendary industry for its unparalleled resurgence and tremendous economic and tourism benefit to the Commonwealth.
“Kentucky Bourbon pours more than $2 billion each year into the state economy, and the tourism impact with the Kentucky Bourbon Trail adventure is only beginning to reach its vast potential,” Beshear said. “We have been inspired by this signature industry’s unprecedented growth and global reach. I’m proud to declare September “Bourbon Heritage Month” for the fifth straight year, and look forward to continue building on this amber wave of success.”
Eric Gregory, President of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association, said Bourbon production has more than doubled since 1999 and the state currently has 4.9 million barrels gently aging, the highest inventory since 1978.
“That’s more than 262 million gallons of Bourbon, enough to cover the entire state of Kentucky,” Gregory said. “And we’re honored to say that we continue to have more barrels in Kentucky than people living in the Commonwealth.”
Adam Johnson, Director of the KDA’s famous Kentucky Bourbon Trail adventure, said distilleries are spending millions on new and improved visitor’s centers to meet the skyrocketing tourism growth.
“Our iconic distilleries are now even better equipped to provide higher levels of interaction, hospitality and education about our historic craft,” Johnson said. “We look forward to welcoming visitors in September to celebrate American’s only native spirit.”
Kentucky Bourbon Trail distilleries have recorded more than 2 million visits in the last five years alone, with guests from all 50 states and more than 50 countries. Nearly 30,000 people have made the pilgrimage to all six since 2007, pouring tens of millions into local economies.
“We continue to be amazed and excited by the incredible global success of our industry and trademark tourist attraction,” Gregory said. “We deeply appreciate Gov. Beshear’s support, and hope everyone enjoys Bourbon Heritage Month responsibly and in moderation.”