Kentucky and industry officials celebrate Bourbon’s $9 million economic boost

Republished from WEKU.

There was a large group of people gathered near the podium in the Capitol reception room to announce the latest economic figures for a signature industry in the Commonwealth.

The horse and bourbon industries have both been tabbed signature businesses. This day, all attention was on the liquor segment. Governor Beshear proclaimed Bourbon makes a $9 billion economic impact, employing more than 23 thousand Kentuckians.

Kentucky Distillers Association Board Chair Jessica Pendergrass was asked how much more the Bourbon Trail will grow in the next decade.

“Ten years?… I think at least 15 to 20 maybe more..we’ll see. So, we’re at over a hundred distilleries now…which is a fantastic number for the state of Kentucky,” said Pendergrass.

Both Senate President Robert Stivers and House Speaker David Osborne talked about how legislative measures over the past decade helped fuel distillery growth.

One of the speakers was newly-elected Agriculture Commissioner Jonathon Shell. He said Kentucky distillers purchased 19 million bushels of corn and 2.6 million bushels of other grains last year. Shell said it benefits areas of the state struggling with job growth.

“This is an area in which they’re able to help that with their local economies. So, the distillers, the farmers, the people who work these fields and the people who distill these spirits, this is something that help rural Kentucky a tremendous amount,” said Shell.

Kentucky Distillers’ Association President Eric Gregory noted the report proves that Kentucky is the gold standard for bourbon. He said it comes with pure spring water, an abundance of corn and white oak, and four distinct climates that age whiskey to perfection. Gregory added there’s also been more than 200 years of working together to better the industry.

Here’s more with KDA Board Chair Jessica Pendergrass:


Listen 3:37

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Originally published by WEKU.

Republished with permission.