Gov. Bevin Declares September “Bourbon Heritage Month” in Kentucky

September 1, 2016

For Immediate Release – September 1, 2016


00001FRANKFORT, Ky. – Gov. Matt Bevin today honored Kentucky’s signature Bourbon industry for its booming economic and tourism impact by declaring September “Bourbon Heritage Month” in the Bluegrass.

“Kentucky Bourbon is a thriving, homegrown industry that’s hailed around the world,” said Gov. Bevin. “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.”

This is the first year tourists on the famous Kentucky Bourbon Trail® experiences can celebrate Bourbon Heritage Month with a cocktail at distilleries, thanks to the passage of alcohol tourism reforms in Senate Bill 11.

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.

Eric Gregory, president of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association, applauded Gov. Bevin for his support of Senate Bill 11 and the promising future of the state’s distilled spirits industry. “Gov. Bevin fully understands that we must do more to keep Kentucky competitive,” he said.

Gregory noted that Kentucky remains 8th in the number of distilleries yet still produces 95 percent of the world’s Bourbon. However, Kentucky’s tax rate on spirits is the third highest in the nation, which keeps the state at a competitive disadvantage in attracting new distilleries.

“We must continue to update our archaic alcohol laws and reduce taxes in order to remain competitive, keep our historic distilling monopoly and defend our rightful title as the one, true, authentic home for Bourbon,” Gregory said.

Founded in 1880, the KDA is the state’s voice for Bourbon and spirits issues. Its diverse

membership produces 90 percent of the world’s Bourbon, from legendary, global brands to emerging micro distilleries that are building the next generation of the timeless craft.

“From jobs to investment and tourism, Bourbon is a vital part of the Bluegrass economy that benefits all of Kentucky’s citizens,” Gregory said. “We deeply appreciate the support and commitment of Gov. Bevin and look forward to his continued partnership.

“On behalf of the KDA and all 28 of our member distilleries, we hope everyone has an enjoyable Bourbon Heritage Month and savors our products responsibly and in moderation.”

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For more information, contact:

Eric Gregory, KDA President, (502) 875-9351

The KDA is a non-profit trade association founded in 1880 to promote, protect and elevate Kentucky’s signature

Bourbon and distilled spirits industry. Heritage members include Beam Suntory (Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark),

Brown-Forman Corp. (Old Forester and Woodford Reserve), Diageo North America, Four Roses Distillery, Heaven

Hill Brands, Michter’s Distillery and Wild Turkey Distillery. Proof members include Willett Distillery.


Craft members include Alltech’s Town Branch Distillery, Barrel House Distilling Co., Bluegrass Distillers, Boone

County Distilling Company, Boundary Oak Distillery, Casey Jones Distillery, Copper & Kings American Brandy

Distillery, Corsair Artisan Distillery, Dueling Grounds Distillery, Hartfield & Co. Distillery, Kentucky Artisan

Distillery, Kentucky Mist Moonshine, Kentucky Peerless Distilling Co., Limestone Branch Distillery, MB Roland

Distillery, New Riff Distillery, The Old Pogue Distillery, Second Sight Spirits and Wilderness Trail Distillery. The

Distilled Spirits Epicenter is the KDA’s official educational distillery.


Member benefits include media relations, international trade development, private sampling events, technical

assistance, economic development support, networking, legal defense, marketing strategies, governmental and

regulatory advocacy and innovative tourism experiences through the KDA’s Kentucky Bourbon Trail® and

Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour® adventures. The KDA maintains an open membership policy, champions a

strong commitment to the responsible and moderate consumption of spirits, and fights to curb underage drinking

and drunk driving. For more information about joining the KDA’s distilling family, contact KDA President Eric

Gregory at (502) 875-9351. Visit and to learn more.



AFFAIR™ and BOURBON TRAIL™ are trademarks/service marks of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association. Please

Enjoy Like a True Kentuckian: Responsibly