Kentucky Bourbon Continues to Boom as September is Declared “Bourbon Heritage Month”

September 3, 2019
For Immediate Release – August 30, 2019
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Gov. Matt Bevin today praised Kentucky’s signature Bourbon industry for its monumental growth by declaring the month of September as “Bourbon Heritage Month” in the Commonwealth.
“As I promote Kentucky around the world, I’m frequently asked about our historic Bourbon industry,” Gov. Bevin said. “The love of Bourbon is a global phenomenon with deep roots planted in Kentucky, and the economic impact of the industry is growing rapidly.
“Kentucky’s Bourbon industry proudly employs farmers, manufacturing workers, engineers, marketers, business professionals, and many others. I am proud to recognize Bourbon Heritage Month and the contributions that the industry makes to the Commonwealth’s thriving economy.”
Kentucky Bourbon is one of the Commonwealth’s most treasured industries, a thriving $8.6 billion economic engine that generates more than 20,100 jobs with an annual payroll topping $1 billion and the state’s second-highest job spin-off factor.
“Kentucky’s revered distilling industry continues to grow at a tremendous rate, fueling the state’s economy and revolutionizing tourism for Kentucky,” said Eric Gregory, president of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association.
There are now a record 17 distilleries on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® tour and 20 distilleries on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour. Visitors made 1.4 million stops at participating distilleries last year, a new all-time high for the tourism attractions created by the KDA.
Bourbon production has increased 115 percent over the last 10 years, and there are now 7.5 million barrels of Bourbon gently resting in warehouses across the state, the highest inventory level since 1972.
In addition, the industry is in the middle of a $2.3 billion building boom, from innovative new tourism centers to expanded production facilities, all to meet the growing global thirst for Kentucky Bourbon.
The KDA also has reached a modern record of 38 members, the most since the repeal of Prohibition, Gregory said.
“For 138 years, the KDA has fulfilled its mission to promote, protect and elevate Kentucky’s Bourbon and distilled spirits industry through training and education, groundbreaking legislation, innovative tourism experiences, and social responsibility initiatives,” he said.
“Our members represent a diverse and vibrant homegrown industry, from legendary, global brands to small emerging family businesses. By working together, we have transformed Kentucky’s distilling industry back into a global powerhouse.”
Gregory applauded Gov. Bevin and legislative leaders for their support and partnership in modernizing the state’s archaic alcohol laws to keep Kentucky competitive as the producer of 95 percent of America’s only native spirit.
“Thanks to our state leaders and their pro-business policies, our industry continues to thrive as a driving force for the Kentucky economy. We look forward to their continued support as we strengthen and defend Kentucky’s rightful place as the one true home of Bourbon.
“We encourage everyone to celebrate our beloved tradition at any of the numerous festivities Bourbon Heritage Month has to offer across the state. As always, make it memorable; enjoy Kentucky Bourbon responsibly and in moderation.”
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 the Louisville Distilling Company and Willett Distillery.
Craft members include Alltech’s Town Branch Distillery, Bardstown Bourbon Company, 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, Jeptha Creed Distillery, Kentucky Artisan Distillery, Kentucky Mist Moonshine, Kentucky Peerless Distilling Co., Limestone Branch Distillery, MB Roland Distillery, Neeley Family Distillery, New Riff Distillery, The Old Pogue Distillery, O.Z. Tyler Distillery, Second Sight Spirits, Silent Brigade Distillery, Wadelyn Ranch Distillery 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.
KENTUCKY BOURBON TRAIL®, KENTUCKY BOURBON TRAIL CRAFT TOUR®, KENTUCKY BOURBON AFFAIR™, KBT™ and BOURBON TRAIL™ are trademarks/service marks of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association.
Please drink responsibly.
Enjoy Like a True Kentuckian: Responsibly