The Bourbon Effect

Kentucky’s Greatest Asset
Pouring into the Economy
We take a lot of pride in our distilleries and the magic they make. But it’s not just about the Bourbon. It’s about the jobs, possibilities and prosperity they bring—strengthening Kentucky with every pour.
$8.6 Billion Industry

As Kentucky’s $8.6 billion signature industry, the impact of Bourbon ripples throughout our economy. Generating more than 20,100 jobs with an annual payroll topping $1 billion, the production and consumption of our spirits pours over $235 million in annual tax revenue for Kentucky state and local governments.

1.7M Annual Tours

Say the word “Kentucky” and “Bourbon Trail®” almost always follows. That and “horses,” of course! Our KBT® and KBTCT experiences have gone from cult following to global tourism phenomenon, attracting close to 2 million combined annual visits.

2M Barrels Filled Per Year

We don’t mean to brag—or maybe we do—but Kentucky distillers are filling over 2 million barrels a year, which is the highest production rate in modern history, y’all.

$570M In Global Exports

We exported $570 million in Kentucky Bourbon and other spirits in 2019 with Japan, Spain, Canada and Australia being our top export markets. Like so many industries, the ongoing trade wars are a threat to our strong global export market. But, don’t worry, our spirits are still pretty high. We look forward to continued international growth as the market and trade regulations permit.

10M Aging Barrels

With close to 10 million aging barrels of Bourbon and other spirits, we officially have more than two barrels for every person living in Kentucky. That’s just how we roll.

$2.3B in Capital Projects

To sustain lasting economic growth and provide visitors with more one-of-a-kind authentic Bourbon experiences, $2.3 billion in capital projects have been completed or are planned over the next five years. From new distilleries and aging rickhouses to immersive tourism centers, as the world’s interest in Kentucky Bourbon culture grows, we’re growing with it.

360% Growth in Production

They call it a boom. But with a 360% increase in production since 2000, we say the demand for Kentucky Bourbon is here to stay. Whether it’s the thrill of the hunt for exclusive bottles or just the love of America’s only native spirit, the people have spoken and our distillers are listening.

Our impact by the numbers
Uniting Industries. Growing Kentucky.
If we know one thing for sure, it’s that we can’t advance the Kentucky’s Bourbon industry alone—our future lies in the relationships we build with distillers, growers, builders, suppliers, businesses and educators across the Commonwealth.

Using between 15-20 million bushels of corn per year, we depend on farmers to plant the seeds for our success. Through the bounty of the land, we make the world’s best Bourbon—all while building bridges to prosperity for growers and their families.


It’s not Bourbon if it hasn’t aged in new, charred oak barrels. To ensure the sustainability of American white oak trees, Kentucky distillers are rallying to support health forest management initiatives that will preserve and protect the species for generations to come.


With a $2.3 billion building boom now underway, Kentucky Bourbon is driving a slew of new projects that have the construction industry buzzing. This means the demand for Bourbon is not just good for our distillers, it’s creating jobs and opportunities for contractors throughout the Commonwealth.

Economic Impact Reports
Click the reports below to view or download.
2019 Report

The Economic & Fiscal Impacts of the Distilling Industry in Kentucky

2017 Report

The Economic & Fiscal Impacts of the Distilling Industry in Kentucky

2014 Report

The Economic & Fiscal Impacts of the Distilling Industry in Kentucky

2013 Report

The Economic & Fiscal Impacts of the Distilling Industry in Jefferson County

2012 Report

The Economic & Fiscal Impacts of the Distilling Industry in Kentucky

2009 Report

The Economic & Fiscal Impacts of the Distilling Industry in Kentucky

Where The World Comes for Bourbon
With over 70% of Kentucky Bourbon Trail® visitors traveling from out of state, Bourbon has redefined what tourism in Kentucky can be. Best of all? Once people get a taste of our culture, they always come back for more.
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