Over the past two years the number of licensed distilling companies in Kentucky tripled to 31, from 10, according to a report by the Urban Studies Institute at the University of Louisville,
Kentucky’s bourbon industry represents 95 percent of global production and it now has a record number of distilleries.
Kentucky Distiller’s Association president Eric Gregory, said:
“Honestly, we’re blown away by these results”, adding, “We’re entering the golden age of bourbon. It’s not just a fad. This is a legitimate trend that’s great for the commonwealth.”
Gregory said that the results of this study can hopefully help change or make new laws to more effectively benefit the growth of the industry.
Republican state Senate President Robert Stivers said that he is not quite sure about what can be done though. “I don’t know what they would be looking for in tax relief. I could see more in the realm of regulatory-type of relief.”
Kentucky Chamber of Commerce President Dave Adkisson commented:
“Kentucky’s been through a fairly difficult recession. The bourbon industry provided a fantastic cushion during that time.”
According to the Distilled Spirits Countil of the United Stated, in 2013 Kentucky bourbon and Tennessee whiskey exports were over $1 billion for the first time. The industry is expects for there to be strong demand — with over 5.3 million barrels of bourbon are maturing in Kentucky.
The study concluded:
“While Kentucky continues to have about a third of all distilleries employing 20 or more people, it now has just 2 percent of all distilleries employing less than 20 people down from 10 percent in 2006.”