This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – Kentucky bourbon has elevated its status as an economic powerhouse, with distillers pumping nearly $9 billion into the state’s economy each year, a new study showed Wednesday.

Distillers employ more than 22,500 people with $1.23 billion in annual payroll in Kentucky, according to the study commissioned by the Kentucky Distillers’ Association. The industry’s employment and payroll have surged in the past two decades as distilleries open or expand.

Bourbon’s trickle-down effect has spurred tourism and created more demand for Kentucky corn.

“It is exciting to see bourbon continuing to boom and to bring Kentucky along with it,” Gov. Andy Beshear said at a news conference.

House Speaker David Osborne and Senate President Robert Stivers, both Republicans, joined the Democratic governor at the event, signaling the bourbon industry’s bipartisan support.

Distilling contributes more than $285 million in local and state tax revenue and the industry is in the midst of a $5.2 billion expansion boom, the study showed.

The economic snapshot shows that “bourbon is more than just a drink,” KDA President Eric Gregory said. “It is jobs, investment, tourism and so much more.”

Kentucky has 95 distilleries operated by 75 companies spread across 40 counties, Beshear said.

Bourbon production – the number of barrels filled each year – is up 435% since 1999, the study found. A record 10.3 million barrels of bourbon are aging in Kentucky.

Kentucky distilleries craft 95% of the world’s bourbon, according to KDA.


Previous story:

Kentucky‘s bourbon industry is serving up a new report showcasing its economic clout.

The Kentucky Distillers’ Association says the findings of a study on the sector’s economic impact will be released Wednesday.

Gov. Andy Beshear is scheduled to attend the event, along with the legislature’s top two leaders – House Speaker David Osborne and Senate President Robert Stivers.

The KDA says the study outlines how the state’s signature spirit pours billions of dollars into Kentucky’s economy and provides more jobs, capital investment and tax revenue than ever before. It says the study also will point to increased competition from spirits producers in other states.

Bourbon tourism has grown into a popular attraction in the Bluegrass State.

Bourbon is a homegrown industry in Kentucky with a heritage dating back 200 years.