Report Shows Economic Clout of Kentucky Bourbon


FILE – In this July 7, 2018, file photo, whiskeys distilled and bottled in the U.S. are displayed for sale in a grocery store in Beijing. Kentucky’s bourbon distilleries turned up the pace of production again last year, boosting overall inventory to 7.5 million barrels of aging whiskey, the highest volume since 1972. (AP Photo/Mark […]

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – A new report says Kentucky bourbon is flexing more economic clout as it matures, leading a distilling industry that contributes $8.6 billion annually to the state’s economy.

The study released Wednesday shows the distilling industry’s economic output increased 60 percent in the past decade in Kentucky, where most of the world’s bourbon is made.

It says total licensed Kentucky distilleries surged from 19 in 2009 to 68 last spring.

The report says distilling generates more than 20,100 jobs – more than double the jobs in 2009. Bourbon inventory rose more than 60 percent in the past decade.

Kentucky distillers shipped more than $452 million of their spirits abroad in 2017. Spirits makers are worried retaliatory tariffs in some key overseas markets could hurt sales.

The industry-funded study was done by two economists.

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