Kentucky’s bourbon industry is growing at an incredible rate that does not show signs of stopping, which means good news for the economy of the Commonwealth, according to a new study released by the Kentucky Distillers Association Tuesday.
The new report shows the signature industry increased its economic output by $1 billion in the last two years alone and added another 2,000 distillery-related jobs to its workforce.
“Kentucky Bourbon now pours $8.5 billion each year into the state’s economy, generates as many as 17,500 good-paying jobs with an annual payroll topping $800 million, provides $825 million in tax revenue, and is in the middle of a $1.2 billion building boom,” the report states.
At a press conference about the bourbon study Tuesday, Gov. Matt Bevin said the growth of the spirits industry is not going to stop anytime soon and pointed to the high tax placed on the product, adding that dialogue on lessening the burden on bourbon should be on the table during a tax reform discussion. (Bevin discussed other areas of focus for tax reform in a recent sit-down interview with The Bottom Line here.)
“The powerful growth of Kentucky’s Bourbon industry is a testament to our proud history of innovation, engineering and manufacturing,” Gov. Bevin said. “It is a genuine, home grown, only-in- Kentucky success story. “As we continue cutting bureaucratic red tape across the Commonwealth, we will pave the way for even more economic opportunity and job growth in the Bourbon industry, as well as every other industry across the Bluegrass state.”
Kentucky Chamber President and CEO Dave Adkisson also pointed to the strong growth of the signature industry and said it is important to let the industry thrive as we look at tax reform and cutting down on regulations.
“We have to be sure we stay competitive and we can nurture this industry as an economic driver and not just see it as a cash cow,” Adkisson said.
Legislative leaders also spoke about legislation passed by the General Assembly in recent years to help the bourbon industry grow and noted the importance of continuing those efforts.
“There were more than one million visits to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour experiences last year, elevating the Kentucky tourism experience to levels never seen before,” House Speaker Jeff Hoover said.
Statistics from the study can be seen below: