Bourbon And State Legislative Leaders Celebrate Ten Years Of Growth

Feb 6, 2019

Wednesday Capitol Event On Bourbon Industry Economic Impact
Credit Stu Johnson

Leaders in Kentucky’s bourbon industry along with state policymakers Wednesday celebrated growth in the distilling business over the last ten years.  A new study says bourbon-related businesses provide twice as many jobs and twice as much capital investment, and tax revenue than a decade ago.  

Former Maker’s Mark Distillery President Bill Samuels, Jr. participated in the state capitol event. “What if over the next ten years, Kentucky bourbon becomes the next wine, becomes the next Napa Valley, and we’re able to maintain during that same period the 95 percent monopoly in the production of bourbon that we now have.  Then maybe the bourbon boom has only just begun,” said Samuels.

Senate President Robert Stivers said changes in taxation for bourbon opened the door to substantial growth in the industry.  House Speaker David Osborne said it’s come partly through what he called government getting out of the way of business.  “

This is a prime example of how government should work and how the legislature should work.  And that’s taking away the barriers to prosperity, that’s taking away the barriers to excite the entrepreneurial spirit and let businesses do what businesses do and that creates wealth, that creates jobs, that creates opportunities and yes, that creates tax revenues,” noted Osborne.

Kentucky Distiller’s Association Board Chair Rick Robinson noted the data in the analysis came before retaliatory tariffs on U.S whiskey exports imposed by countries like China, Canada, and those in the European Union.

Weku's Stu Johnson interviewed Kentucky Distiller's Association Board Chair Rick Robinson following the State Capitol news conference Wednesday.