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Kentucky Bourbon Industry Rises To All Time Highs In New Investments

2022 looks to have been the banner year for the Kentucky bourbon industry, with all time highs of new investments and full times jobs created.

Kentucky, for 2022, recorded its best year for growth of its signature bourbon and spirits industry, with over $2.1 billion in new investments and approximately 700 new jobs for Kentucky residents. This was recently announced by Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear as he joined leaders at Buffalo Trace Distillery to fill the company’s 8 millionth barrel of Kentucky bourbon since Prohibition.

“Kentucky’s bourbon and spirits industry continues to set itself apart as we conclude another tremendous year of growth statewide,” said Gov. Beshear in a prepared statement. “The momentum has been incredible, and the demand for Kentucky bourbon just keeps growing around the world. With monumental investments from companies like Sazerac Co., Beam Suntory and Pernod Ricard, our bourbon industry is reaching new heights.

bourbon industry growth
2022 looks to have been the banner year for the Kentucky bourbon industry, with all time highs of new investments and full times jobs created. Pictured here is the planned Pernod Ricard/Jefferson’s distillery. (image via Pernod Ricard)

“I want to thank everyone who has made this growth possible, from the companies themselves to the communities they’re calling home. Bourbon has a truly statewide impact, with partners in every corner of the commonwealth.”

According to information from the state, there are “distilleries in one-third of Kentucky counties, with that footprint expected to increase in the years ahead. Of this year’s announcements, a large portion reside in rural Kentucky, where projects total $1.98 billion in announced investments and 550 new jobs. The commonwealth also saw five new foreign-owned projects contributing to over $730 million in investments and 125 new jobs.”

These commitments, it is said, add to the commonwealth’s booming bourbon sector, which is a nearly $9 billion signature industry in Kentucky generating more than 22,500 jobs with an annual payroll exceeding $1.23 billion.

Among these various growth plans that were announced in 2022, the following in particular standout:

“These investments, new jobs and the tourism they will bring are pivotal in Kentucky retaining its crown as the one, true and authentic home of bourbon,” said Eric Gregory, president of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association.

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and provided tasting input on many whiskeys at competitions. He also maintains a large private collection of whiskey from which he continually educates his palate on this brown spirit type.

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