Ky. named leading the nation in whiskey exports

The annual Bacon and Bourbon event was canceled unexpectedly this weekend over a liquor...
The annual Bacon and Bourbon event was canceled unexpectedly this weekend over a liquor licensing issue, organizers say.(Pexels)
Published: Feb. 17, 2020 at 3:39 PM CST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (KFVS) - The state of Kentucky is leading the nation is whiskey exports.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear announced that the commonwealth is leading the nation in whiskey exports. This also includes bourbon and rye.

The governor made the announcement while filling the 16th millionth barrel of Jim Beam at Jim Beam American Stillhouse in Clermont Ky.

“We are immensely proud of our signature bourbon industry, and thanks to its national and global appeal, Kentucky’s exports of whiskey hit an all-time high of $485 million last year. Our bourbon is now a multibillion-dollar signature industry, which helps support our families with more than 20,000 jobs and an annual payroll topping $1 billion,” said Gov. Beshear.

Overall in 2019, Kentucky exports also continued to grow, reaching more than $33 billion in goods and services shipped abroad.

“Our state continues making its mark on the global economy. Having bested our own export records eight of the past nine years signifies that Kentucky is headed in the right direction. We will work to continue expanding market opportunities for the benefit of businesses throughout the commonwealth,” Gov. Beshear said.

The commonwealth grew its exports by four percent over the previous year, despite a nationwide downturn of just over one percent.

Kentucky led all states in whiskey exports in 2019 at $485 million. That total marks a 326 percent increase since 2004.

In turn, the commonwealth’s exports of products used in barrel making also made significant gains in recent years. Kentucky exported $234 million worth of casks, barrels, vats, and wood parts last year.

Canada, United Kingdom, France, Brazil and Mexico make up the commonwealths top five export destinations.

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