Kentucky’s signature bourbon industry has been in an accelerating growth phase for more than a decade and it will continue in high gear in 2022. Since 2018, global sales have been impacted by trade wars that placed tariffs on bourbon going to Europe, but now that speed bump has been removed. The international parent companies of some of Kentucky’s biggest producers keep expanding distilling operations and adding warehouse capacity, indicating they see continued growth on the way for years. Meanwhile, smaller craft distillers are multiplying around the state. Bourbonism continues to drive a hotel construction boom around the commonwealth, and several new multihundred-million-dollar distilling experience projects are in progress. Cheers!
“I think the economy will continue to be resilient in the face of global health concerns, much as it has been for the past two years. We have been blessed with good leadership in our state whose reasonable policy has kept our rates of infection in check compared to others. Our vaccination programming has been pretty effective. Additionally, we are blessed to live in Kentucky, with its diverse economy, because that provides additional stability. The bourbon business has proven itself fairly recession-resistant. The thing that gets me excited about 2022 is the possibility of offering more in-person experiences for visitors to our distillery and campus.”
–Wally Dant President/Distiller, Log Still Distillery and Dant Crossing
“Kentucky’s signature bourbon and distilled spirits industry is poised for a record year in 2022 with the end of retaliatory tariffs on American whiskey, which triggered sharp declines in global exports the last three years. With $5.1 billion in capital investment underway, distilleries will be increasing production to record levels as more stills, bottling lines and aging warehouses come online. Expect continued challenges with supply chain issues, especially glass, and production byproducts like spent grains. Removal of the discriminatory tax on aging barrels of spirits will be a top legislative issue. If resolved, look for distillers to reinvest those funds ($33 million annually and growing) into their Kentucky facilities, creating even more jobs and furthering the bourbon boom.”
–Eric Gregory President, Kentucky Distillers’ Association