Kentucky Bourbon Celebrates 10 Years Of Momentum

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Kentucky's bourbon industry is pouring over $8 billion into the state's economy.

A decade ago, leaders of the state's bourbon industry called on Frankfort to address tax hikes on their products in order for the industry to remain competitive.

Today, Kentucky's bourbon producers are generating $8.6 billion in economic impacts, a 60 percent increase from 2009.

Thanks to the changes to how bourbon producers are taxed, the state is collecting $235 million in tax revenue, an 88 percent increase from a decade ago.

Maker's Mark Chairman Emeritus Bill Samuels, Jr. says even with a 258 percent increase in distillery openings in Kentucky the bourbon boom is just starting, citing the mostly untapped international markets.

That boom is also responsible a 104 percent increase in distillery-related jobs paying an average wage of over $94,000, up from $77,000 a decade ago.

Currently there are 68 distilleries across 32 Kentucky counties producing a record high 7.5 million barrels.

PHOTO: Getty Images

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