Thursday, June 30


Photo courtesy of John Autry/Garden & Gun

It's no secret that Kentucky is the bourbon capital. Did you know that Kentucky produces 95 percent of the world's bourbon? In fact, there are more barrels of bourbon aging in KY than there are people (4.7 million barrels vs 4.3 million people). I have a hangover just thinking about it!

But, apparently, that's not enough. Wild Turkey has a new $50 million facility; Maker's Mark just completed a $50 million expansion; Jim Beam is spending $26 million expanding their bottling plant...and these are just a few examples. Money is being pumped into the bourbon industry. The question is--why? What's going on here?

According to the Associated Press, "producers are aiming to quench a thirst for bourbon - especially premium brands - that is steady in the U.S. and rapidly expanding overseas, thanks in part to the comeback of cocktails appealing to younger adults and a larger middle class in emerging markets."

Bourbon is for the classics like the Manhattan, for the newer cocktail creations (like Greg Best's Pig-Pik Sour), and for the tried and true two-fingers-splashed-in-your-favorite-sipping-glass... but I digress. There's little wonder that this brown delicacy that calls the South its home is finding new fans worldwide.

So, drink up. We won't run out. For a long, long [long] time.

Want to know more about what's going on inside the bar? Read our oral histories on Louisville Barroom Culture.