Department of Tourism
September Designated National Bourbon Heritage Month
FRANKFORT, Ky. – September is shaping up as a busy month for Kentucky’s bourbon whiskey industry, as the U.S. Senate has declared it National Bourbon Heritage Month and the celebration of the Kentucky Bourbon Festival in Bardstown will mark its 16th year.
“The designation of National Bourbon Heritage Month will help draw attention to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, which attracts thousands of visitors to the Commonwealth every year,” said Randy Fiveash, Commissioner of Tourism. “Kentucky will continue to reap ever larger rewards from having these historic distilleries located within our borders.”
In addition to direct economic impact on Kentucky by supporting more than 3,000 jobs, the bourbon industry has also become a major tourism attraction throughout central Kentucky. Tourism along the region’s “Bourbon Trail” of seven distilleries has grown to 500,000 visitors annually, according to H. Edward O’Daniel Jr., president of the Kentucky Distillers Association.
“Bourbon is a signature industry of Kentucky. The Senate resolution is an acknowledgement that bourbon is not simply a Kentucky product, but a product with a growing international reputation,” O’Daniel said.
The Senate resolution reinforces the designation of bourbon as America’s “official native spirit” by Congress in 1964. The resolution calls for consumers who enjoy bourbon to do so responsibly and in moderation.
“This is a great honor that the U.S. Senate has bestowed upon the bourbon industry,” said Bill Samuels Jr., president of Maker’s Mark Distillery. “The tradition of family heritage, authenticity and craftsmanship behind bourbon is what has made it an American icon.”
“This recognition is a long time coming. My great-granddaddy would be proud,” said Frederick Booker Noe III, seventh generation member of the family behind Jim Beam Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. “The U.S. Senate is recognizing bourbon’s unique place in American history, and we’re looking forward to celebrating this September.”
This year’s Kentucky Bourbon Festival will be held Sept. 11-16. Staged annually in Bardstown since 1991, the festival last year attracted 52,000 visitors from 37 states and 13 countries, according to O’Daniel.
For more information on the Bourbon Festival visit www.kybourbonfestival.com. Information on the Bourbon Trail is available at www.kybourbon.com or by calling 859-336-9613.
The Kentucky Department of Tourism, an agency of the Kentucky Commerce Cabinet, exists to promote The Commonwealth as a travel destination, generate revenue and create jobs for Kentucky’s economy.