Kentucky Bourbon Makers Barreled Through Pandemic for Record Year

by Madison Miller

The pandemic slowed down a lot of businesses and even forced some to close their doors for good.

When it comes to alcohol, however, that may have been a popular buy for many people. For more time spent inside and away from people, consumers found solace in a brand new bottle of warm bourbon.

Kentucky Bourbon Is Pandemic’s Shining Star

Specifically, bourbon companies from Kentucky are now sharing their production heights from the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The state is home to about 95% of the world’s bourbon production. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Bluegrass State Bourbon makers filled approximately 2.5 million barrels back in 2020. This is actually a new production record.

While 2020 was the record-setting year, Kentucky bourbon has been watching product increases for the last three years. This past year was the third year in a row that over two million barrels of bourbon were filled.

“Kentucky’s signature bourbon industry continues to invest in our commonwealth at unprecedented levels, despite global pandemic disruptions, exorbitant taxes and ongoing trade wars. This is truly a historic and landmark record,” Eric Gregory, president of the distillers’ group.

It all signals an increase in American whiskey production. Although bars and restaurants faced setbacks and liquor companies felt this as well, there was still a high demand for alcohol outside of businesses.

According to ABC News, the American whiskey world saw an increase in revenues in 2020. Tennessee whiskey, rye, and bourbon rose 8.2%. Despite hardship, David Ozgo, the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States chief economist “when it comes to American whiskey the golden age is today.”

Kentucky is an exceptional shining star in it all. The state has 10 million barrels of bourbon aging in distilleries currently. Many whiskey-making businesses are hoping that this age of American bourbon and whiskey is still around in the coming years. It takes typically four to eight years for the product to age properly before being sold.

However, these Kentucky distillers are seeing a huge rise in production to match demand. Now, many American whiskey makers are fighting back on trade disputes and tariffs that have impacted the sales of bourbon in other countries.

Sales Soar due to Perceived Health Benefits

Is it possible sales are also boosting due to a new perception that a stiff drink can make a steep difference in health?

A study from Fact.MR is claiming that scotch whiskey and Irish whiskey sales will increase after consumers have perceived that there is a “health benefit” involved. “Perceived health benefits of whiskey have made it a preferred drink among those aiming at weight management. Whiskey has no fat and minimum sodium content, which have made it a preferred alcohol for consumption among people with weight issues or obesity,” the study states, according to The Drinks Business.

Due to the nature of certain types of whiskey, this may continue to rise in popularity.