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Kentucky's bourbon boom continues

Officials say overall export growth was $33.1 billion in 2019 and Kentucky is the nation's leading exporter of whiskey.

CLERMONT, Ky. (WHAS11) – Bourbon giant Jim Beam is celebrating 225 years in business and officials filled its 16-millionth barrel to mark the occasion.

Governor Andy Beshear was on hand to mark the occasion at the Jim Beam in Clermont on Monday.

Beshear says the bourbon industry continues to see growth due to its national and global appeal. He said the state’s export of whiskey hit an all-time high of $485 million in 2019.

Officials say the total marks a 326.5% increase since 2004 and it was aided by the industry’s exponential growth for more than a decade.

“Our bourbon is now a multi-billion-dollar signature industry, which helps support our families with more than 20,000 jobs and an annual payroll topping $1 billion,” he said.

Kentucky exported whiskies to 93 countries last year with Japan, United Kingdom and Germany serving as the state’s top three markets respectively.

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Credit: WHAS-TV
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear fills bourbon barrel during Jim Beam's 16-millionth celebration.

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