LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- Bourbon isn't just raising spirits in Bardstown, it's generating jobs, money, and tourism.
Bardstown has trademarked the phrase "Bourbon Capital of the World," and there is a good reason for that. About 65 percent of the world's bourbon is produced in and around Bardstown.
Kim Houston of Nelson Co. Economic Development says, "It's huge here, and it's only getting bigger. We have four distilleries here in Nelson County that employ over a thousand people."
The bottles continue to be filled in record numbers at Heaven Hill. It's pretty typical of what's going on in the bourbon industry.
Heaven Hill President Max Shipira says, "We and some of the rest of the companies in the industry have products that are honey based, cherry based, and under our Evan Williams brand we have products in both of those categories, and we are getting ready to bring out a cinnamon flavored bourbon."
Heaven Hill's president says that appeals to new younger consumers and so Heaven Hill has been growing, building two new warehouses and modernizing its production lines.
Heaven Hill's visitor's center, with more than 60,000 guests last year has surpassed My Old Kentucky Home as the most popular attraction in Nelson County. It's a part of the ever-growing Bourbon Trail, which brings tourists to this area from all over the country.
Tourist Martha Waardenburg, who's from Oregon, says, "It's just fascinating. We are from wine country, and we are learning about the bourbon industry. It's a whole different world."
Bob Sliepka is from Indiana: "We try to come down every year or two. We are from West Lafayette, so it's not much of a ride."
Dawn Pryzstal of a tourism agency explains, "Tourism is a $45 million industry here in Bardstown, just direct impact and the bourbon industry is a large part of that."
With international markets like China and Korea opening up, there is every reason to believe that the good times will continue to flow for the bourbon industry and for Nelson County.
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