Inbound Logistics | April 2023

THELASTMILE Logistics Outside the Box

BOURBON BM Demand for this whiskey is not staying bottled up. Here’s how bourbon makers stir up production.

Bourbon accounts for 8.7% of the total spirits volume in the United States and 37% of the whiskey subcategory in 2022. What makes a bourbon? It must be: ● Distilled and aged in the United States ● Distilled from at least 51% corn ● Aged in new oak-charred barrels made from American white oak ● At least 80 proof (40% alcohol by volume) SPECIAL RESERVE 11.4 million barrels of bourbon are aging in warehouses across Kentucky right now—an all-time record. That’s 2.5 barrels of bourbon for every person in the state. POURING IN $5.2 BILLION Kentucky distilleries are enjoying a $5.2-billion building boom, including $3.3 billion in the next three years. This includes new distilleries, warehouses, and bottling facilities, with more than $100 million planned to expand Kentucky Bourbon Trail experiences—tours of bourbon distilleries. BY THE BUSHEL Kentucky distillers buy more than 17 million bushels of corn each year, with 75% coming from Kentucky farmers. Corn production has tripled in many Kentucky counties where distillers are located. Nine bushels of corn and three bushels of other grains equal one barrel of bourbon.

95% Share of the world’s bourbon crafted in Kentucky, the birthplace of bourbon. The state’s mix of climate, corn, and pure limestone water make it an ideal spot for producing bourbon. Up 475% Kentucky distillers filled 2.6 million barrels in 2021 – a record high and the fourth year in a row topping 2 million. Bourbon production has increased 475% since 1999.

Sources: Kentucky Distillers’ Association; Northern Kentucky Tribune; Thomas

112 Inbound Logistics • April 2023

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