Bourbon is making a huge comeback in the commonwealth’s largest city, where it formerly had a strong presence.
Louisville became a hub for bourbon distilling activity and distribution, and until the 1920s, as many as 50 distilleries were located on a portion of Main Street dubbed “Whiskey Row.” Kentucky’s native spirit played a huge role in Louisville’s early days, and is a well-known part of Kentucky’s history.
Over the past 10 to 15 years, bourbon has re-emerged as a much sought-after spirit in the U.S. and globally.
Interest in bourbon heritage is drawing thousands of visitors from all over the world to Kentucky, where 95 percent of bourbon is produced. More than half a million people visited a Kentucky Bourbon Trail distillery in 2012.
Louisville’s city leaders expect that investing in bourbon and its rediscovered popularity will bring jobs, economic development and more tourists, as well as renewing interest in downtown preservation.