Yarmuth and Guthrie Launch Congressional Bourbon CaucusWednesday June 17, 2009
(Washington, DC) Today, Congressmen John Yarmuth (KY-3) and Brett Guthrie (KY-2) jointly announced the formation of the Congressional Bourbon Caucus as an officially recognized Congressional Member Organization.
Both Congressmen will serve as co-chairs of the Caucus, a bipartisan group of members dedicated to maintaining and strengthening the bourbon industry in the United States and educating other Members on the legislative and regulatory issues impacting the industry.
“This caucus offers a solid base of bipartisan support for one of Kentucky’s most important industries and largest employers,” said Congressman Yarmuth. “Congressman Guthrie and I both agreed it was important to create a working group that would advocate for this critical part of the Commonwealth’s economy.”
“I am proud to co-chair this caucus with Congressman Yarmuth, as we strive to promote one of Kentucky’s signature industries,” Congressman Guthrie said. “The bourbon industry is a vital part of the Commonwealth’s heritage that provides thousands of jobs, and this bipartisan caucus will ensure that the industry’s impact is valued.”
Seventeen Members of Congress from across the nation have signed on as original members of the caucus, and more are expected to join in the weeks ahead.
Over 95 percent of the bourbon produced in the world is distilled and aged in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, where the alcoholic beverage industry employs over 43,000 Kentuckians. Over $3 billion of the gross state product in Kentucky is generated by distilled spirits and over 500,000 visitors annually tour the Commonwealth’s Bourbon Trail.
According to federal statute, bourbon is recognized as a “distinctive product of the United States” and is required to be aged in new, charred oak barrels for a minimum of two years.