Gov. Steve Beshear has declared September to be “Bourbon Heritage Month” in the Commonwealth. What does this mean? A lot of things, actually. Aside from recycling one of Sen. Jim Bunning’s old ideas, it brings to the forefront one of the things this state does and does well: Distilling fermented corn-mash into an amber nectar of debauchery and economic vitality.
“From jobs to investment to tourism, bourbon is a vital part of the Bluegrass economy that benefits all of Kentucky’s citizens,” Gov. Beshear said. “It’s also a key export and a proud symbol of our heritage that’s known and acknowledged around the world.
“It’s a privilege to proclaim September ‘Bourbon Heritage Month’ in recognition of our historic distilling industry. My administration is committed to working with our distillers to help this essential part of our economy grow and thrive.” [Press release]
Next month, the Kentucky Bourbon Festival will kick off its 17th annual shindig in Bardstown as tens of thousands of people from all over the country — and the world — drop by to pay their respects to the ingenuity of ancient spirit makers and the $1 billion-per-year industry they pioneered. So basically, if bourbon can create common ground between the likes of Beshear and Bunning, can it also heal the world?