News Column

Yarmuth, Barr Introduce Resolution Honoring Bourbon

May 9, 2014



WASHINGTON, May 9 -- Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky. (3rd CD), has issued the following news release:

Today, Congressmen John Yarmuth (KY-3) and Andy Barr (KY-6) introduced a resolution recognizing the 50th anniversary of the Congressional declaration of bourbon as a distinctive product of the United States.

The resolution, H. Res. 579, coincides with today's arrival of the original 1964 Congressional Resolution at the Frazier History Museum in Louisville. It also helps mark the launch of the inaugural Kentucky Bourbon Affair, a five-day celebration of America's native spirit taking place in Louisville next week.

"Bourbon isn't just a drink of choice - it's an economic engine for Kentucky," said Yarmuth, Founder and Co-Chairman of the Congressional Bourbon Caucus. "I'm proud to recognize its rich American history, and I'll continue supporting its resurgence in Kentucky and around the world."

"I am glad to help my fellow Kentuckian and the Chairman of the Congressional Bourbon Caucus introduce this important resolution to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Congress officially codifying bourbon's status as a distinctive product of the United States of America," Barr said. "We thank all of the hardworking men and women in the Commonwealth who make this uniquely American spirit such a great product and will continue working together to promote Kentucky's signature bourbon industry."

Bourbon is a significant contributor to the Kentucky economy, and the Commonwealth has benefited from the bourbon boom of the past several years. Kentucky produces 95 percent of the world's supply of bourbon, and production has increased more than 120 percent since 1999. The industry contributes nearly $2 billion a year to the state's economy and employs 9,000 people, according to a study by the University of Louisville. Kentucky bourbons are exported to 126 countries.

The May 4, 1964 Congressional Resolution - Senate Concurrent Resolution 19 - officially designated bourbon whiskey as a product of the United States and distinguished it from other alcoholic products, foreign and domestic. The resolution's arrival in Louisville - as part of a new bourbon history exhibit at the Frazier sponsored by the Kentucky Distillers Association - is the first time the document has left the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, D.C.

Yarmuth formed the Congressional Bourbon Caucus in 2009. The bipartisan group - of which Barr is also a Member - is dedicated to maintaining and strengthening the bourbon industry in the United States and educating other Members on the legislative and regulatory issues affecting the industry.

H. Res. 579 (http://yarmuth.house.gov/uploads/HRes%20579%20-%20Bourbon%2050th%20Anniversary.pdf)

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