LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Kentucky spring is in full bloom with the sweet smell of bourbon.
New distilleries, new brands and new stops on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail mean more jobs and tax revenues. Bourbon has boomed into an $8.5 billion industry in Kentucky and shows no signs of slowing down.
In Bardstown on Wednesday, after two years of construction, Lux Row opened a new 18,000 square foot distillery.
The company said the distillery has the potential to produce 20,000 barrels a year, and could eventually expand up to 50,000.
Lux Row is already officially part of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. The new distillery represents an expansion of both production in the industry, as well as investment in tourism that brings jobs.
"Everyone here's been fabulous," Donn Lux, Luxco CEO, said. "They've welcomed us with open arms. When we needed to staff the facility with 20 plus people, we interviewed all over the area and everyone we interviewed has worked in this area and they've just been wonderful."
Actor Matthew McConaughey recently announced his plans as creative director for a new small batch Wild Turkey brand called Longbranch.
Meanwhile, industry giant Heaven Hill rolled out its 8 millionth barrel on Wednesday. After a west Louisville expansion last year, Heaven Hill now produces 1,300 barrels per day.
There seems to be no end to the bourbon boom.
In the Louisville neighborhood called Nulu, the Rabbit Hole Distillery will open on Derby night.
A newcomer, O.Z. Tyler Bourbon, will launch Thursday at a distillery in Owensboro. O.Z. Tyler bills itself as Kentucky's newest bourbon. But with the rapid growth in the industry, one might wonder how long they will be able to hold on to that title.