LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - In 2015, nearly one million people came to Kentucky for its bourbon tourism industry, according to the Kentucky Distillers' Association. It says each tourists spends an average of $1,000 during their visit.
"The Kentucky bourbon trail has a significant impact," Kentucky Distillers' Association President Eric Gregory said.
Senate Bill 11 could send those numbers even higher.
"We're very proud of what bourbon tourism has done for the Commonwealth and this is another tool to grow it," Gregory said. "Kentucky's alcohol laws, especially their alcohol tourism laws, are outdated and most of them are stuck in prohibition."
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It's a longer bill that includes changes to wine and microbreweries - and not every distillery is on board. The two most debated changes would allow distillery visitors to buy nine liters of alcohol instead of three and sample 1.75 ounces per distillery instead of 1.00.
Sazerac, which owns Buffalo Trace, Pappy Van Winkle and many others is against the bill.
"We appreciate what they're trying to do for tourism," Jason Underwood, a lobbyist for Sazerac, said. "We just think there's been a bit of overreach."
He said allowing more sales at distilleries could upset retailers.
"We need retail partners to sell our products," Underwood said. "We like the customer, whether they buy our product or not, we think they should experiment."