Distillers Like Taste of Bourbon Boom

Weak dollar, rising exports help fuel spike in sales
By Victoria Floethe,  Newser User
Posted Jul 7, 2008 8:11 AM CDT
Wild Turkey master distiller Jimmy Russell signs a bottle of Rare Breed bourbon at the operation's gift shop in Lawrenceburg, Ky., Wednesday, June 18, 2008.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Kentucky bourbon is popular in the likes of Russia and China as drinkers worldwide flock to the US drink, the AP reports. A weak dollar, rising exports, and a bourbon trend among young Americans are also fueling the boom. "Younger consumers are interested in drinks that were, you might say, their grandfathers' drinks," said Max Shapira, president of Heaven Hill Distilleries in Kentucky.

Wild Turkey expects a 12% export spike next year, while higher-priced, small-batch varieties are seeing even bigger boosts. Meanwhile Jim Beam, the world's largest bourbon maker, is spending $70 million to boost facilities—and profits are more than making up for rising fuel and grain costs. "It's an exciting time to be in the bourbon business," Shapira said.