Thursday, August 7, 2008

America's Whiskey Makers Are Cautiously Optimistic.

An Associated Press article from about a month ago just came to my attention. I wrote essentially the same story for WHISKY Magazine, but you can't access mine online like you can this one (as it appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle).

As Bruce Schreiner writes, "distillers are expanding their bourbon production and storage, and dispatching sales teams around the world, bullish for a traditionally Southern beverage gaining popularity worldwide. Surging exports, the weak U.S. dollar and rising popularity among younger Americans are driving the boom."

Virtually every producer is increasing capacity. Jim Beam, Wild Turkey, Maker's Mark, Jack Daniel's and Heaven Hill are all adding production capacity.

This expansion is literally unprecedented. The last time the industry grew like this is when it was getting back on its feet after World War II. The same sort of expansion is going on in Scotland. Whiskey is notoriously hard to forecast because of the long aging cycle, so at best people are cautiously optimistic.

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