Baton Rouge bourbon lovers embrace the ‘boom’

Bourbon production is currently at an all-time high, and analysts predict that the global bourbon market, which was valued at $8.2 billion in 2022, will reach an impressive $12 billion by 2030.

In other words, the global bourbon boom is likely here to stay—and as Business Report features in its most recent issue, the Capital Region is clearly on board.

According to Dorothy Kemp, interest in bourbon among Capital Region residents has grown “tremendously” in recent years. And she would know.

As president of the Bourbon Society of Baton Rouge and co-chair of the Louisiana Bourbon Festival, Kemp has had a front-row seat to the rise of bourbon on a local scale. She says a good deal of the recent uptick in interest can be traced back to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We saw a big boom in people who wanted to learn more about bourbon and whiskey in general,” Kemp says. “People were staying home and had more expendable resources because they weren’t going out as much.”

While that interest in bourbon hasn’t waned since the pandemic ended, Kemp says consumer habits have shifted a bit. Notably, prospective buyers aren’t immediately turning to the most expensive bottle on the liquor store shelf anymore.

“Our members still want great bottles, but they want bottles that are going to give them more bang for their buck,” she says. “They’re still searching for unicorns, but they’re being more critical before spending their money.”

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This story originally appeared in a July 5 issue of Daily Report. To keep up with Baton Rouge business and politics, subscribe to the free Daily Report e-newsletter here.