The bourbon business is growing. Apparently, it's obvious even half a world away.
Last week Osaka-based Suntory Holdings Ltd. announced that it had reached an agreement to acquire Beam Inc. for approximately $16 billion. Beam is the largest U.S.-based spirits company, and its brand line includes top-selling Jim Beam and Maker's Mark bourbons. The acquisition will take Suntory from 15th place in global liquor dollar sales to third.
According to a Wall Street Journal article on the transaction, in 2012 bourbon production "rose above one million barrels for the first time since 1973. Distillers have invested roughly $300 million to boost capacity since 2011."
There doesn't seem to be any one specific reason for the public's new fascination with "America's contribution to the world of whiskey," as Beam itself terms bourbon. But the popularity of it on recent hit television shows such as Mad Men probably hasn't hurt.
Regardless, here in Colorado Springs bourbon is also on the rise, thanks to the work of a long-time area businessman and investor and a group of Southern transplants and friends. The new Bourbon Brothers Southern Kitchen, opening up next to the also-new Bass Pro Shop at the north end of town, is just one component of plans by these folks to spread the good corn-whiskey word — alongside a whole host of Southern dishes — through what management says will be the largest bourbon list outside of Kentucky. Find their story starting here.
— Kirsten Akens