On St. Patrick’s Day, it might seem appropriate to down a shot of Jameson Irish Whiskey. However, when it comes to Irish happiness, US whiskey makers could have the upper hand.
American whiskey is one of the fastest-growing spirits in the United States, with sales increasing nearly 11% over the past year to $5.1 billion, according to a recent report from the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS). In particular, sales of premium whiskeys from both small and large US distilleries are fueling growth as customers increasingly indulge in a premium drink.
“Spirit consumers appreciate the rich heritage, tradition and authenticity of American whiskey,” Lisa Hawkins, senior vice president of public affairs at DISCUS, told CNN. She added that there is a “shared passion” among whiskey drinkers because they want to know where it’s made, what type of grain is used and how old it is.
One of the most famous brands is Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey. Brown Forman
(BFA)its parent company said in an earnings call last week that Jack “remained the biggest driver of revenue,” which grew 12% year over year.
Brown-Forman has even expanded its Jack Daniel’s line to include more expensive whiskeys called Jack Daniel’s Bonded, along with the upcoming US launch of its Jack and Coke canned cocktail.
Another factor in the growth of the American whiskey market is small distilleries, which are becoming attractions in their own right, where people can taste the whiskey and see how it’s made.
“These unique experiences have helped introduce more consumers to American whiskey and created excitement for both old and newer brands in the category,” Hawkins said.
Westland Distillery, near Seattle, is one of those experiencing a resurgence. Matt Hofmann, the distillery’s chief executive and co-founder, told CNN their sales are “growing faster than ever” following a Covid-induced slowdown.
Westland is focused on producing single-malt whiskey that “bridges the gap” between Irish whiskey – which Hofmann describes as “very elegant and approachable” – and American-made whiskeys, which he says are “bolder” in flavor .
Hofmann also credited the surge in international sales with helping increase the popularity of American-made whiskey. According to DISCUS, whiskey exports rose 30% last year to $1.28 billion – a welcome respite after retaliatory tariffs were dropped. American whiskey is the most popular Top spirits for export, with the European Union being the largest market.
Of course, that doesn’t mean Irish whiskey isn’t popular. It generated more than $1.4 billion in sales last year and played a “key role” in spirit revenue surpassing beer in 2022, DISCUS said.
Source : www.cnn.com