F McGady, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

2019 Missouri Bourbon


2019 Missouri Bourbon Becomes Official Whiskey Style

On August 28th 2019, Missouri House Bill 266 came into effect creating Missouri bourbon as a unique style of whiskey to be exclusively produced in the State of Missouri.

Additionally to meeting federal quality standards of bourbon, Missouri bourbon needs to be mashed, fermented, distilled, and bottled in the State. Basically, the whole manufacturing process need to have taken place in Missouri to deserve to be named after the State of Missouri. This includes as well an unusual new requirement to use oak barrels manufactured in Missouri and the corn to be grown in the State of Missouri.

The more stringent standards for local bourbon production may root in the fact that Missouri is one of the top suppliers for white oak bourbon barrels. The bill was authored by Don Gosen (Copper Mule Distillery), a member of the Missouri Craft distillers guild, and sponsored by Rep. Jeff Porter of Montgomery City. It was signed by Gov. Mike Parson including modifications and suggestions provided by the Craft Distillers Guild and other stakeholders in the law making process.
The new law in Missouri is similar to other US Geographical Indicator definitions such as Kentucky bourbon and Tennessee whiskey: whereas Kentucky bourbon is demanding to be aged in the Kentucky for at least one year, Tennessee focuses on the usage of maple charcoal filtration (Lincoln County Process)

In 2019 Distilled Spirits Council of the United States of America report summarized about 29,340 jobs in the spirit industry of Missouri adding $2,902,554,000 to the State GDP, and $4,573,445 to the State Export balance.

Henry MitchellRestoration by Godot13, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Office of Missouri Governor, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Historical Missouri

Additional to TTB bourbon standards marketing, labeling and selling Indiana Missouri Bourbon must include :


The product must be mashed, fermented, distilled, aged and bottled in Missouri


The product must be aged in oak barrels manufactured in Missouri


All corn used in the mash must be Missouri-grown corn

Commercial Distilling North America

The first commercial distilleries in North America were established as early as settlers were sent to the New World, and outrun the first legal Scottish distillery by more than 50 years, whereas distilling for private needs (non commercial) can be proved as early as first settlers arrived in 1620.

The Birthright of American Rum

The distilling industry of American Rum became early colonial New England’s largest and most prosperous industry. For a period of time, American Rum joined gold as an accepted currency. The Molasses Act of 1733 and the following Sugar Act 1764 underline the historic importance of this commodity that paved the way for American Independence.