Should Kentucky's Official State Beverage Be Milk or Bourbon?
A new petition has surfaced to change the state drink.
In Kentucky, a war of the beverages is raging. In one corner is the bone-fortifying, plain but popular, milk. In the other is the state's iconic liquor, bourbon. Just one can be named the state’s official beverage. And the people of Kentucky can’t decide which one it should be.
In 2005, a bill passed solidifying milk as the state’s official beverage. Why? Because, according to the bill, “milk production and the manufacture of dairy products are major contributors to the economic well-being of Kentucky agriculture.” Not the most exciting reason, but legitimate nonetheless (and by the way, 19 other states call milk their official beverage). But now a change.org petition created by the organization and retail shop Kentucky for Kentucky has arisen, advocating for milk to be deposed and replaced by bourbon.
According to the Lexington Herald Leader, 95 percent of the world’s bourbon is produced in Kentucky, a strong argument for why it should be a symbol of the state.
“Milk is boring, bland and contributes next to nothing to Kentucky’s image or economy. Bourbon, on the other hand, is wildly popular around the world, unique to the Commonwealth, a source of pride for its citizens, [and] a major economic driver,” Kentucky for Kentucky's rather cheeky petition states. “In short, milk must be destroyed and bourbon elevated to its rightful place as Kentucky’s official state beverage.”
As the petition also points out, “Bourbon is an $8.5 billion signature industry in Kentucky, generating 17,500 jobs,” which its backers argue makes it uniquely suited to represent the state. Milk might be healthy, but it’s not exactly special to Kentucky in particular.
The plan was to deliver the petition to the Kentucky State House and Senate once it had 100 signatures, but in just two days of being online, it’s already garnered 1,300 supporters. Now, Whit Hiler, one of Kentucky for Kentucky's partners, hopes to get distillers on board to support the petition.
Another reason the petition cites for the wanting the liquor as the state’s official beverage? “Bourbon is good.” We can’t argue with that.