The bourbon industry is on the rise. Over the past five years there has been a 36% increase in sales across the country. The rise in demand is not only good for the bourbon makers but it’s also good for the barrel makers as well.
Cooperage, the art of barrel making, is nothing new to Appalachia. It was a tradition brought over by the Scots-Irish. One barrel business located in Kentucky has reported that they expect all of their future stock to be bought by bourbon and winemakers.
Since barrel making is a traditional art for the region, perhaps more businesses will see an increased demand for their unique skillset.
A non-profit known as Friends of the Mountains to Sea Trail is working with state and government officials and private landowners to produce a 1,000 mile trail that will lead from the Appalachian Trail, across North Carolina, and out to the Atlantic Ocean. They plan to have the new trail lead not only through the wilderness, but towns so hikers can visit regional locals. The Appalachian Trail is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Appalachia. By providing access to the ocean, it is believed that a trail that leads to the only will help to increase the Appalachian Trail’s appeal.