Alcohol laws in Kansas may have made the state late to the party, but that hasn’t kept it from ranking as one of the nation’s top lovers of bourbon.
BetKansas.com, where we typically stick to sports betting in Kansas, utilized Google Trends and Statista to develop the ranking of the states that love bourbon the most.
We used Google Trends to get the states with the most bourbon searches since 2021. Statista.com was also used to see per capita consumption of straight bourbon whiskey per state since 2021.
Once that information was compiled, a point system was created giving up to 50 points for search rank and up to 50 for per capita consumption for each state.
That put Kansas at No. 5 based on the combined ranking of consumption and searches since 2021.
Bourbon Lovers Per State
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South Kansas-Missouri Border Big on Bourbon
According to the Google Trends data, the Joplin, Mo.-Pittsburg, Kansas, area had the highest searches for bourbon, followed by Topeka and Kansas City. The search number reached their highest points around Christmas in each of the past two years, so it looks like Kansans are looking for that perfect holiday cocktail (or gift) and bourbon is on the menu.
Kansas was the first state to institute prohibition of alcohol in 1881, nearly 40 years before the 19th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States banned it nationwide. And after the national ban was lifted by the 21st Amendment in 1933, Kansas kept its state law intact until 1948. Even then, it took decades to relax laws to what they are today.
As such, there’s certainly not as many bourbon distilleries in Kansas as in Kentucky, but there are some gaining popularity. J. Reiger & Co., which is located in Kansas City, Mo., and Boot Hill, from Dodge City, are part of this list of Kansas bourbons sold online by Del Mesa Liquor. There’s also the Buck-U Distillery in Ottawa, and Union Horse Distilling Co. in Lenexa tops a Google search for bourbon distilleries in Kansas.
While Kentucky may be the bourbon capital of the country both in production and love, Kansas isn’t far behind on the love (residents also seem to be loving their Kansas sports betting apps). And Kansans are developing their skills for producing what they love closer to home.
Douglas Pils has been a sports journalist for 30 years in Texas, Arkansas and New York having worked for the San Antonio Express-News, the Associated Press, The Dallas Morning News and Newsday. He most recently ran the Student Media Department at Texas A&M for eight years.