JEFFERSON CITY — Not just any bourbon can be called “Missouri bourbon,” at least according to a measure Gov. Mike Parson signed on Thursday.
The law, which goes into effect Aug. 28, requires distillers to meet three criteria if they want to label their product “Missouri bourbon” or “Missouri bourbon whisky.”
• The product must be “mashed, fermented, distilled, aged and bottled” in Missouri.
• The bourbon must be aged in oak barrels manufactured in Missouri.
• Beginning Jan. 1, all “corn used in the mash must be Missouri grown corn” to be labeled “Missouri bourbon whiskey” or “Missouri bourbon,” according to the law.
The law, House Bill 266, comes a year after Missouri distillers launched the Missouri Craft Distillers Guild, which has 30 member distilleries, according to its website. Six of the member distilleries are situated in the St. Louis area.
Bourbon whiskey is a type of spirit derived from mashed corn. Distilleries in Kentucky bottle some of the country’s most well-known brands, including Evan Williams, Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark.
“To compete with our favorite state of Kentucky, we wanted to have our bourbon industry identified as Missouri-based,” said Rep. Jeff Porter, R-Montgomery City, who sponsored the measure.
He said the new law will be “great for agro-tourism” and will help the state’s barrel producers and corn growers.
The new law also outlines several new designations in Missouri.
• May 26 will be known as the “Battle of St. Louis Day,” recognizing an American Revolution battle fought in the then-future state of Missouri.
• July 7 will be known as “Missouri Sliced Bread Day,” in honor of “the first sale of sliced bread in Chillicothe, in 1928.”
• October will be designated eczema awareness month.
• Sept. 9 will become “Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma Awareness Day.” That is a type of childhood cancer.
The law also changes the definition of the Holocaust contained within the Holocaust Education and Awareness Commission Act. “The definition is no longer restricted to murders occurring only within Nazi concentration camps,” according to summary of the provision.
The law establishes the “Missouri Solar Pollinator Habitat Act,” which will allow owners of solar farms to declare themselves pollinator-friendly.
And, historical theaters in the state will soon be allowed to seek such official historical designations. The Missouri State Council for the Arts will certify the theaters.
The law designates the St. Louis Blues as the state’s official hockey team, picks out an official state tartan, and classifies the paw paw tree as the official state fruit tree.
It also declares a stretch of State Highway P in St. Charles County the “Waylon Jennings Memorial Highway.”
Parson signed a third bill into law Thursday that classifies Nov. 9 as “Stars and Stripes Day,” recognizing “Missouri’s role in the creation of the newspaper of the United States Armed Forces.”
The law also classifies November as “Cardiovascular Disease and Type 2 Diabetes Awareness Month.”