Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear has proclaimed September “Bourbon Heritage Month” in the Bluegrass, designating the entire month to celebrate our signature spirit and its massive economic impact and tourism benefit to the Commonwealth.
Instead of detailing the thousands of good-paying jobs and billions in gross state product that Bourbon generates every year, the Kentucky Distillers’ Association thought it would be fun to list the Top 10 ways (in no particular order) to enjoy our amber nectar over the next 30 days.
10. Tour a Kentucky Bourbon Trail distillery and finally finish your Passport for a free T-shirt. Participating distilleries are Four Roses and Wild Turkey in Lawrenceburg; Heaven Hill in Bardstown; Jim Beam in Clermont; Maker’s Mark in Loretto; and Woodford Reserve in Versailles. Several distilleries have new and improved visitor’s centers, like Jim Beam, Four Roses and Maker’s Mark. Click here for tour times, directions and more info. And don’t forget Alltech’s Town Branch Distillery opens Oct. 1 for tours in Lexington.
9. Visit the Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History in Bardstown, featuring a 50-year collection of rare artifacts and documents about American Whiskey. It’s a nonprofit museum, so please make a donation if you can. Check out the museum’s website for details.
8. Volunteer for the Bourbon Chase, the overnight relay race with stops at the Kentucky Bourbon Trail distilleries on Sept. 28 and 29. The race is sold out, but organizers can always use help in coordinating the 4,000 runners. Learn more here.
7. Hold your own bourbon tasting for friends and family. Learn how here and impress your peers with tasting notes on the premium small batch and single barrel brands under the “Bourbon” tab at the website.
6. Take a trip to one of the state’s new craft distilleries. There are several to choose from – Town Branch and Barrel House in Lexington; Old Pogue in Maysville; MB Roland in Pembroke; Silver Trail in Hardin; Corsair Artisan in Bowling Green and Limestone Branch in Lebanon.
5. For the ladies, join the Bourbon Women Association. They have
cool special events featuring top chefs, bartenders and experts to educate and preserve the heritage of bourbon. You don’t have to be an expert, just share the interest.
4. Not a chef or mixologist? Explore the growing bourbon cuisine scene around Lexington and Louisville. There are plenty of top restaurants and bars featuring bourbon-inspired menus and specialty cocktails. For more info, click here and here.
3. Don’t miss the Kentucky Bourbon Festival in Bardstown from Sept. 11 through Sept. 16. All our Master Distillers will be under one roof at the Kentucky Bourbon All-Star Sampler on Sept. 12 – the perfect place to get a photo or an autograph.
2. Looking for the perfect gift to surprise a bourbon connoisseur? Check out the gift shops at any Kentucky Bourbon Trail distillery or browse here for the latest apparel, barware, specialty items and accessories.
And the number one way to honor America’s only native spirit…
1. Be a designated driver. Let someone else rejoice and celebrate Bourbon Heritage Month, while you stay sober and make sure everyone gets home safely. Click on “Responsibility” at kybourbon.com to learn more about our member’s responsibility pledges and programs.
We’ll be posting these and other great ideas on our Facebook page and Twitter account (@kybourbontrail). If you have any suggestions, please post them there.