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KDA, Better Drinking Culture announce partnership to launch responsible retailing program

The Kentucky Distillers’ Association and Better Drinking Culture have announced their partnership to launch a responsible retailing program that will audit and recognize distilleries’ best practices in operations and marketing.

The program is intended to help distillers provide memorable experiences and mitigate alcohol-related harms. Visitor centers that successfully complete an audit of its best practices will receive recognition from BDC and its growing tribe.

“BDC’s mission is to shift our culture’s relationship with alcohol in a healthier and more positive direction — to help people live healthier and drink better — because hangovers suck,” said Jason Ley, Better Drinking Culture CEO. “Distilleries that complete our Certification Program help us fulfill that mission.”

The groups have been in discussion since late 2016, when the KDA hired its first Director of Social Responsibility and BDC piloted their Certification Program for breweries in West Michigan. Soon after, the two agreed to collaborate on a retailing program for distilleries and launch it in Kentucky — BDC’s first market outside of Michigan.

To date, BDC has granted certification to 14 KDA member distilleries across the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour experiences, including Angel’s Envy, Bardstown Bourbon Co., Boone County Distilling Co., Copper & Kings, Evan Williams Bourbon Experience, Heaven Hill Bourbon Heritage Center, Kentucky Artisan Distillery, Maker’s Mark, New Riff, Old Forester Distilling Co., Rabbit Hole, Wilderness Trail, Willett, and Woodford Reserve.

“We’re proud of the investments our distilleries have made to incorporate alcohol responsibility practices within their visitor centers and brands,” KDA President Eric Gregory said. “As BDC launches this responsible retailing program for distilleries in other states, we’re confident our performance sets the bar nationwide.”

Under the program, certified distilleries train a minimum of one employee as a BDC Ambassador. Throughout 2019, BDC will work with ambassadors from each distillery to promote the partnership to Kentucky residents and visitors through lifestyle content, visitor center resources, social events, and industry initiatives.

The KDA will be sharing the program and its benefits with other distilleries at the American Distilling Institute conference in Denver later this month.

From Kentucky Distillers’ Association

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