A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

NKU history students partnering with five Kentucky counties to research history of bourbon journey

Northern Kentucky University history students are working with five Kentucky counties to research the history of the Commonwealth’s original bourbon journey.  In his book, Bourbon: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of an American Whiskey, acclaimed author Fred Minnick noted that given “all the facts we have, Jacob Spears is bourbon’s most probable creator.” Spears, whose distillery was located...

UK distilling, wine and brewing students learn about art and career potential of blending in spirits industry

Don McGrew, Americas Blending Technical Manager for the James B. Beam Distilling Company, talks to UK students about the art of getting the right barrels in the right bottles. (Photo by Matt Barton) By Aimee Nielson University of Kentucky Don McGrew knows bourbon, from seed to sip, barrel to bottle. He’s been in the spirits industry for more than a quarter of a century and is currently the Americas...

Mitch McConnell: Trump’s landmark USMCA deal is a win for Kentucky workers, farmers and consumers

Kentuckians are rightfully known for being hard workers. I’m glad more of them, from Paducah to Pikeville, are benefitting from our country’s strong economy, which has been bolstered by Republican policies. The Republican-led Senate just gave Kentucky workers another boost in an overwhelming vote by passing President Trump’s landmark trade deal called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement...

Nashville recording artist J.D. Shelburne featured on cover of Kentucky’s 2020 Official Visitor’s Guide

The Kentucky Department of Tourism unveiled the 2020 Official Visitor’s Guide cover featuring Kentucky native and Nashville recording artist J.D. Shelburne. This issue includes many Kentucky artists highlighting 2020 as the Year of Music in Kentucky. “Tourism and hospitality create and support thousands of jobs and help to grow our economy across the Commonwealth,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “Our...

Inaugural James B. Beam Institute Industry Conference coming to UK’s Gatton Student Center

By Aimee Nielson University of Kentucky Bourbon is an $8.6 billion industry in Kentucky and boasts more than 21,000 jobs and rising, accounting for a third of all distilling jobs in the United States. The James B. Beam Institute for Kentucky Spirits at the University of Kentucky will offer an inaugural industry conference Feb. 27 in the UK Gatton Student Center. The Beam Institute is a collaboration...

Project to map white oak DNA aims to provide greater understanding of major part of state’s signature spirit

By Aimee Nielson University of Kentucky Bourbon isn’t bourbon without the mighty white oak. Distillers have been aging bourbon in oak barrels as far back as the Roman Empire. Oak barrels give bourbon its unique caramel, vanilla, nutty and toasted flavors. Kentucky distillers rely especially on the white oak. But what if disease hits the species? How would industry professionals protect it? The University...

Inaugural Kentucky’s Edge event pairs bourbon with all things Kentucky; tickets on sale, and free events

KyForward staff It’s almost here. How much bourbon fun can you handle (see more events below)? Kentucky’s Edge has events and activities planned throughout Northern Kentucky. Click here for more information and a complete listing of events. Click photo to enlarge The inaugural, and highly anticipated, Kentucky’s Edge bourbon festival takes place Friday, Oct. 4 – Saturday, Oct. 5 with events...

Come Find Bourbon; Covington, Frankfort, and Bardstown, launch new tourism collaboration

As a fresh, new answer to the common question of where to stay when exploring Kentucky Bourbon Country, the tourism commissions of Northern Kentucky, Frankfort, and Bardstown today launch a new marketing initiative. Under the banner Come Find Bourbon and the new website www.ComeFindBourbon.com, Covington, Frankfort, and Bardstown invite visitors to spend more time enjoying immersive bourbon experiences...

Keeneland to feature AC Entertainment’s Railbird Festival, meshing music festival with horse racing

A new event will join Keeneland’s calendar in 2019, bringing with it significant economic and tourism impacts for Lexington. And, it isn’t a horse race. Nationally renowned festival producer AC Entertainment – of Bonnaroo, Forecastle, High Water, Moon River and other top music festivals – is introducing Railbird Festival, taking place on The Grounds at Keeneland this summer Aug. 10-11. “With...

New study shows Kentucky’s Bourbon industry has doubled economic impact in ten years

Kentucky Distillers’ Association Ten years ago, leaders of Kentucky’s signature Bourbon and distilled spirits industry poured whiskey on the Capitol steps to protest the latest tax hike on spirits. Today, they poured Bourbon inside the Capitol to toast the industry’s epic turnaround as the industry reported on its progress. Bourbon barons joined elected officials and key business executives...

As Kentucky’s Bourbon Heritage Month closes, aging inventory reaches a record 7.5 million barrels

As the Commonwealth closes out Kentucky Bourbon Heritage Month, the Kentucky Distillers’ Association announced that the state’s aging Bourbon inventory has reached 7.5 million barrels, the most since 1972. The total number of all barrels – including Bourbon, brandy and other spirits – reached 8.1 million, the most since 1971. The tax assessed value also hit a record high – $3 billion...

Mary Quinn Ramer: Lexington boosts tourism by leveraging partnerships with signature industries

There are two trends dominating the tourism industry – technology and authenticity. Travelers have an amazing amount of resources at their fingertips when they book their trips, and they want to experience something different. That has worked in Lexington’s favor as people expand their searches beyond the standard tourist stops to immerse themselves in their destinations, complete with genuine...

‘Spirit of Collaboration Summit’ in KY: International group approves ‘open and fair trade’ resolution

Executives with the world’s top whiskey associations today called upon global leaders to engage in timely dialogue that results in the prompt removal of recent tariffs between long-time friends and allies, particularly those imposed on spirits exports.  At the “W9 – Spirit of Collaboration Summit,” hosted by the Kentucky Distillers’ Association, representatives from nine international whiskey...

Trade groups to gather in Kentucky as Trump’s tariffs threaten risky business for the whiskey business

By Mary Kuhlman Public News Service Whiskey trade groups from around the world will converge on the birthplace of bourbon this week to discuss their concerns about a possible global trade war being stoked by the Trump administration. Tariffs have already been imposed on bourbon in some overseas markets and, according to Eric Gregory, president of the Kentucky Distillers Association, they’re...

Startup RH Resolute Distillery to invest $9.7 million in previously unused Hickman facility for new location

RH Resolute Distillery Inc. plans to locate in a previously unopened distillery in Hickman, creating 17 jobs with a $9.7 million investment. The company plans to finish construction and outfitting of a previous distillery project and begin distilling for the bulk spirits market by late summer. Initially, the operation’s production will target 400 barrels per week and increase to a projected maximum...

Lexington-Bluegrass Association of REALTORS announces $259.3 million in sales in May

Real estate sales by members of the Lexington-Bluegrass Association of REALTORS® (LBAR) positively impacted the Bluegrass economy with 1,281 reported sales totaling $259,263,788 during the month of May. According to 2018 LBAR President John Groft, “Inventory and days on market both continue to skim along at historic lows, while buyer demand is creating competitive purchase offer situations that...

Bardstown’s Preservation Distillery becomes 38th member of Kentucky Distillers’ Association

The Kentucky Distillers’ Association today announced that Preservation Distillery in Bardstown is the newest and 38th member of the non-profit trade group that unites and leads Kentucky’s signature Bourbon and distilled spirits industry. Founder Marci Palatella said she has dreamed of opening a distillery since 1985 when she got into the spirits and wine business as a leading international distributor,...

Beth Underwood: Have a good Kentucky bourbon story you’d like to share? I’d like to hear from you

Have I told you about my family tree? We’ve got one or two real hum-dingers swinging from the branches, that’s for sure. The life and times of one cousin, in particular, has piqued the interest of us all. When his name comes up in conversation, everyone leans in a little closer, keen on catching every word. Kinda like when E.F. Hutton talks. People listen. I’m talking about none other than Bad...

LBAR announces $215.6 million in Fayette County real estate sales in first quarter 2018

Residential real estate sales by members of the Lexington-Bluegrass Association of REALTORS® (LBAR) positively impacted the Fayette County economy in first quarter 2018 with 920 reported sales totaling $215,628,456. Sales continue to be a driving force in Fayette County economy. Residential sales decreased 12 percent from 1,050 sales reported in first quarter 2017 to 920 sales reported in first quarter...

VIP all-access Golden Tickets to fifth annual Bourbon Affair fantasy camp go on sale Tday at noon

A limited number of VIP all-access Golden Tickets to the fifth annual Kentucky Bourbon Affair fantasy camp will go on sale at noon EST Thursday, Feb. 1. The Kentucky Bourbon Affair event includes six days of exclusive experiences at the world’s most iconic distilleries, nightcap events featuring top chefs and the company of Bourbon Barons and Master Distillers, rare tastings and souvenir bottles. The...