A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky Distillers’ Association names Pauline Rooney as Chairwoman; will serve through December

The Kentucky Distillers’ Association has announced that Pauline Rooney of Diageo North America has been named Chairwoman of the 141-year-old nonprofit trade group that unites, promotes and protects the state’s signature Bourbon and distilled spirits industry. Rooney, who is Vice President of Distillation and Maturation for Diageo North America, will serve through December 2021. She was the second...

KDA welcomes industry veteran Sara Barnes as Director of Industry Responsibility and Sustainability

The Kentucky Distillers’ Association on Tuesday announced that industry veteran Sara Barnes has joined the nonprofit trade group as Director of Industry Responsibility and Sustainability. Barnes comes to the KDA from the Bourbon Women Association where she spent two years as Managing Director. She previously served for four years at Boone County Distilling Co. as Marketing and Events Coordinator...

Kentucky now boasts nearly 10 million aging barrels of Bourbon and distilled spirits, fuels state economy

Kentucky Bourbon continues to fuel the Commonwealth’s economy with nearly 10 million barrels of Bourbon and other distilled spirits aging in warehouses across the state, the Kentucky Distillers’ Association announced. The barrel inventory for 2020 broke several state records, the KDA said, including:   • Total barrels of Bourbon and other spirits: 9,864,197 • Total barrels of just Bourbon:...

UofL College of Business, KDA partner to increase diversity in Kentucky bourbon industry

The University of Louisville College of Business and the Kentucky Distillers’ Association (KDA) have established the Kentucky Distillers’ Association/University of Louisville Scholars Program to increase diversity in the commonwealth’s signature bourbon industry. The partnership will award five full-tuition scholarships for UofL’s Distilled Spirits Business Certificate, with preference...

KDA establishes annual scholars fund with UK distillation, wine and brewing studies program

By Aimee Nielson University of Kentucky The Kentucky Distillers’ Association is establishing a scholars program to fund scholarships aimed at increasing diversity in the distilled spirits industry. The KDA UK Scholars Program Fund will annually support full tuition for up to four students in the University of Kentucky’s distillation, wine and brewing studies program. “As there are too few diverse...

Kentucky Distillers’ Association honors five legislators with ‘100 Proof Award’ for leadership

The Kentucky Distillers’ Association is honoring five state lawmakers with its prestigious “100 Proof Award” for their bold leadership in championing landmark legislation in the 2020 session that elevates Kentucky’s signature Bourbon and distilled spirits industry. The five legislators are, in alphabetical order: • Rep. Adam Koenig, R-Erlanger, Chairman of the House Licensing, Occupations...

Kentucky Distillers’ Association, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce to provide sanitizer to businesses

As Gov. Andy Beshear outlined the plan for Phase 1 of reopening Kentucky’s economy on Wednesday, the Kentucky Distillers’ Association and Kentucky Chamber of Commerce are partnering to help businesses make sure they have the hand sanitizer needed to protect Kentuckians as they reopen. In the last few weeks, members of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association have produced and donated more than 125,000...

Kentucky Bourbon Affair fantasy camp canceled due to pandemic; event to resume in 2021

The Kentucky Distillers’ Association announced that it has canceled its annual Kentucky Bourbon Affair fantasy camp in 2020 due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, but plans to resume the event in September 2021. The prestigious seventh annual event was scheduled for September 21–26. Ticket sales were set to open last week for more than 30 rare, one-of-a-kind experiences at 22 participating KDA distilleries,...

Kentucky Bourbon Trail destinations enjoy record-breaking 2019 with nearly two million visits

The Kentucky Distillers’ Association has announced that the famed Kentucky Bourbon Trail and Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour destinations welcomed nearly two million visits in 2019. What started as a handful of distillery stops and a few hundred visitors two decades ago has exploded into a globally recognized, bucket-list journey for visitors from all over the world who want to experience Kentucky’s...

Wilderness Trail Distillery in Danville joins Bourbon Trail, becomes 18th stop on world-famous tour

Wilderness Trail, one of the founding distillery destinations on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour, has advanced to join the Kentucky Bourbon Trail adventure, becoming the 18th stop on the world-famous journey that showcases America’s only native spirit. Launched in 2012 as a premium craft distillery in Danville, Wilderness Trail has expanded its production and grown its distinctive visitor experience...

Kentucky Distillers’ Association, Distilled Spirits Council partner on ‘Spirits United’ grassroots platform

The historic Kentucky Distillers’ Association has announced that it is partnering with the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) in joining Spirits United as a partner to expand the grassroots network throughout the birthplace of Bourbon. Spirits United features important information on key issues facing the spirits industry, hospitality professionals and consumers, and provides...

Kentucky Distillers’ Association leads coalition offering $10,000 worth of free rides during holidays

The Safe Ride KY coalition has announced that it is offering $10,000 worth of free rides during the upcoming holidays to complement DUI enforcement efforts and prevent impaired driving on Kentucky roadways. Individuals can claim $10 in ride credits by downloading the Lyft app on their phones, entering promo code SAFERIDEKY2020 and ordering a ride home. Rides can be taken between 5 p.m. Dec. 20 and...

Kentucky’s distilled spirits industry tops 9 million total barrels for first time in modern era

Kentucky’s signature Bourbon and distilled spirits industry set two modern era records last year by filling more than 2.1 million barrels of Bourbon and aging 9.1 million total barrels of spirits, the Kentucky Distillers’ Association has announced. That’s the highest inventory in the 52 years that barrel inventory records have been kept at the KDA, a nonprofit trade group. It’s also the first...

Wide-ranging class of six to be inducted into Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame Thursday

The Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame on Thursday will induct six individuals into its hallowed ranks and bestow its Parker Beam Lifetime Achievement Award on a beloved icon who patiently resurrected one of the state’s most historic distilleries and returned the family-owned brand to global prominence. A limited number of tickets are still available at www.kybourbonfestival.com for the event from 4 p.m....

September declared ‘Bourbon Heritage Month,’ celebrating Kentucky’s signature industry

September has been declared “Bourbon Heritage Month” in the Commonwealth.  “As I promote Kentucky around the world, I’m frequently asked about our historic Bourbon industry,” Gov. Matt Bevin said. “The love of Bourbon is a global phenomenon with deep roots planted in Kentucky, and the economic impact of the industry is growing rapidly.   “Kentucky’s Bourbon industry proudly employs...

Safe Ride KY offers $10,000 worth of free rides to prevent impaired driving during Independence Day

The Safe Ride KY coalition has announced that it is offering Kentuckians $10,000 worth of free rides to prevent impaired driving and complement the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety’s enforcement efforts during Independence Day. Individuals can claim $10 in ride credits by downloading the Lyft app on their phones, entering promo code SAFERIDEKY4TH19, and ordering a safe ride home. The credit will...

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...

Kentucky bourbon continues to boom as September is officially declared ‘Bourbon Heritage Month’

On the heels of the new Kentucky Bourbon Trail Welcome Center opening in Louisville, Gov. Matt Bevin praised Kentucky’s signature Bourbon industry for its continued growth by declaring September as “Bourbon Heritage Month” in the Commonwealth. Click to enlarge “The roots of Kentucky’s Bourbon industry run deep, and we are pleased to recognize the contributions of this economic engine during...

‘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...

Bardstown’s historic Willett Distillery promotes Britt Kulsveen to president and chief whiskey officer

BARDSTOWN, Ky. – The historic Willett Distillery, family owned and operated since its founding in 1936, today announced the promotion of Kristin Martha-Britt Kulsveen to the role of President and Chief Whiskey Officer. Britt Kulsveen Kulsveen is the great-granddaughter of founder A. Lambert Willett and succeeds her mother, Martha Harriett Willett Kulsveen, as President. The landmark announcement...