A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

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 names 2020 Board of Directors, Jessica Pendergrass named chairwoman

The Kentucky Distillers’ Association has announced that Jessica Pendergrass, General Counsel for Heaven Hill Brands, has been named Chairwoman of the historic group’s Board of Directors for 2020. With more than 12 years of corporate attorney and commercial negotiation experience, Pendergrass joined Heaven Hill as the company’s first in-house Corporate Counsel in 2018. In addition to legal and...

Al Young, 77, legendary brand manager for Four Roses, died Christmas Day; arrangements pending

The Kentucky Distillers’ Association has expressed deep sadness on the sudden passing of Al Young of Four Roses, one of the industry’s most endearing ambassadors and leading historians with a wealth of industry knowledge and experience that spanned over half a century.  Young died on Christmas Day at age 77. He was born in Louisville in 1942 and joined the bourbon industry at the Louisville Seagram...

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...

Kentucky Distillers move toward next-generation hospitality with third annual ‘Mocktober’ campaign

The Kentucky Distillers’ Association (KDA) and The Mocktail Project have announced their third annual “Mocktober” campaign, designed to celebrate the role of low and no-ABV cocktails in creating a safer, more inclusive drinking culture. From Oct. 14-20, Kentuckians are encouraged to enjoy a mocktail – often referred to as a zero-proof or alcohol-free cocktail – at one of the more than 40...

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....

Louisville’s Kentucky Bourbon Affair to combine with Bourbon & Beyond festival for 2020 event series

The Kentucky Bourbon Affair announced last week it is moving the five-day fantasy camp to September next year to become the opening act for the growing Bourbon & Beyond festival. Created in 2014 by the Kentucky Distillers’ Association, the KBA features one-of-a-kind experiences at the state’s distilleries by day, followed by nightcap events that showcase Louisville’s “foodie” and cocktail...

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...

Social responsibility impact report highlights KDA’s efforts to craft better drinking culture

The Kentucky Distillers’ Association released its first-ever social responsibility impact report that outlines the group’s significant progress since boosting its leadership and commitment to this top industry priority two years ago. The report, titled “Crafting A Better Drinking Culture,” reflects on the progress made with key stakeholders towards the industry’s data-driven efforts to reduce...

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...

Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour expands with more distilleries, new look and finishing prize

Seven years ago, the Kentucky Distillers’ Association created the nation’s first and only tourism attraction to showcase its flourishing artisan distilling movement — the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour. The KDA announced on Tuesday that the thriving, groundbreaking adventure is expanding to include new spirits producers and is rewarding visitors who tour all 20 distilleries with an enhanced...

Ky Distillers’ Association designates Bardstown as “Official Gateway to Kentucky Bourbon Trail Tour”

Known as the Bourbon Capital of the World, Bardstown is the newest Official Gateway sponsor to the world-famous Kentucky Bourbon Trail adventure, the Kentucky Distillers’ Association announced today. With its robust mix of iconic brand destinations and smaller craft distilleries, Bardstown is a bustling hub for thousands of Bourbon visitors looking to sample the Commonwealth’s signature spirit,...

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...

Tickets now available for The Mocktail Project’s second annual ‘A Drink for You’ event March 12

Tickets are now available for The Mocktail Project’s second annual “A Drink for You” event, designed to celebrate mixology’s role in creating safer, more inclusive social settings. The event will run from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, March 12, at the Frazier History Museum. Tickets are $45 per person and can be purchased online at themocktailproject.com. The program – which features...

Kentucky Distillers’ Association announces Rick Robinson as chairman of Board of Directors for 2019

The Kentucky Distillers’ Association has announced that Rick Robinson, Vice President of Product Supply Chain at Campari America, has been named chairman of the historic group’s Board of Directors for 2019. This marks the second time Robinson has served as chairman of the non-profit trade group that unites, promotes, protects and elevates the state’s signature Bourbon and distilled spirits industry....

Kentucky Distillers’ Association, The Mocktail Project use ‘Mocktober’ to promote inclusion of non-drinkers

For the second straight year, the Kentucky Distillers’ Association and The Mocktail Project have declared this week “Mocktober” to promote inclusion of non-drinkers and empower more mindful consumption. Through Sunday, Kentuckians are encouraged to visit more than 20 participating bars, restaurants and distilleries to enjoy a non-alcoholic “mocktail” or craft their own at home using recipes...

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...

Lexington’s James E. Pepper Distillery becomes 39th member of Kentucky Distillers’ Association

The Kentucky Distillers’ Association has announced that the historic James E. Pepper Distillery in Lexington is the newest and 39th member of the non-profit trade group that unites and leads Kentucky’s signature Bourbon and distilled spirits industry. Located in the heart of Lexington’s vibrant Distillery District, the restored Pepper distillery began production in December 2017 after more than...

Opening of Castle & Key Distillery, $30m renovation, bring new life to former Old Taylor Distillery Co. site

At the opening of Castle & Key Distillery this week, Gov. Matt Bevin congratulated the company’s leaders on their $30 million renovation and welcomed the public’s return to the restored, long-dormant grounds of the former Old Taylor Distillery Co. in Woodford County. Gov. Matt Bevin cuts the ribbon to signal the opening of Castle & Key Distillery on the historic former site of the Old Taylor...