A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

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...

Bourbon Women, KDA celebrate groundbreaking industry champion Christy Trout Van Tatenhove

Christy Trout Van Tatenhove, Special Counsel to Kentucky’s Speaker of the House, received the seventh annual “Lois Mateus Networking Award” last week in honor of her distinguished contributions to Kentucky’s signature Bourbon and spirits industry. Prior to her current role, Van Tatenhove served as the first woman Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, where she...

Kentucky Distillers’ Association cancels Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame ceremony due to pandemic

The Kentucky Distillers’ Association announced Friday that its Board of Directors has unanimously decided to cancel this year’s Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame induction and ceremony due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Created by the KDA in conjunction with the Kentucky Bourbon Festival in 2001, the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame recognizes individuals and organizations that have made a significant and...

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 distilleries donate nearly 125,000 gallons of hand sanitizer to frontline coronavirus organizations

The Kentucky Distillers’ Association has announced that member distilleries have produced and donated nearly 125,000 gallons of desperately needed hand sanitizer across the Commonwealth to frontline workers, hospitals and healthcare facilities. In the last few weeks, KDA distillers – from the largest to the smallest – retooled their facilities, sourced necessary supplies, battled regulatory and...

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 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...