A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

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...

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...