OVER 40 BOURBON BRANDS, A DOZEN BOURBON MASTERS & CELEBRITIES, A PLETHORA OF WORKSHOPS, TALKS, DEMOS & EXPERIENCES.
Barton 1792 Distillery
Sophisticated and complex. A distinctly different bourbon created with precise craftsmanship. Made from our signature “high rye” recipe and the marriage of select barrels carefully chosen by our Master Distiller. 1792 Bourbon has an expressive and elegant flavor profile. Unmistakable spice mingles with sweet caramel and vanilla to create a bourbon that is incomparably brash and bold, yet smooth and balanced. Elevating whiskey to exceptional new heights, 1792 Bourbon is celebrated by connoisseurs worldwide.
Master of Maturation, V.P. & G.M., Michter’s Distillery
Andrea is Michter’s Master of Maturation as well as its Vice President – General Manager. As Michter’s Master of Maturation supporting Master Distiller Pamela Heilmann, Andrea manages barrel specifications, barrel procurement, heat cycling and temperature monitoring during aging, tracking maturation of barrels, whiskey filtration in preparation for bottling, and innovation to continue to improve the aging process. Andrea is admired for her accomplishments in the whiskey industry and has been involved in all aspects of making Michter’s whiskeys. Prior to joining Michter’s, Andrea spent over ten years with Diageo in various whiskey related positions including Director of Distillation and Maturation, North America – overseeing both the U.S. and Canadian distillation and maturation programs. Prior to her departure from Diageo she was the company’s Director of Whiskey Strategy for North American operations. Becoming the first woman to ever serve as Chair of the Kentucky Distillers Association is among the many honors achieved by Andrea during her illustrious career. She holds a Master of Chemical Engineering degree from the University of Louisville, and she has been highlighted in the KET television documentary, Kentucky Bourbon Tales: Distilling the Family Business.
Angel's Envy Distillery
Angel’s Envy is a bourbon finished in port barrels and inspired by Lincoln Henderson’s lifetime spent crafting the world’s finest spirits. Given the Highest Recommendation by F. Paul Pacult’s Spirit Journal, celebrated by Whisky Advocate, The Bourbon Review and awarded Wine Enthusiast’s highest bourbon rating, Angel’s Envy is two fingers of the finest whiskey you’ve ever tasted.
Co-Owner & Marketing Manager, Jeptha Creed Distillery
Autumn comes by her love of distilling honestly—her mother is Jeptha Creed master distiller and co-owner Joyce Nethery. But it took a year at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland, studying the craft with some of the best distillers in the world to truly ignite her passion. Now Autumn is among the youngest distillery owners in the country and an integral part of making Jeptha Creed one of Kentucky’s most groundbreaking distilleries.
Using what she learned traveling abroad with Semester at Sea, as well as through her studies at the University of Kentucky, where she earned her Bachelor’s in marketing, Autumn’s dream is to expand Jeptha Creed’s reach into every state, while still keeping the family feel the distillery is known for. She’s wholly committed to keeping Jeptha Creed spirits as natural and authentic as possible, so customers can always trust what’s in the bottle.
Barrel Finish vs. Traditional Bourbon
In this debate, experts discuss the merits of traditional bourbon and the new age of whiskey in barrel finishes. #Culture, tasting.
Moderator: Kenny Coleman of Bourbon Pursuit
Panelist: Chris Blandford, Kroger, bourbon buyer. Larry Rice, owner of Silver Dollar. Wes Henderson, founder of Angel’s Envy. Shane Baker, master distiller of Wilderness Trail.
Barrell Craft Spirits, based in Louisville, Kentucky, is an independent bottler of unique, aged, cask-strength sourced whiskey and rum spirits. We conceive of, design, launch, and talk about Spirits with a focus on what people want now and not what has been successful in the past. This affords us access to some of the most interesting and delicious spirits in the world.
Barrell Craft Spirits blends products that explore the unique effects of different distillation methods, barrels and aging environments, and bottles them at cask strength. Every batch is produced as a limited release and has an intentionally distinct flavor profile. Barrell Craft Spirits has received numerous awards including Best Bourbon, Best Small Batch Bourbon, Double Gold and Best Over Proof Rum at the 2017 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
Beer Drinker’s Bourbon
There’s nothing quite like a bourbon and beer pairing. Learn what bourbons go with each style of beer and why. #tasting
Moderator: Ryan Cecil, Bourbon Pursuit
Panelists: Kevin Gibson, beer author. Linda Ruffenach, founder of WhiskyChicks. Tripp Stimson, master blender for Barrell Bourbon. Danny Kahn, Master Distiller of Barton 1792 Distillery
Bernie Lubbers is the Whiskey Brand Ambassador for Heaven Hill Distillery. A veteran comedian of 25 years and an accomplished author, he is not only entertaining, but also extremely knowledgeable about Bourbon. Dubbed The Whiskey Professor, he can tell you more about Bourbon than you ever thought possible. He has been named Global Whiskey Ambassador of the Year by Whisky Magazine at Whisky Live in 2009, 2012 and 2016.
His draw toward Bourbon is natural. His grandfather was one of 13 saloon keepers who started the Falls City Brewing Company in Louisville, KY back in 1905. His father also worked there for 45 years. “Before you make whiskey, you’ve got to make beer,” Bernie says.
Each year, he travels over 100,000 miles educating people about Heaven Hill’s whiskeys including but not limited to Evan Williams, Elijah Craig, Larceny, Bernheim and Henry McKenna. In addition to traditional account trainings and consumer events, Bernie also performs his one-of-a-kind show “The Evolution of Bourbon”, which walks people through the history of Bourbon through music. He also educates consumers on how to read a whiskey label and what to look for before making a purchase. When he’s home, he spends time at the Bourbon Heritage Center in Bardstown, Kentucky where he learns first hand from Craig Beam and Denny Potter, Co-Master Distillers for Heaven Hill Distillery.
Bourbon Whiskey – Our Native Spirit is Bernie’s recently published book on Bourbon. The book includes a comprehensive overview on Bourbon including how it’s distilled and aged, why it was distilled, and how it became aged in the first place. It is published by Blue River Press and now available nationwide at www.whiskeyprof.com and select book stores nationwide.
Beth Burrows is the Kentucky Bourbon Ambassador for Beam Suntory. A New York Native, she grew up in the restaurant and education world. At a young age, Beth worked in her family’s restaurant as a busser and recycling specialist. With a teacher for a Mother, a Chef for a step-father, and a childhood rooted in hospitality, she naturally developed a sophisticated palate and a passion for educating and leading others.
Her passion for bourbon came many years later, while she was working behind the stick in Louisville, KY. It was there that she quickly found a love for bourbon education and cocktail mixology, developing bar programs and competing in numerous cocktail competitions. Over the span of three years, Beth moved up the ranks of Down One Bourbon Bar – from server to General Manager, where she garnered respect and praise from both colleagues and customers. Her time in the restaurant world and constant involvement in the cocktail community prepared her for her current role where she utilizes her cultivated palate, broad bourbon education, and cocktail background to bring a new dimension to the Beam Ambassador position. Beth has spent the last five years of her career learning under masters of the bourbon and cocktail crafting world.
When she is not spreading the good word of Jim Beam Bourbon, you can find her jamming to nineties music, writing cocktail recipes and attempting to cultivate the next perfect bourbon & food pairing. A photographer by trade, Beth spends most of her free time behind the lens.
Better In The BluegrassCulinary Demos
powered by GE Appliances
Bourbon & Beyond is proud to offer festivalgoers access to bourbon’s best and brightest in a series of free and intimate demos throughout the weekend. Chefs, master distillers, and bartenders come together for a weekend of surprise performances and exciting entertainment. Stay tuned for more details!
Blade and Bow
Blade and Bow Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is a premium offering in two variants, paying homage to the artful passion and renowned craftsmanship of the celebrated Stitzel-Weller Distillery in Louisville, Kentucky.
Named after the two parts of a skeleton key, the blade shaft and the ornate bow handle, Blade and Bow Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey derives its inspiration from the Five Keys symbol that can be found throughout the Stitzel-Weller Distillery. Representing the five steps of crafting bourbon – grains, yeast, fermentation, distillation and aging – these keys have grown to symbolize the southern traditions of hospitality, warmth and enjoying the finer things in life.
Blake Riber started Bourbonr in 2013 to share his bourbon reviews and musings. Bourbonr is known for coining the term “Poor Man’s Pappy” as well as the annual BTAC and Pappy Van Winkle release maps. Along with the limited-edition bourbon fandom, Bourbonr hosts a monthly blind tasting. These blind tastings highlight how reviews change when the labels and marketing is stripped away. Over the years the Bourbonr readership grew to 32,000+ email subscribers. It also includes one of the largest, and most active, bourbon Facebook groups.
Bluegrass Distillers is a craft distillery in the heart of the Kentucky Bluegrass; where fast horses are bred and the best whiskey is made. Central Kentucky is known as the “heart of bourbon” and our hearts are poured into every batch.
Beginning our first mashes in 2013, we opened our doors to our first aged bottle sales in November of 2015. As we are expanding our product lines, we are amping up our attendance at festivals and tasting events throughout Kentucky, Tennessee, and Ohio.
Our recipes are formulated in house and each batch hand crafted at our distillery with non-GMO and locally sourced Kentucky Proud ingredients. Following distillation, our spirits are aged to perfection right here in our new custom made charred white oak barrels.
Our team takes pride in the ability to complete every step of the process from mashing ingredients, fermenting, distilling in our 250 gallon copper pot still, aging and even labeling in our little distillery all by the hands of our dedicated team.
Boone County Distilling
Reminiscent of the days when bourbon was celebrated as the life-blood of the region, our new distillery is 5,000 square feet set on 2.5 acres. It includes a 500-gallon pot still, four fermenters and a small bottling line with a capacity of hundreds of barrels of small batch bourbon a year. Barrels will be stored on site, in a 3,000-square-foot warehouse behind the distillery. In every detail of our operation, we’ve respected our history while investing in our future. Our tag line, “Made by Ghosts®,” harkens to the early pioneers who crafted spirits in Boone County more than 100 years ago.
Boone County Distilling Co. is a proud member of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour®. We are open to the public for guided tours and tastings Wednesday-Sunday. We offer a behind the scenes grain to glass experience and a tasting of our available products. #madebyghosts
BOONE COUNTY DISTILLING BACK PORCH
At this back porch, let Boone County Distilling retell history with every sip of bourbon. You’ll find this open-air bar is the perfect spot to enjoy a selection of Boone County bourbons and craft cocktails. #MadeByGhosts
These distillers are changing the way whiskey is made. #culture
Moderator: Carla Carlton, managing editor of Bourbon+ Magazine
Panelists: Harlen Wheatley, master distiller for Buffalo Trace. Joe Beatrice, owner of Barrell Bourbon. Autumn Nethery, Jeptha Creed. Andrea Wilson, Michter’s master of maturation. Marianne Eaves, former master distiller for Castle & Key
The legends of bourbon share their stories. Some you know. Some you don’t. #culture
Moderator: Fred Minnick
Panelists: Jimmy Russell, master distiller of Wild Turkey. Bill Samuels Jr., chairman emeritus of Maker’s Mark. Mike Sherman, Vendome Copper & Stills
Author, "Bourbon Justice"
Brian Haara has practiced law in Louisville, Kentucky for over 20 years, currently as co-managing member of Tachau Meek PLC, a business litigation boutique firm, where he likes to think that it’s the type of firm that Col. E. H. Taylor, Jr. would have hired for his overabundance of litigation. Recognized by Martindale-Hubble, Best Lawyers, and Super Lawyers, Brian’s practice includes litigation of business (including bourbon trademark litigation), insurance, and real estate disputes, and he is a frequent speaker on those issues.
While already a bourbon enthusiast for decades, Brian happened upon an 1881 lawsuit where James E. Pepper had sued Labrot & Graham over Labrot & Graham’s continued use of the name “Old Oscar Pepper Distillery,” which had been owned by James’s father and grandfather, but which James lost in bankruptcy after his father died. The story played out better than fiction, and he was hooked.
After finding other cases of significant bourbon historical value, Brian discovered that bourbon law tracks the growth of the United States, from conquering the wild frontier, to rugged individualism, to the entrepreneurial spirit, to establishing a nation of laws. American law developed along with the bourbon industry, both of which in turn track the evolution and growth of the United States.
The interplay between bourbon, law, and history led Brian to blogging as Sipp’n Corn®, which quickly developed into media credentials, collaboration with retailers to select private barrels, and ultimately his forthcoming book, “Bourbon Justice: How Whiskey Law Shaped America” (Potomac Books, 2018).
Bulleit Bourbon is inspired by the whiskey pioneered by Augustus Bulleit over 150 years ago. Only ingredients of the very highest quality are used. The subtlety and complexity of Bulleit Bourbon come from its unique blend of rye, corn, and barley malt, along with special strains of yeast and pure Kentucky limestone-filtered water. Due to its especially high rye content, Bulleit Bourbon has a bold, spicy character with a finish that’s distinctively clean and smooth.
Medium amber in color, with gentle spiciness and sweet oak aromas. Mid-palate is smooth with tones of maple, oak, and nutmeg. Finish is long, dry, and satiny with a light toffee flavor.
Our family’s very first bourbon went into barrel in 1889. We’ve revived the craft in our own state-of-the-art distillery, where we use the finest ingredients. We believe that patience builds character & fine bourbon can never be rushed. All under one roof, select Kentucky Peerless grains are milled, cooked, fermented, double-distilled and barreled as bourbon & rye. Allow us to share our distinctively authentic distillery and family history with you; we look forward to it.
Author & Journalist, The Bourbon Babe
Carla Carlton, “The Bourbon Babe,” is an award-winning bourbon journalist, author and speaker. She covers the bourbon industry on her website, TheBourbonBabe.com, which has been featured on NPR’s “All Things Considered” and in the Washington Post and The New York Times, and is a regular contributor to The Whiskey Wash. Her first book, Barrel Strength Bourbon: The Explosive Growth of America’s Whiskey, was published by Clerisy Press in June 2017, along with companion ebooks Still Life: The Resurgence of Craft Bourbon and Spirited Perfection: Building Your Bourbon Bar. She is an Executive Bourbon Steward and member of the Stave & Thief Society and a charter member and former board member of Bourbon Women, an international networking organization for women who are passionate about exploring bourbon and its culture. A Louisville, Ky., native, Carla was an editor at The Courier-Journal for nearly two decades and is now Director of Development Communications at Bellarmine University, a private liberal-arts university.
Pappy & Company
As the great-granddaughter of bourbon legend Pappy Van Winkle, Carrie, saw an opportunity to build a lifestyle brand defined by her heritage. Rooted in principles of quality, style and tradition, Pappy & Company started in 2013 with sisters Louise and Chenault. They have grown the business into a lifestyle brand that includes culinary, home, apparel and gift items. What ties the collection together are high quality products and ingredients, working with regional artisans, and an appreciation for the finer things in life. The company is headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, where Carrie often visits, meanwhile Sun Valley, Idaho is home for her and her family.
Master Distiller, Woodford Reserve
Bourbon Hall of Famer Chris Morris is Master Distiller for Brown-Forman Corporation, the seventh since the company began in 1870. A Louisville native, he has spent his working life in the Bourbon industry. He is responsible for maintaining the award-winning taste of the whiskies produced at the Woodford.
Reserve and Old Forester Distilleries. Additionally, he serves as a brand ambassador for Brown-Forman at numerous trade and consumer functions.
Morris grew up around Bourbon, as he is one of three generations of his family to work at
Brown-Forman. His career began in 1976 as a trainee in the central lab working for the Master
Distiller. In 1988 he went to work for Glenmore Distilleries Company and joined United
Distillers through its acquisition of Glenmore in 1991.
In 1997 he returned to Brown-Forman and was chosen to begin training as Brown-Forman
Master Distiller, a position he has held since 2003. In 2002 he developed the Old Forester
Birthday Bourbon product and more recently the brand’s Whiskey Row Series.
At Woodford Reserve, he developed the Masters Collection, Woodford Reserve Double Oaked,
Rye and Distillery Series products. In 2015, Morris was given the additional responsibility of
Vice President of Whiskey Innovation for Brown-Forman.
As a student of the industry Morris authored the Society of Wine Educators Certified Spirits
Specialist program introduced the use of tasting notes for Bourbon in 1992 and developed the
Bourbon Flavor Wheel in 2004.
Morris has served on the Kentucky Distillers’ Association and Kentucky Bourbon Festival’s
Board of Directors, and is Chairman of the Order of the Writ Society. He has served as a
Whisky judge at the IWSC and ISC competitions and Co-chair of the DISCUS Master Distillers
Director of Member And Public Affairs, KDA
Colleen Thomas joined the KDA in 2016 as Bourbon Ambassador and was promoted to Director of Member and Public Affairs in 2017. She is responsible for providing support and resources to KDA members and the recruitment and on-boarding of new members. In addition, she manages media relations and executes events and special projects to further enhance the industry’s rich heritage, strengthen its community relations and encourage the responsible consumption of spirits. Colleen is = based out of KDA’s Louisville office.
Thomas previously served as Marketing Director for Louisville-based Flavorman and its sister company, the Distilled Spirits Epicenter, where she promoted and coordinated professional training for the distilling industry and provided support for faculty, participants and graduates.
In 2014, she developed the Stave & Thief Society, the first Bourbon certification program recognized by the KDA and its iconic member companies.
She is a graduate of the University of Louisville and is a certified Executive Bourbon Steward. She lives in Louisville with her husband and children.
In 2019, Heaven Hill Distillery named Conor O’Driscoll as the seventh Master Distiller in its 84-year history. O’Driscoll’s wealth of experience in the industry and technical expertise gives him the ability to focus on quality, authenticity and innovation, all hallmarks of the Heaven Hill distilling legacy.
As Master Distiller, O’Driscoll oversees historic brands reflective of the pioneers, places and principles of American Whiskey. Heaven Hill Distillery has long preserved the heritage of Evan Williams, Elijah Craig and John E. Fitzgerald Larceny among its flagship brands while recognizing the whiskey traditions of Pikesville, Maryland, Rittenhouse Square, Pennsylvania and the Bernheim Distillery in Louisville, Kentucky which date back to the mid-18th century. Beyond that, it is Heaven Hill’s steadfast commitment to the principles of quality, authenticity and innovation that make it among the global leaders in whiskey production.
In 2004, O’Driscoll started his journey in whiskey as Operations Manager for the Brown-Forman Distillery in Shively. After five years, Conor moved to oversee operations at the Woodford Reserve Distillery. Shortly thereafter, he added warehousing and processing responsibilities beginning a robust warehouse expansion program. In 2017, O’Driscoll left Woodford Reserve to lead the operations efforts at Angel’s Envy Distillery in Louisville.
O’Driscoll leads the distilling and warehousing teams at the Bernheim Distillery in Louisville. Recent renovations at that facility, including a new still, earned it the designation of the largest single-site Bourbon distillery.
Smooth Ambler Distillery
John Foster embarked in small-production spirits in 2009 when he joined ranks with John Little to become one of the founding distillers at Smooth Ambler Spirits. Taking on the role of National Sales Director not long after its launch, John splits his time between his home and Smooth Ambler headquarters in West Virginia, and on the road as former-distiller, spirits educator, sales guru, and aficionado of a good Old Fashioned.
From our American White Oak barrels to our Beech and Birch charcoal-filter finishing, all has been done with meticulous care to bring you the fine art of gentle bourbon.
Corky Taylor was past President and CEO of BENCOR Inc., a financial services company he founded. After selling his business located in Sarasota, Florida in 2009, Corky tried retirement but obviously it did not work.
He is currently resurrecting Kentucky Peerless Distilling Company after 98 years. His Great Grandfather, Henry Kraver, was owner of the distillery in Henderson Kentucky from 1896 to 1917. Corky is currently bringing back the family history and has re-opened a grain to bottle distillery in downtown Louisville.
Master Blender, Buffalo Trace Distillery
Drew Mayville has more than 34 years of experience with some of the largest companies in the beverage alcohol industry. Drew is currently the Canadian Whisky Maker and Director of Quality for Sazerac. Since joining Buffalo Trace Distillery (owned by Sazerac) in 2004 as Director of Quality, he has taken on additional responsibilities including new product development. He has worked hands on with all the award-winning products produced at Buffalo Trace.
Prior to joining Buffalo Trace, Drew worked for several years at Diageo as Vice President of Blending and Production Planning for North America. The vast breadth of his experience comes from more than 22 years of experience with Seagram’s. While at Seagram’s his progressive experience encompassed all areas of manufacturing, including the Distillery, Quality, Bottling, Packaging QA, Specifications, Blending and Technical Services for North America. Drew was the fourth and final Master Blender to serve under the Seagram dynasty.
Drew is a Senior Member of the American Society for Quality and has been certified as a Quality Engineer since 1987. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.s.
Wild Turkey Distillery
On June 5, 1981, Edward Freeman Russell, the youngest of the three Russell children of Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, joined the family business as he took his spot on the lowest rung of the ladder at the Wild Turkey Distillery. Learning the Bourbon-making trade the way his father had before him, he was put through the paces taking on menial jobs that may have seemed irrelevant to the process then, but were everything to understanding the Wild Turkey way. The rest, as they say, is history.
Now, with 34 years of experience under his belt, “Eddie” knows a thing or two about Bourbon. As the son of legendary Master Distiller Jimmy Russell, and the third generation Russell to work at the Wild Turkey Distillery in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, Eddie Russell is of an unmatched pedigree in the Bourbon industry. Like his father, Eddie is involved through the entire distillation and aging process of Wild Turkey Bourbon, ensuring every bottle meets the exacting whiskey standards set forth by their predecessors.
Russell began his career at the distillery as a relief operator, eventually becoming a supervisor of new production and then a warehouse supervisor. After two decades in the business, he assumed the position of manager of barrel maturation and warehousing. In this role, he collaborated with his father to create Russell’s Reserve 10 Year Old, an award-winning small-batch Bourbon that serves as testimony to the family’s heritage of distilling craftsmanship and tradition. Eddie’s Bourbon legacy also includes the introduction of Wild Turkey 81, premium bourbon that can stand up to any mixer or in any cocktail with the bold, spicy taste that is distinctively Wild Turkey.
Most recently, Eddie has led the charge on groundbreaking innovations for Wild Turkey, American Honey Sting and Wild Turkey Forgiven – which was awarded the Chairman’s Trophy at the Ultimate Spirits Competition. With the worldwide boom in Bourbon consumption, Eddie has his eye squarely on creating new whiskey expressions that appeal to a globally expanding consumer base, while cultivating Wild Turkey’s core expressions.
In 2010, Eddie joined his father and other greats in the Bourbon industry when he was inducted into the illustrious Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame™. A few years later, it was time for Eddie to do the honoring. In celebration of his father’s 60th anniversary at Wild Turkey in 2014, he created Wild Turkey Diamond Anniversary, an outstanding limited-edition expression of 13- and 16-year-old whiskies.
Eddie and his wife Judy have two sons, and live in Lawrenceburg, where Eddie was born and raised. In his spare time, Eddie enjoys playing golf and training and hunting with bird dogs. Also, like his father, Eddie relishes in traveling the country and the world spreading the gospel of Wild Turkey to whiskey aficionados.
Heaven Hill Brands
Long before the term Small Batch even existed, our Master Distillers were hand-selecting just the right number of barrels to make Elijah Craig. This expertise and attention to detail give Elijah Craig Small Batch the right balance of rich flavor and full body. Each small batch carries a signature warm spice and subtle smoke flavor. A combination that belongs in any Bourbon fan’s regular rotation.
Heaven Hill Brands
Evan Williams is a smooth, easy to drink Bourbon named after Evan Williams who, in 1783, opened Kentucky’s first commercial distillery along the banks of the Ohio River. Many years and barrels later, we’re still producing Bourbon with the same time-honored methods that Evan Williams did years ago.
Today, Evan Williams is the second largest selling Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey in the US and the world, distilled just a few blocks from the site where Evan himself built his distillery.
Executive Round Table
Bourbon executives give their state of the union. #culture
Moderator: Fred Minnick
Panelists: Joseph J. Magliocco, President at Michter’s. Corky Taylor, owner of Kentucky Peerless Distilling Co. Kaveh Zamanian, founder and CEO of Rabbit Hole. Campbell Brown, president of Old Forester. Donn Lux, Chairman and CEO of Luxco and LuxRow
Fawn Weaver is a serial entrepreneur who has silently invested in real estate, tech and lifestyle brands. Weaver is often active in her investments, serving in leadership capacities behind the scenes. She is also a USA Today and New York Times bestselling author and a freelance writer for Huffington Post and dozens of other publications. Weaver has appeared on popular radio, morning and talk television shows across the US and has been interviewed by top morning, talk and radio shows in Canada, United Kingdom, South Africa, Italy, Belgium, Australia, Ireland, Australia, Poland, Spain and New Zealand.
Weaver launched her first company, a public relations and special events firm, in 1996. She went on to invest in a number of businesses after that time. Years later, following investment in, and management of one of the Top 10 New Restaurants in Los Angeles (as determined by Los Angeles Magazine), Weaver took a short break from entrepreneurialism, to learn what it was like to be an employee rather than the employer. Weaver held a variety of positions in the hospitality industry, beginning as the head of special events for the world-famous Viceroy Hotel and ending as a General Manager for Dimension Development Co., the operator of more than 50 Marriott and Hilton brand hotels throughout the US. The experience profoundly changed how Weaver invests and manages, focusing on a team-first organization in which she often serves as Chief Encouragement Officer, above all else.
Weaver has served on the executive boards of Slavery No More, MEND Poverty, and is the current executive director of the Nearest Green Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to shining a spotlight on the first African-American master distiller on record in the United States, the first master distiller for Jack Daniel’s Whiskey, and the person who taught a young Jack Daniel how to make Tennessee Whiskey. What began as an idea for a book, quickly morphed into a dozen projects focused on sharing and honoring this long-forgotten story of Nathan “Nearest” Green. Among those projects are a book, movie, memorial park, whiskey and a scholarship program for Green’s descendants which allows anyone in his bloodline to go to college with their tuition and books fully paid.
Four Roses Distillery
All you have to do is take one sip and you’ll discover something that may both surprise and delight you – Four Roses is unlike any other Bourbon. Perhaps it’s because only Four Roses handcrafts 10 distinct and extraordinary Bourbon recipes. One has been selected by hand to become Four Roses Single Barrel. Four are expertly mingled by hand to create Four Roses Small Batch. And as many as all 10 are used to create Four Roses Bourbon. Handcrafted artistry such as this may take a little more time, but after your first taste, we’re sure you’ll agree, it’s worth the effort.
Bourbon Curator & Author
With appearances on Top Chef and the Amazon Prime host of Bourbon Up, Wall Street Journal-bestselling author Fred Minnick loves his American whiskey, rum and other spirits. He is the editor-in-chief of Bourbon+ Magazine, actively reviews whiskey for Forbes, and is the former lead American whiskey critic for Whisky Advocate. Minnick is the author of seven books, including Whiskey Women, Rum Curious, Bourbon Curious, MEAD, and Bourbon: The Rise, Fall & Rebirth of An American Whiskey, which won the Spirited Award for Best Spirits Book. He has written about spirits for the New York Times, Scientific American, Parade Magazine and multiple appearances on CBS This Morning, NPR and CNBC. Minnick is a co-founder to Bourbon & Beyond and curates both B&B and the Hometown Rising Festivals. But most importantly, he wears ascots.
Fred Minnick’s Mini-Bar
Presented By Bourbon Women Association
Bourbon expert Fred Minnick has hand-picked craft distilleries to feature for Bourbon & Beyond.
Participating distilleries include:.
Buffalo Trace Distillery
Freddie Johnson is a third generation employee at Buffalo Trace Distillery and serves as its Distillery VIP Visitor Lead. Born in Paris, KY (Bourbon County), he spent some of his early childhood summers in the mountains of Breathitt County with his maternal grandfather who was a coal miner and friend to the moonshiners. The family moved to Frankfort, KY when he was five. Freddie enjoyed hunting, fishing and hanging out with his paternal grandfather, Jimmy Johnson Sr., and father, Jimmy Johnson Jr., at what is now known as Buffalo Trace Distillery.
Freddie was in the middle of a successful career as a network/operations engineer in Atlanta, GA when he put all of it aside to fulfill a promise made to his father, Jimmy, more than 20 years earlier. He had promised his father that he would work at the Distillery during his lifetime so they could say they had three generations of the Johnson family that worked at Buffalo Trace. Freddie took early retirement and moved back to care for his father and brother. Jimmy got him a job as a tour guide at the Distillery in 2002 but Freddie has been in and around the Distillery since he was five years old.
Freddie weaves together his childhood memories with the Distillery’s rich history as his entertains thousands each year in various tours around Buffalo Trace. One of the Distillery’s most popular and highly sought after tour guides, Freddie is the recipient of the 2015 ROSE (Recognition of Service Excellence) Award and the 2017 Lexington (Ky) Hospitality Award.
Master Distiller, Buffalo Trace Distillery
Harlen’s formal education in chemistry and chemical engineering brought him to Buffalo Trace Distillery, but it’s the on-the-job experience that led him to become the resident Master Distiller in 2005. Born in Mount Sterling, Kentucky, in 1969, Harlen has spent almost all of his life in the Bluegrass. After relocating and spending much of his youth in Florence, KY, Harlen attended Northern Kentucky University, attaining his degree in chemistry. He then migrated to work full-time at a chemical company in Central Kentucky while completing a chemical engineering degree at the University of Kentucky, gaining formal training in distillation and separation techniques.
Harlen joined the Distillery as a supervisor in 1995. Not long after, the Distillery was rechristened and the flagship Buffalo Trace Bourbon was introduced. It marked a new era in the Distillery’s esteemed history and Harlen continued to make his mark as he was promoted to Distillery Manager in 2000. Harlen was named Master Distiller in 2005, becoming Buffalo Trace’s sixth Master Distiller since the Civil War.
Having worked in every aspect of production from raw materials to barrel aging, as Master Distiller, Harlen has driven many initiatives, including solidifying standards and consistency, quality focus and efficiency gains. He is active in overseeing a number of distilling and aging operations in various locations, all while promoting and educating the public on some of the world’s finest bourbon whiskeys.
Harlen is a four-time James Beard Award nominee in Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional category.
High West Whiskey Train
High West’s passion is crafting delicious and distinctive whiskeys with the flavor of the American West. Stop by the High West Whiskey Train as the #HighWestWhiskeyRun tour makes its way across the US with a one-of-a-kind experience that you have to see to believe. Sample award-winning blends and custom cocktails at the copper bar, relax on the deck or in the lounge and commemorate your experience at the Yippee Ki-Yay photo booth.
How Highball Can You Go?
Bourbon highballs are making a comeback and for good reason. #mixology
Moderator: Jamar Mack, Founder of K.O.B.B.E.
Panelists: Richie Michaels, mixologist for Uncle Nearest. Susie Hoyt, head bartender at Silver Dollar.
Jack Daniel’s No. 7 Sports Bar
Don’t miss any sports action over the festival weekend. Jack Daniel’s is bring a 5,000+ square foot bar to serve up that mellowed taste of Tennessee. You’ll get your fix of college and professional games streamed across multiple televisions.
Officially registered by the U.S. Government in 1866 and based in Lynchburg, Tenn., the Jack Daniel Distillery, Lem Motlow, proprietor, is the first registered distillery in the United States and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Jack Daniel’s is the maker of the world-famous Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey, Gentleman Jack Rare Tennessee Whiskey, Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Tennessee Whiskey, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Rye, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire, Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Select and Jack Daniel’s Country Cocktails. Today, Jack Daniel’s is a true global icon found in more than 170 countries around the world and is the most valuable spirits brand in the world as recognized by Interbrand.
Master Taster, Old Forester
Getting to know Jackie Zykan, Old Forester Master Taster, is a little like understanding what makes a really good cocktail – it’s all about the ingredients and the right balance.
As Master Taster, she speaks bourbon fluently. But understanding the language of liquor is more than just having a sharp palate. Jackie leverages a background in Biology, Chemistry, and of course, mixology from her years spent behind the bar – a rare combination that gives a unique perspective into the brand and the makings of a delicious whisky. Ensuring that there’s truly “nothing better in the market,” Jackie oversees proofing, maturation and quality across all expressions of Old Forester, including the highly coveted annual release of Birthday Bourbon.
But as any former bartender knows, a good drink is also about presentation. Which is why Jackie conducts master level trainings across the globe, leads Old Forester’s single barrel private selection program and innovative licensed expansions of the brand, and oversees the brand drink strategy across all platforms.
And like a good drink, Jackie also has a tremendous follow-through, which is why throughout the years, she has also been published globally for industry insights, cocktail strategies and brand education. She serves as the face of the brand, traveling the world to share the story of Old Forester’s production and history as the First Bottled Bourbon TM.
Presented By LarcenyGF
John E. Fitzgerald would be proud to see Larceny Bourbon paired with Boss Hog Barbecue. Get ready to devour some good-to-the-bone barbecue! The Boss will be bringing the heat & smoke to the party with mouthwatering dishes like Kentucky-style smoked whole hog BBQ, pork, or chicken. Larceny will be there to refresh your pallet with their signature cocktails!
Maturation Specialist, Maker's Mark
Kentucky native and bourbon expert, Jane Bowie has been a part of the Maker’s Mark family for over a decade. What began as a hobby matured into a passion, and finally a calling: As Maker’s Mark Distillery Maturation Specialist, Jane leads one of the industry’s most innovative programs – the Maker’s Mark Private Select Experience.
Alongside Maker’s Mark COO Rob Samuels, and under Jane’s watchful eye, in 2015 Maker’s Mark launched a first-of-its-kind barrel program, Maker’s Mark Private Select. The new experience allows retailers to “make their own Maker’s” by finishing fully-matured cask strength Maker’s Mark Bourbon in a single barrel made up of their custom selection of oak staves. In her present role, Jane spearheads every aspect of the Private Select Experience – from wood and barrel education, to sharing the flavor nuances each stave will have on a final selection, and spreading the magic of Kentucky’s finest bourbon with the world.
Jane’s longstanding relationship with Maker’s Mark dates back to 2006. After years spent traveling abroad, Jane returned to her hometown of Monticello, KY, and wrote to the Maker’s Mark Distillery insisting they hire her for a position that did not at that time exist – Global Bourbon Ambassador. A presumptuous request, her timing could not have been better; Rob Samuels stumbled across her letter just as he began firming up his own plans to lead international growth on behalf of his family’s handcrafted whisky. Jane was soon hired as the first international Maker’s Mark employee, and shortly thereafter became the face of the brand across five continents.
From Brazil to Australia to Japan, Jane played a crucial role in developing Maker’s Mark in the global arena before establishing herself in London where she spent nearly five years creating and implementing baseline trade engagement programs. With the introduction of the brand’s first-ever Global Drinks Program and Cocktail Competition (a blueprint that would go on to be executed in 14 international markets), and ensuring placement at established high-end bars and retailers, Jane’s efforts contributed to building brand awareness. Today, Maker’s Mark Bourbon is the number one premium bourbon in the United Kingdom.
In 2012, Jane returned to the States to work directly under Rob Samuels as Maker’s Distillery Ambassador where she continued to champion Maker’s Mark to consumers and trade within the commonwealth of Kentucky. Her transition into Distillery Maturation Specialist, again in a new role that was carved out for Jane specifically, was a natural evolution as she looked to bring the brand to a new audience through innovation in the Maker’s Mark way.
Jane holds a B.A. in Business Administration from Transylvania University in Lexington, KY; an M.B.A. from Bellarmine University in Louisville, KY; and a Professional Spirits Qualification from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET) in the U.K. She happily resides in Bardstown, KY with her husband Alex and their daughter Beatrice. Aside from her love for bourbon (she prefers Marker’s 46 with one ice cube), Jane is an avid runner with a passion for visiting distilleries, breweries and wineries around the world.
Kentucky Artisan Distillery
Transform Corn, Get Bourbon. Transform Bourbon, Get Jefferson’s.
How do you push the boundaries of bourbon without tainting the tradition? By taking the science of distillation, the art of maturation, and adding some good old-fashioned experimenting. That’s how we add complexity – through different selection, agitation, and environmental processes. The result? A provocative taste unlike any other bourbon out there.
Jeptha Creed Four Grain Bourbon
Located in Shelbyville, KY, Jeptha Creed Distillery uses old fashioned methods to meet today’s demanding modern tastes. They use only the finest ingredients, locally grown and sourced to ensure their products meet the highest expectations for quality and flavor. Owned and operated by dynamic mother-and-daughter duo Joyce and Autumn Nethery, Jeptha Creed sits on 64 acres of farmland, where they grow the Bloody Butcher Corn used for all of their products, including vodka, moonshine, and bourbon.
Jim Beam Distillery
Jim Beam was founded in 1795 and has been operated by one family for seven generations. We’ve always created bourbon our way, aging it twice as long as the law requires. That’s how we Make History® every day.
Founder and CEO, Barrell
Joe Beatrice established Barrell Craft Spirits as a blender and independent bottler of high-end whiskeys, akin to the whisky merchants of Scotland. He is transparent about selecting aged bourbon and whiskey that other distilleries have produced.
A life-long home brewer, Joe decided to move into the spirits industry as a distiller in 2013. He wanted to create a quality product, but he didn’t want to be (build?) a distillery with just a few core offerings. Joe decided to source barrels, produce product at cask strength and be as transparent as possible. He chose the merchant bottler approach long established in Scotland, and differentiated his business model by releasing unique, limited release, cask strength products. This approach has allowed him to focus on the blending and establishing the highest quality products. The brand has been built using social media and word-of-mouth advertising, allowing the products to speak for themselves and let others speak to the quality and flavor.
In the first five years of operations, Barrell Craft Spirits has gone from distributing products in New York to one that has had fast growth with sales in over 40 states, while winning accolades and prestigious awards, including Best Bourbon, Best Small Batch Bourbon, Double Gold and Best Over Proof Rum at the 2017 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
Joe has done all of this with a few highly dedicated and motivated individuals, including two members of his family. He believes that everybody’s palate is different, and there is no real answer to what is the “perfect” whiskey; it’s more about your own personal preferences.
John began his career in distilling in 2008, as the inception for the business that would become Smooth Ambler Spirits first began to take flight. A fervent reader with a passionate and canny understanding of procedure, Little quickly learned all he could; absorbing everything from hands-on distilling to studying – line by line almost – the Federal regulations on distilling and licensure- and opened the doors in 2010.
With Little at the helm, what began as small craft distiller with a limited, regional reach has flourished into one of the most respected small production distilleries in the U.S. Under Little’s supervision, in tandem with the spirits Smooth Ambler distills, it carefully selects other fine whiskeys which it merchant-bottles and brings to market under the Old Scout brand, another effort for which it has been highly praised. Smooth Ambler has won awards nationally and beyond, including the World Whisky Award’s distinguished “Best Single Barrel Bourbon in the World” for 2016. As CEO and Head Distiller, John continues to lead the Smooth Ambler team with passion, determination, straight-shooting, and an ever-vigilant eye toward quality of spirits and quality of life.
Co-Owner & Master Distiller, Jeptha Creed Distillery
As far back as she can remember, Joyce has had a passion for chemistry. She earned a Master’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Louisville’s Speed Scientific School, and for 15 years worked as a process engineer in industrial scale distillation. She then spent a decade teaching high school chemistry and physics before her husband Bruce’s dream of opening a distillery reignited her passion for the distillation process—and the rest, as they say, is history.
Her deep love for farm life, as well as her many years working her family’s land, have given her invaluable insight into growing the wide variety of crops used in Jeptha Creed’s products. It has also inspired the distillery’s distinct ground-to-glass maxim. In addition to being a Master Distiller and owner of Jeptha Creed, Joyce is a devoted mother of two who has a passion for all things Kentucky. She couldn’t be prouder to carry on the state’s long history of distilling the finest spirits in the world.
Julian P. Van Winkle III
Owner, Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery
Julian P. Van Winkle III is the third generation Van Winkle to produce bourbon whiskey in Kentucky. He joined his father, Julian Jr., in 1977. At that time, Old Rip Van Winkle produced only two labels of its wheated bourbon whiskey. They were a 10-year 90 and 107 proof Old Rip Van Winkle.
Since then Julian has added 12-year, 15-year, 20-year and 23-year bourbon labels to the Van Winkle selection of premium bourbon whiskeys. He also has added a 13-year premium rye whiskey to the whiskey portfolio. All of these whiskeys have received ratings in the 90s by the Beverage Tasting Institute in Chicago, with the 20-year receiving a 99 rating.
Julian operated the company by himself after his father’s death in 1981. He was joined by his son Preston in June 2001, the fourth generation of Van Winkles to venture into the whiskey business. In 2002, the Van Winkles entered into a joint venture with Buffalo Trace Distillery in Franklin County, Frankfort, Ky. All of the Van Winkle’s whiskey production now takes place at Buffalo Trace Distillery under the same strict guidelines the family has always followed.
In January 2009, Julian was honored to be nominated as a Fellow at the Southern Foodways Alliance annual fundraiser at Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee. The following year, Julian was inducted into the Fellowship of Southern Farmers, Artisans and Chefs. This is a tremendous honor as the group members are some of the most talented people around. In 2011, Julian received the coveted James Beard Award for Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional, becoming the first James Beard winner from Kentucky.
Founder of Rabbit Hole Distillery
Rabbit Hole’s Founder and Whiskey Maker, Kaveh Zamanian, has taken an unconventional path to becoming the head of a modern bourbon brand and a whiskey distillery in the heart of Louisville. He has a PhD in clinical psychology and is a certified psychoanalyst. After 24-years of clinical practice and academia, he turned his attention to the world of craft spirits. With his wife, Heather Bass, a Louisville native, and their children, Henri, Lilia and Isabella on his side, he embarked on the challenging path of creating imaginative and distinct styles of whiskey. He established Rabbit Hole in 2012 and started making personal recipes of Bourbon and Rye whiskey at a distillery in Kentucky. The first batch of his Bourbon and Rye whiskies were released in October of 2016 and in the same month, construction began on the Rabbit Hole Distillery in NULU. The architecturally bold and ambitious distillery is scheduled to open end of 2017.
Knob Creek Distillery
We don’t take days off. We just leave our watches at home. You see, out here time is measured in barrels and passed in bottles. Because we adhere firmly to the belief that if you don’t take your time, somebody else will. While the world busies itself with doing everything faster, this is where we come to slow down and enjoy what’s ours to share. Out here, we don’t just work for work’s sake. The reason we do things the hard way is that it makes the reward at the end that much better. And we let the whiskey remind us of that. Every drop in every barrel is the fruit of hard-earned experience. It’s an act of nature, our bourbon. And over the years, we have learned to capture it, one bottle at a time. So that we can bring it out here, in it’s true element. The Creek.
Knob Creek Bar
Visit the Roadshow of Hard Earned Flavor at the Knob Creek Bar! Choose a delicious cocktail from our unique drink menu, where all cocktails are complemented by a garnish flavored from smoking Knob Creek oak barrel staves. Take it a step further by pairing a small food sample made within the same smoker.
Heaven Hill Distillery
Larceny Kentucky Straight Bourbon has its origins in the long and colorful history of John E. Fitzgerald and the Old Fitzgerald brand. According to lore, John E. Fitzgerald built a distillery on the banks of the Kentucky River in the 1870s and sold his fine Bourbon to rail lines, steamships, and private clubs. The Old Fitzgerald brand was first registered in the 1880s by S.C. Herbst, and was eventually sold to Julian P. “Pappy” Van Winkle during Prohibition. Pappy moved production of Old Fitz to his distillery where it became the first great wheated Bourbon and eventually one of the most famous Bourbon brands in the world.
Owner, The Silver Dollar
Larry Rice has been in the hospitality industry for over twenty years at all levels. 15 years bartending, consulting, developing, executing bar programs and finally as a proprietor, with the help of his team, developing restaurant concepts with a heavy focus on bar programs dedicated to the craft of bar-tending.
He is currently the owner and operator of one of the most talked about whiskey bars, the Silver Dollar. As well as the Pearl of Germantown, a laid-back neighborhood bar with the same care given to their cocktails and service, making it an industry favorite.
His establishments and cocktails have been featured in several publications, television productions and made several “best of lists”.
He collects vintage whiskey and cocktail books, is a student of their histories, is asked to speak on the subjects as an expert often and is dedicated to education and building the bar community in his hometown, Louisville Kentucky.
Maker's Mark Distillery
In 1954, at a small Victorian distillery in Loretto, Kentucky, Bill Samuels, Sr., created one of the finest Kentucky Bourbons. He decided to make his whisky in small-batches of 19 barrels, developed a proprietary barrel char to enhance the softness and sweetness of his whisky, and then rotated each barrel by hand to ensure exposure to consistent temperatures throughout the warehouse, and, ultimately, he aged each barrel to taste. Today, Maker’s Mark® makes its bourbon the same way its founder, Bill Samuels, Sr., did over 60 years ago, in small batches by craftsmen who hand-dip each bottle. Maker’s Mark® Bourbon (45% alc./vol.), Maker’s 46® (47% alc./vol.) and Maker’s Mark® Cask Strength™ Bourbon Whisky, (54%–57% alc./vol.) are distilled, aged and bottled by the Maker’s Mark Distillery, Inc., in Loretto, Kentucky. In 1980, the distillery was designated a National Historic Landmark, becoming the first distillery in America to be so recognized, and has also been decreed as the “world’s oldest operating bourbon whisky distillery” by Guinness World Records®. The Maker’s Mark Distillery is one of the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s most popular tourist destinations, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors annually.
Maker’s Wanted Bar
To celebrate the spirit of craftsmanship, Maker’s Mark is traveling across the country (including right here in Louisville), partnering with local makers at every stop. The Makers Wanted tour offers craft cocktails and one-of-kind experiences that showcase Maker’s Mark’s commitment to handcrafted character.
Former Master Distiller at Castle & Key
Born in Tennessee and raised in Kentucky, geography alone may have been telling Marianne Eaves that her destiny was to be a whiskey maker. However, it was the courage to buck tradition, her creative engineering mind and a voracious appetite for learning that actualized her place in history as Kentucky’s First Female Bourbon Master Distiller since Prohibition.
After a fast and early failure in art consignment, Eaves decided to follow her long love of math and science and pursue a degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Louisville. Little did she realize that she would find herself in a history-making position in which the creative and the scientific would come together. A fortuitous confluence of circumstances – her love of science, analytic mind, exceptional sensory skills, creativity, and a fateful internship choice with Brown-Forman – led to her being the first woman to earn the title of Master Distiller with Castle & Key Distillery in Frankfort.
Eaves has been recognized in Whiskey Advocate Magazine as “the Next Generation” for the bourbon industry, and has been honored by Forbes and included in the 2015 Food & Drink 30 under 30 list. As she stepped into the role of Master Distiller herself, taking on the herculean restoration project of Castle & Key Distillery, she was recognized by Wine Enthusiast Magazine as one of America’s Top 40 Under 40 Tastemakers.
Her combination of technical knowledge, hands-on experience, specialized palate and focus on thoughtful innovation are a unique formula for her role as Master Distiller. Praise for her recipes come from hobbyist consumers and spirits aficionados alike — her vodka and gin confuses and excites the palette with honest balance and nuanced complexity. The fortunate few who have tasted barrels that are resting at Castle & Key Distillery agree that the future is bright for Eaves and her creations.
As she transitions into her new role as a consultant and ambassador for Kentucky’s finest spirit, Eaves is well poised as a leader of the new generation of spirits professionals that will shape the industry. She hopes to use her expertise in process and product development to raise the bar for craft producers and help other passionate makers turn dreams into a reality. She is excited to teach the ways of authentic Kentucky made Bourbon to producers across the US.
Eaves role in changing the dynamic in this predominantly male industry is clear. She is proud to be a leader and a face for the movement and rise of women in spirits.
Master Taster: Learn How to Taste Like a Pro
With a panel of professional tasters, the audience will learn how to sniff, taste and analyze as they do in the tasting panels. #tasting
Moderator: Peggy Noe Stevens, founder of Bourbon Women
Panelists: Eddie Russell, Wild Turkey, Denny Potter, master distiller of Maker’s Mark. Drew Mayville, master blender for Buffalo Trace. Jackie Zykan, master taster for Old Forester
MB Roland Distillery
MB Roland Distillery is a completely “grain to glass” craft distillery located in Pembroke, Christian Co. KY. We’re actually outside of town and affectionately refer to our exact location as “downtown St. Elmo.” We use local white corn to hand make each of our products ranging from our very unique “distillation & barrel proof” Kentucky Bourbon to our naturally-flavored Kentucky Pink Lemonade.
The distillery was founded by Paul & Merry Beth (“MB”) Tomaszewski in 2009 as Kentucky’s first completely “grain to glass” craft distillery. Paul is a native of southeastern Louisiana and arrived to the area via nearby Ft Campbell, while MB is a local native. An Amish dairy farm came up for sale and proved to be a wonderful foundation for a Kentucky craft distillery. One of the major benefits of the location is our proximity to our local grain supplier, Christian County Grain, located in nearby Pembroke.
The operation started out with Paul as the one and only full-time distiller in 2009. Since then our team has grown to more than 14 total employees, including MB coming over full time from her previous career. The one constant with us with both our production process and our location is that we love what we do and strive to make that come through in our products, the distillery, and our onsite events.
Michter’s Distillery is located in the Shively section of Louisville, Kentucky, the heart of the American whiskey industry. It makes highly acclaimed, limited production whiskeys that have been subject to allocation because demand has exceeded supply. Michter’s is renowned for its small batch bourbon, single barrel bourbon, single barrel rye, and small batch American whiskey. In 2015, Michter’s was named the seventh Heritage Member of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association, thereby becoming the first distiller in 33 years to achieve that status.
Mint Julep Experiences
Book your spot on a local distillery tour with Mint Julep Experiences to kick off your festival weekend! From production to tasting, these crafted bourbon adventures let you enjoy all the fun led by an expert bourbon guide and leave the driving to them. Take an urban adventure to Kentucky Artisan Distillery, where Jefferson’s Reserve bourbon is made, or Stitzel-Weller Distillery, the home of Bulleit, Orphan Barrel and Blade & Bow, on Sept. 19! Want to make it a double? Do both tours and save! Be sure to ask about VIP bourbon tour packages for your group.
Old Fashioned vs. Manhattan
Which Classic Reigns Supreme? The two most ordered whiskey cocktails will have their chance to explain why they’re better. #mixology
Moderator: Jordan Moskal of Breaking Bourbon
Panelist: Jackie Zykan, master taster for Old Forester. Beth Burrows, brand ambassador for Jim Beam
Old Forester Distillery
A truly rare and distinctive occasion took place in Louisville, Kentucky in 1870. When George Garvin Brown sealed Bourbon in a bottle for the very first time, he did so knowing it would guarantee quality and consistency for Bourbon lovers everywhere. And five generations and nearly 150 years later, our family still watches over the production of every drop of Old Forester with that same care. www.oldforester.com Opens a New Window.
Kentucky Peerless Distillery
Our family’s very first bourbon went into barrel in 1889. We’ve revived the craft in our own state-of-the-art distillery, where we use the finest ingredients. We believe that patience builds character & fine bourbon can never be rushed. All under one roof, select Kentucky Peerless grains are milled, cooked, fermented, double-distilled and barreled as bourbon & rye. Allow us to share our distinctively authentic distillery and family history with you; we look forward to it.
Peggy Noe Stevens
Master Taster and Founder of Bourbon Women
In many ways, Peggy has been a trailblazer for women and yet has lived up to her heritage. She became the world’s first female Master Bourbon Taster in the industry and can trace her lineage back to some of the great bourbon making families in Kentucky. She is the founder of the Bourbon Women Association, the first female consumer group in the industry to celebrate and support the spirits industry with a platform for women. She also played a large role in the original strategic conception of the iconic Kentucky Bourbon Trail, which has become a global sensation for the spirits industry. Because of her accomplishments, she was given the prestigious “Networking Award” by the Kentucky Distiller’s Association in 2016 for making a difference in the industry for women. She has been called the “Oprah of entertaining,” and a “lifestyle maven.” As a spirit’s expert and sought-after speaker, she conducts tastings and food pairings around the world.
Preston Van Winkle
Marketing Manager, Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery
Preston is the fourth generation member of the Van Winkle family to enter into the bourbon business. He is the great-grandson of iconic bourbon maker Julian P. “Pappy” Van Winkle, Sr. and son of current Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery President, Julian P. Van Winkle, III. Preston grew up in the post Stitzel-Weller era of Van Winkle bourbon production, exploring his father’s bottling hall and barrel warehouse in Lawrenceburg, KY., occasionally helping with the bottling and labeling.
Preston graduated from the University of Kentucky in 2001 and immediately started working for his father. Initially, he split time between the Louisville office and the Lawrenceburg bottling facility where he often processed bourbon for bottling and ran the bottling line as Julian had for the previous 20 plus years.
In 2002 the Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery partnered with the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, KY, freeing up Julian and Preston from production duties enabling them to focus on the sales and marketing of the brands. Preston assumed the role of Marketing Manager for Old Rip Van Winkle and has worked since then to help manage and market the Van Winkle brands.
Lux Row Distillery
The rebel yell is one of the enduring legends of the War Between the States. Just as the rebel yell’s heritage remains true, so does that of its namesake, Rebel Yell® Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. An authentic wheated bourbon, Rebel Yell has been made according to its original time-honored recipe since 1849.
Silver Dollar Hunter’s Club
The Silver Dollar Hunter’s Club is the ideal onsite destination for every bourbon aficionado. Rare, vintage, and experimental expressions will be available for purchase throughout the duration of the event. Wander in, take a seat, and indulge in some liquid history.
Slavery in American Whiskey
Enslaved persons helped build American whiskey; we’re telling their stories. #history
Moderator: Fred Minnick
Panelists: Fawn Weaver, founder of Uncle Nearest. Andrea Meriweather, bourbon tourism consultant. Clay Risen, editor for the New York Times. Freddie Johnson, Bourbon Hall of Famer.
FEATURING BULLEIT AND BLADE AND BOW
Enjoy custom cocktails from the Stitzel-Weller Distillery bourbons, Bulleit Bourbon and Blade and Bow Bourbon. As you enjoy sipping your BLT (Bulleit Barrel Strength) take a photo in front of their branded teardrop woody camper.
Think cherries – they dominate the nose over earth, oak and blueberries. Then it’s leather, tobacco, cigar box, and burnt pie crust edges. Finally, two notes become one, as cherry pie, with hints of rhubarb and cola. It sets itself up to be a prime whiskey, this is remarkable stuff.
Author, "Kentucky Bourbon Country"
Award-winning writer and Louisville native Susan Reigler is the author of Kentucky Bourbon Country: The Essential Travel Guide (now in its second edition), and is co-author of The Bourbon Tasting Notebook (with Michael Veach), The Kentucky Bourbon Cocktail Book and More Kentucky Bourbon Cocktails (with Joy Perrine). Her other books are Kentucky Sweet & Savory: Finding the Artisan Foods and Beverages of the Bluegrass State and The Complete Guide to Kentucky State Parks. From 1992 to 2007, Reigler was the restaurant critic, beverage columnist, and travel writer for the Louisville Courier-Journal. She has also written about bourbon for Wine Enthusiast, Malt (now Whiskey) Advocate, and LEO (Louisville Eccentric Observer). She has been a judge for the James Beard Foundation Restaurant Awards since 1997 and in 2015 she was invited to join Les Dames d’Escoffier International, a society of women culinary professionals.
A certified Executive Bourbon Steward, Reigler has lead bourbon tastings from Seattle to Savannah as well as tastings to benefit non-profit organizations including Locust Grove, the Falls of the Ohio Foundation, and Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill. She has been a judge for craft spirits awards and numerous bourbon cocktail contests and she regularly helps restaurants and retailers select barrels from distilleries for private bourbon bottlings, including Party Mart in Louisville as a member of its three person Bourbon Board of Directors. Reigler is also the current president of the Bourbon Women Association, which has members across the United States.
A graduate of Indiana and Oxford Universities, she is a Research Associate in Biology at Indiana University Southeast where her research examines the possible effects of bourbon warehouse staining on polymorphism in Geometrid moths. She lives in Louisville.
Mixologist, The Silver Dollar & The Pearl
Susie Hoyt has been bartending for 15 years, starting out in clubs and sports bars, and eventually transitioning over to classic cocktails and spirits after studying under authorities Toby Maloney and Bridget Albert. She worked at many great places in Chicago such as Sable, Big Star, and The Violet Hour before moving to Louisville in 2011. She helms the beverage programs at The Silver Dollar and The Pearl in Louisville, is the President of the USBG Kentucky Chapter, and enjoys being close to so many great Bourbon distilleries.
Sweet Mash: The Revolution in American Whiskey
This old-time technique is returning to bourbon. #culture
Moderator: Blake Riber, founder of Bourbonr.com
Panelists: Pat Heist, Caleb Kilburn, master distiller of Kentucky Peerless Distilling Co. Shane Baker, master distiller of Wilderness Trail
The Angel’s Envy Speakeasy
You are cordially invited to this exclusive bar off the beaten path, featuring carefully curated cocktails. That’s all we can say for now – Good luck figuring out how to get in!
The barrel is whiskey’s workhorse, and we explain how it makes bourbon taste so awesome. #creating
Moderator: Colleen Thomas, Kentucky Distillers’ Association
Panelists: Jane Bowie, master of maturation for Maker’s Mark. Andrea Wilson, master of maturation for Michter’s. Greg Roshkowski, the VP Director Wood Planning/Procurement and Processing for Brown-Forman
The Boilermaker bar
Bourbon & Beyond is proud to announce a collaboration with Metallica’s Blackened Whiskey and Enter Night Pilsner. Blackened, a super-premium American whiskey blend, crafted by the late Master Distiller Dave Pickerell and finished in the earth-shattering music of Metallica, and Enter Night Pilsner, a collaboration with the rockstars of craft brewing Stone Brewing Company, will come together under one roof to offer guests a one-of-kind musical festival experience. The Boilermaker pop-up will feature a Blackened & Enter Night Boilermaker, as well as craft cocktails and ice-cold Enter Night Pilsner. This exciting collaboration marks the latest in a long line of amplified guest experiences only available through Danny Wimmer Presents music festivals.
The Char House
presented by Brown-Forman
Brown-Forman is the only major spirits company in the entire world to make its own new barrels, and Bourbon & Beyond is very excited to partner with The Brown-Forman Cooperage to offer festivalgoers the experience of witnessing the historic art of barrel raising.
Officially registered by the U.S. Government in 1866 and based in Lynchburg, Tenn., the Jack Daniel Distillery, Lem Motlow, proprietor, is the first registered distillery in the United States and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Jack Daniel’s is the maker of the world- famous Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey, Gentleman Jack Rare Tennessee Whiskey, Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Tennessee Whiskey, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Rye, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire, Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Select and Jack Daniel’s Country Cocktails. Today, Jack Daniel’s is a true global icon found in more than 170 countries around the world and is the most valuable spirits brand in the world as recognized by Interbrand. www.jackdaniels.com
The art of making fine bourbon first took place on the site of the Woodford Reserve Distillery, a National Historic Landmark, in 1812. The perfectly balanced taste of our Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is comprised of more than 200 detectable flavor notes, from bold grain and wood, to sweet aromatics, spice, and fruit & floral notes. www.woodfordreserve.com
A truly rare and distinctive occasion took place in Louisville, Kentucky in 1870. When George Garvin Brown sealed Bourbon in a bottle for the very first time, he did so knowing it would guarantee quality and consistency for Bourbon lovers everywhere. And five generations and nearly 150 years later, our family still watches over the production of every drop of Old Forester with that same care. www.oldforester.com
From our American White Oak barrels to our Beech and Birch charcoal-filter finishing, all has been done with meticulous care to bring you the fine art of gentle bourbon. www.cooperscraft.com
The KrogerBig Bourbon Bar
Presented by Courier Journal
Enjoy a sip of Kentucky’s finest at the Big Bourbon Bar. Our bourbon experts have curated an extensive line up of bourbons and designed specialty cocktails for our country fans. Choose from a wide selection of spirit-forward and refreshing cocktails served up on demand by our Hometown mixologists.
Participating Bourbons include:
1792, Angel’s Envy, Barrell Bourbon, Coopers’ Craft, Elijah Craig, Four Roses, Jefferson’s, Jeptha Creed Four Grain Bourbon, Kentucky Peerless, Michter’s, Old Forester, Rebel Yell, Stonehammer, Wild Turkey and more to be announced.
The Van Winkle Family
The Van Winkle family is world renowned for the sought-after Pappy Van Winkle bourbon that has the world craving the good stuff. But there’s a lot more to this family than that brand. #Culture
Moderator: Fred Minnick
Panelists: Julian Van Winkle. Preston Van Winkle. Carrie Van Winkle Greener.
Tiki Barrel Bar
PRESENTED BY JIM BEAM
Say “aloha” to any worries when you stop by the Tiki Barrel Bar. With bourbon and rum-based specialty island cocktails, shade and seating areas, Tiki Barrel Bar is sure to be the oasis you need to make your festival vacation complete.
Tripp Stimson, who hails from Chattanooga, is Master Distiller and Director of Distillery Operations at Barrell Craft Spirits. Tripp met Barrell Craft Spirits Founder Joe Beatrice in 2015, and they began their work together blending and producing interesting and unique whiskeys. Tripp is responsible for developing product formulation, and the design and buildout of the Barrell Craft Sprits distillery, with a focus on the processes and operations that create unique, high quality spirits.
A biochemist with a background in biochemistry and molecular biology, Tripp brings his experience with the “whys” and “hows” of what goes into creating quality spirits through efficient distillery operation, as well as a keen understanding of the art and science of blending. Tripp has spent over 14 years in the alcohol beverage industry. Microbiology, distillery operation and processes, quality control, troubleshooting and remediation – he’s done it all. Following his graduation from Tennessee Technological University with a degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, he was recruited by Brown-Forman as a Research and Development Scientist.
During his 9-year tenure at Brown-Forman, Tripp gained experience in yeasting, fermentation, and the distillery sciences and operations while working for distilleries such as Jack Daniels, Old Forester and Woodford Reserve. He also worked in Brown-Forman’s Wine and Tequila Divisions. Most recently, he helped to design and build the Kentucky Artisan Distillery, where he was Master Distiller and the Director of Distillery Operations. Tripp also has an interest in different malts and the malting process, which let him to design and build Kentucky’s first modern malting operation.
Vendome Copper & Brass Works
For one hundred plus years, Vendome Copper and Brass Works has been fabricating and supplying equipment to distilleries. Vendome is proud to be located in Louisville, Kentucky and is now overseen by the fourth generation of Shermans. Their stills and company are built on the principles of uncompromising quality and superior service. The Vendome team will be building a still live on-site at Hometown Rising. Be sure to check out this amazing demonstration in person!
Co-Founder & Chief Innovation Officer, Angel's Envy
As Co-Founder, Wes Henderson’s vision to create a one-of-a-kind spirit with his father introduced the world to Angel’s Envy. His son, Kyle, would later join them, making Angel’s Envy the work of three generations of Hendersons. Today, that same vision continues, as Wes serves as the brand’s Chief Innovation Officer. In this role, Wes shepherds Angel’s Envy’s future as his company continues to innovate, grow and craft some of the finest, award-winning whiskeys in the world.
Since Angel’s Envy’s launch, Wes has served as a tireless ambassador for the fledgling brand, forging personal connections with both fans and folks new to whiskey all across the country. While he has many other roles and responsibilities, his ability to share his love for his work over a glass of Angel’s Envy can never be understated.
Before co-founding Angel’s Envy, Wes was the CEO for Master Distilling Select, as well as the President and CEO of Conecuh Ridge Distillery, the producer of Clyde May’s Whiskey. He also serves his community as a volunteer firefighter, and is a licensed pilot, specializing in search and rescue. Wes is a devoted husband and the father of six boys. His proudest achievement has been building a distilling legacy for his family. Three generations may have launched Angel’s Envy, but Wes is always looking to the future.
What is a Master Distiller?
In the age of 15 million master distillers, we debate what does it take to really be a master distiller. #culture
Moderator: Kenny Coleman, Bourbon Pursuit
Panelists: Danny Kahn, Master Distiller of Barton 1792 Distillery. John Little, head distiller of Smooth Ambler. Chris Morris, master distiller of Woodford Reserve. Kaveh Zamanian, founder of Rabbit Hole. Denny Potter, master distiller of Maker’s Mark. Conor O’Driscoll Master Distiller of Heaven Hill. Wes Henderson Co-Founder & Chief Innovation Officer, Angel’s Envy.
These women are changing perceptions of American whiskey. #Culture
Moderator: Jackie James, founder of Her Whiskey
Panelists: Andrea Wilson, master of maturation for Michter’s. Peggy Noe Stevens, founder of Bourbon Women. Marianne Eaves, former master distiller for Castle & Key. Joyce Nethery, owner and distiller of Jeptha Creed.
Whiskey’s Dark Past
A rare look into the murders, bootlegging and crazy stories surrounding America’s Spirit. #history
Moderator: Brian Haara, author of Bourbon Justice
Panelists: Chris Morris, master distiller of Woodford Reserve. Susan Reigler, author. Bernie Lubbers, brand ambassador for Heaven Hill.
Wild Turkey Distillery
We believe that being true to who you are is what counts in life, even if that means standing out. We say what we really think and embrace who we are, and it shows in our bourbon. Wild Turkey is bold, spicy and different—the way it’s meant to be made.
Wilderness Trail Distillery
Wilderness Trail Distillery began Bourbon production in October 2013 on a 250 gallon Vendome pot still. In addition to producing 3-4 barrels of our wheated bourbon mash bill a week, they expanded the distillery, created more room in rickhouses and became industry thought leaders. Their first bourbon release is one of the most highly anticipated in the state.
The Willett family distilling legacy began in Kentucky shortly after the Civil War. John David Willett was the Master Distiller and part owner of Moore, Willett & Frenke Distillery in Bardstown, KY. John David’s son Lambert Willett walked 5 miles each way to his distill- ing job at the current site of Barton’s. It wasn’t until Lambert began working at the Bernhiem Distillery in Louisville that he purchased a car for his commute. Lambert worked 6 days a week for nearly a decade at Bernhiem.
During prohibition, Lambert raised cattle and hogs to support his family and community. The effects of prohibition were devastating to the Bourbon Capitol of the World. Immediately following the repeal of prohibition in December of 1933, Lambert’s son Thompson Willett began learning the distilling trade working alongside his father at the age of 25.
Est. 1936. Three short years after prohibition, the Willett family chose the highest point in Nelson County, Kentucky to begin construction on what is now the Willett Distillery. By St Patrick’s Day 1937, the first barrel of whiskey was rolled into Warehouse A.
After 80 years, Willett remains independently family owned and operated. Under the leadership of parents Even and Martha Willett Kulsveen, the fifth generation of family distillers, siblings Britt and Drew Kulsveen, are continuing the family tradition of spirits excellence, generosity and southern hospitality. Janelle Kulsveen, Drew’s wife, hosts visitors from all over the world for tours and tastings. The over 43,000 annual visitors have necessitated a number of expansion projects on the Willett property including the addition of a premium cocktail bar.
Family of Brands: Willett Pot Still Reserve, Johnny Drum Private Stock, Johnny Drum Black Label, Old Bardstown Bottled In Bond, Old Bardstown Estate Bottled, Old Bardstown 90 Proof, Noah’s Mill, Row- an’s Creek, Pure Kentucky, Kentucky Vintage and the Willett Family Estate collection.
Woodford Reserve Distillery
The art of making fine bourbon first took place on the site of the Woodford Reserve Distillery, a National Historic Landmark, in 1812. The perfectly balanced taste of our Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is comprised of more than 200 detectable flavor notes, from bold grain and wood, to sweet aromatics, spice, and fruit & floral notes.