For immediate release – June 22, 2017
FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Kentucky Distillers’ Association is encouraging visitors and consumers to #sipcraft as it celebrates National Craft Spirits Week, June 18-24.
“We’re proud of Kentucky’s growing craft distilling industry and ask everyone to raise a glass to these spirited entrepreneurs who make them, mix them and those who enjoy sipping them,” KDA President Eric Gregory said.
The KDA is a national leader in the growing craft movement across the country.
The KDA created the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour® in 2012, the first of its kind in the country. It has grown to 13 participating distilleries – with more on the way – and recorded more than 175,000 visits last year for tours, cocktail classes and custom events.
Of the KDA’s 33 member distilleries, 23 have joined at the “craft” level, Gregory said. The Association actually changed its bylaws in 2011 to encourage and allow craft distillers to join its legendary ranks.
“For 200 years, one of the distinctive hallmarks of our industry has been the fellowship between distilleries, no matter how big or small,” Gregory said. “We’re proud that tradition continues today and will ensure that Kentucky remains the one, true authentic home for Bourbon.”
Kentucky Bourbon and distilled spirits is one of the Commonwealth’s most historic and treasured industries, a booming $8.5 billion economic engine that generates as many as 17,500 jobs with an annual payroll topping $800 million, and pours $825 million into tax coffers each year.
A recent University of Louisville study shows the industry is in the middle of a $1.2 billion building boom. There are now 52 distilleries in the Commonwealth and 6.8 million barrels of aging Bourbon – both modern records.
Craft distillers now have more than 60,000 barrels gently aging in warehouses.
Gregory also complimented the KDA’s craft members for their advocacy efforts in the successful passage of tourism reform in the 2016 legislative session, reduced license fees and other changes to make the Commonwealth more attractive to next generation distillers.
“While much of Kentucky’s distilling history has been concentrated in the amber triangle of Louisville, Bardstown and Lexington, our craft distillers now spread from Paducah to Pikeville and all corners of the state.
“This has been a tremendous benefit in educating our elected officials about the growing economic and tourism impact of Kentucky Bourbon and distilled spirits, and has resulted in the passage of numerous reforms by historic margins.”
On the responsibility front, craft distilleries like Willett and Boundary Oak Distillery have adopted state-of-the-art ID authentication technology to prevent underage access to alcohol by detecting fake IDs.
“We deeply appreciate the tireless efforts of our craft distillers in continuing the rich traditions of Kentucky Bourbon,” Gregory said. “We encourage everyone to visit one of their innovative distilleries this week and celebrate responsibly.”
For more information, contact KDA President Eric Gregory at (502) 875-9351.
The KDA is a non-profit trade association founded in 1880 to promote, protect and elevate Kentucky’s signature Bourbon and distilled spirits industry. Heritage members include Beam Suntory (Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark), Brown-Forman Corp. (Old Forester and Woodford Reserve), Diageo North America, Four Roses Distillery, Heaven Hill Brands, Michter’s Distillery and Wild Turkey Distillery. Proof members include the Louisville Distilling Company and Willett Distillery.
Craft members include Alltech’s Town Branch Distillery, Bardstown Bourbon Company, Barrel House Distilling Co., Bluegrass Distillers, Boone County Distilling Company, Boundary Oak Distillery, Casey Jones Distillery, Copper & Kings American Brandy Distillery, Corsair Artisan Distillery, Dueling Grounds Distillery, Hartfield & Co. Distillery, Jeptha Creed Distillery, Kentucky Artisan Distillery, Kentucky Mist Moonshine, Kentucky Peerless Distilling Co., Limestone Branch Distillery, MB Roland Distillery, New Riff Distillery, The Old Pogue Distillery, O.Z. Tyler Distillery, Second Sight Spirits, Wadelyn Ranch Distillery and Wilderness Trail Distillery. The Distilled Spirits Epicenter is the KDA’s official educational distillery.
Member benefits include media relations, international trade development, private sampling events, technical assistance, economic development support, networking, legal defense, marketing strategies, governmental and regulatory advocacy and innovative tourism experiences through the KDA’s Kentucky Bourbon Trail® and Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour® adventures. The KDA maintains an open membership policy, champions a strong commitment to the responsible and moderate consumption of spirits, and fights to curb underage drinking and drunk driving. For more information about joining the KDA’s distilling family, contact KDA President Eric Gregory at (502) 875-9351. Visit www.kybourbon.com and www.kybourbontrail.com to learn more.
KENTUCKY BOURBON TRAIL®, KENTUCKY BOURBON TRAIL CRAFT TOUR®, KENTUCKY BOURBON AFFAIR™, KBT™ and BOURBON TRAIL™ are trademarks/service marks of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association. Please drink responsibly.