October 3, 2022

Bourbon tourism expects another record-breaking year

For Immediate Release – Oct. 3, 2022

FRANKFORT, Ky. – On the heels of National Bourbon Heritage Month, The Kentucky Distillers’ Association (KDA) today announced that 2022 is on track to be the highest distillery visitation year in the Kentucky Bourbon Trail®’s 23-year history. 

This thrilling milestone for Kentucky Bourbon Trail® and Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour® distilleries will likely exceed the record 1.7 million combined visits set in 2019, prior to pandemic shutdowns. 

Due to the rise in Bourbon tourism and a growing demand for authentic curated experiences, many of Kentucky’s iconic distilleries are asking visitors to book their tours well in advance. 

To support their efforts and ensure whiskey lovers from around the world can fully immerse themselves in all that Kentucky’s distilleries offer, KDA today launched a campaign asking people to “Book Now, Bourbon Later.” 

A collaborative effort among KBT® and KBTCT® distilleries, the campaign aims to increase awareness of the need for visitors to plan their distillery experiences ahead of time to ensure they get the most out of their visit. 

In addition to social media and blog content created by the Kentucky Bourbon Trail®, participating distilleries will also promote the campaign. 

Since reopening their doors to visitors after the pandemic shutdown, distilleries have seen staggering growth in visitation and demand, Kentucky Bourbon Trail® Experiences Director Mandy Ryan said.

“The last thing we want is for any Bourbon fan to miss out on the experience they want,” Ryan said. “Since most of our larger brands cannot accommodate walk-in visitors, reservations are the key to a successful Kentucky Bourbon adventure.”

While not all 42 distilleries on the KBT® and KBTCT® require, or even offer reservations, the vast majority do. Same-day reservations or walk-in availability can be sporadic, and  it’s better for visitors to not leave their distillery experiences up to chance. 

Availability and experiences vary by distillery, which makes planning ahead a necessity. Many distilleries share availability, events and resources on social media to help visitors keep up with important updates. 

“We want your visit to be as smooth as Kentucky Bourbon, so make sure to secure your distillery experiences, hotels and dining reservations well in advance of your trip,” said Ryan, with the KDA.

In addition to encouraging people to plan ahead, the KDA reminds visitors to experience the state’s legendary distilleries like a Kentuckian–with kindness, dignity and respect. 

“Kentucky’s Bourbon culture is unlike anything in the world, and it deserves to be upheld with the utmost respect and appreciation,” said Dee Ford, brand home general manager of Angel’s Envy in Louisville. “When visiting our distilleries, please remember to be kind and respectful to our people, our spirits and the cities we call home. As interest in Bourbon continues to grow, let’s all do our part to represent the spirit of true Kentucky hospitality.”  


For more information about the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® tour, contact Mandy Ryan at [email protected].

The KDA is a non-profit trade association founded in 1880 to promote, protect and elevate Kentucky’s signature Bourbon and distilled spirits industry. Visit and to learn more. 

KENTUCKY BOURBON TRAIL®, BOURBON TRAIL™, KENTUCKY BOURBON TRAIL CRAFT TOUR®, KENTUCKY BOURBON AFFAIR™, KBT™, ORDER OF THE WRIT®, KENTUCKY DISTILLERS’ ASSOCIATION®, and KENTUCKY BOURBON TRAIL OFFICIAL SPONSOR® and associated designs and logos are trademarks/service marks of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association. Enjoy like a true Kentuckian–Responsibly.

Enjoy Like a True Kentuckian: Responsibly