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Kentucky Distillers’ Association Scratches Kentucky Bourbon Affair in 2021

March 11, 2021

For Immediate Release – March 11, 2021

FRANKFORT, Ky. –  The Kentucky Distillers’ Association today announced that it has canceled its annual Kentucky Bourbon Affair™ fantasy camp in 2021 due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

“While we are encouraged with vaccinations and declining cases, it would be difficult to hold such intimate, elegant events that attract people from all over the world,” KDA President Eric Gregory said. “It would not be fair to all involved – from our loyal KBA fans to our distillery employees.”

Gregory said several factors weighed in the difficult decision, including travel issues, limits on attendance, CDC and social distancing guidelines, uncertainty about variants and conditions in the fall and caution around distillery workers and resources that are currently off-limits.

“This is the second year we have had to cancel this event, but it is the right and responsible decision to make,” Gregory said. “We are getting closer every day to beating the pandemic. This simply isn’t the time to let our guard down or take any chances with people’s health and safety.

“It takes time to craft our great Kentucky Bourbon. We can afford to wait one more year.”

The Kentucky Bourbon Affair™ each year welcomes thousands of Bourbon aficionados, enthusiasts and visitors to the Commonwealth for an exclusive week of behind-the-scenes experiences, rare tastings and unique culinary events at the world’s most famous distilleries.

The Kentucky Bourbon Affair was scheduled to coincide with DWP’s Bourbon & Beyond music festival in September, which has been canceled for 2021, as well.

Gregory said the KDA consulted with officials in Louisville – which has been the KBA official host city since its inception in 2014. “No one was surprised at the decision, but we are all disappointed,” he said.

Karen Williams, President and CEO of Louisville Tourism, said the KDA has been a great partner in helping put Louisville’s Urban Bourbon Experience on the map by hosting its most prestigious event in Bourbon City since 2014.

“We support this difficult decision for this year’s Kentucky Bourbon Affair and commit to working with the distilleries to host an even larger event in 2022, including some exciting additions that we hope to share in the near future,” Williams said.



For more information, contact Colleen Thomas at (502) 777-4690.

Founded in 1880, the Kentucky Distillers’ Association is the legendary voice for Kentucky’s signature Bourbon and distilled spirits industry. Its diverse and growing membership produces the overwhelming majority of the world’s Bourbon, from historic, global brands to emerging micro distilleries that are fostering the next generation of the Commonwealth’s landmark economic engine and its thriving, timeless craft. 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 world-famous Kentucky Bourbon Trail® and Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour® adventures. A 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization, 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. Learn more at and 

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