New Riff Distilling Bringing Back the Big Bourbon Toast

May 30, 2019

New Riff Distilling, offering a New Riff on American Whiskey, is bringing back the Big Bourbon Toast, adding an interstate Tug of War, on June 14th on The Newport Southbank Bridge spanning the Ohio River.  



Newport, Ky. June 2019—New Riff Distilling is celebrating the storied history and bright future of Bourbon in the region with its 2nd annual Big Bourbon Toast on National Bourbon Day, June 14th from 5:30-8:30 pm on The Newport Southbank Bridge, also known as the Purple People Bridge. Last year bourbon fans came to together from both sides of the river to celebrate New Riff’s long awaited launch. This year’s Big Bourbon Toast will once again bring hundreds of bourbon fans together for a toast of New Riff’s award-winning Kentucky Straight Bourbon, but also include an added twist, with the addition of a Tug of War between two states, Kentucky and Ohio. This year the winning state will be recognized with a Big Bourbon Toast, a gilded bottle trophy, and of course an entire year of bragging rights. The two teams will be anchored by New Riff’s 2020 Community Barrel awardees: The Cincinnati Parks Foundation and The City of Newport’s 225th. New Riff’s Community Barrel program leverages the sale of bottles and donates the proceeds from a barrel’s worth of Bourbon to each awardee.  “These organizations represent the very essence of New Riff- an eye on the future while also honoring the past”, said Ken Lewis, Founder and President of New Riff Distilling

The Big Bourbon Toast is free to attend to those 21 and over – no one under the age of 21 will be admitted. The first 500 attendees will receive a commemorative Big Bourbon Toast shot glass along with New Riff Bottled in Bond Bourbon to toast with. Cash bars will be available along the bridge for cocktails.

“These last 5 years have been a lot of work, but they’ve given us a lot to celebrate, too. This toast serves as a reminder to make time for fun.”  said Lewis. “We wanted to incorporate hard work and having fun in this year’s Big Bourbon Toast by adding the tug of war between Kentucky and Ohio. The Big Bourbon Toast is a great way to celebrate two amazing states, two great charities and delicious Bourbon in this region.”

The competition will be fierce!

“Newport 225 is ready to take on the competition.” said Scott Clark, Historic Preservation Officer, City of Newport. “We have mobilized our groups and we are gonna win! We have Newport Police, Fire/EMS, Public Works, multiple Community Groups and two really strong Finance guys all prepping for the Big Tug of War. Even the Historians are working out (all of the historical basis of state to state competition) we are Pulling for History…. Newport 225.”

“Cincinnati Parks Foundation is the proud philanthropic partner of the Cincinnati Park Board and we are delighted to have been selected as a 2020 community partner with New Riff Distilling.” said Jennifer H. Spieser, Executive Director Cincinnati Parks Foundation. “We look forward to representing Ohio and our top-rated urban Parks with dedicated Park volunteers, Board members, Park Commissioners, Cincinnati Firefighters, Cincinnati Police Officers, the City Manager, local elected officials, and your favorite local mascots. We’re playing to win.”

About New Riff Distilling

Located in Newport, Ky., New Riff Distilling’s mission is to be one of the world’s great small distilleries of the world. Co-Founded in 2014 by Ken Lewis and Jay Erisman, who were formerly in spirits retailing, it is family-owned, Kentucky proud, grounded in tradition yet unafraid to riff and innovate. The distillery’s New Riff Bourbon and New Riff Rye are aged four years and embrace the ultimate quality benchmark, Bottled in Bond Without Chill Filtration. New Riff Bourbon, Rye, and Single Barrel Bourbon all recently brought home the Distilling industry’s top honor, winning Double Golds at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.  For more information, please visit, like us on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @newriff.

Media Contact:
Amy Tobin
[email protected]


Enjoy Like a True Kentuckian: Responsibly