Whiskey Thief Distilling Co. in Franklin County Joins the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour® Adventure

October 20, 2022

For Immediate Release – October 20, 2022

FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour®, now celebrating its 10th anniversary, continues to grow rapidly with the addition of Whiskey Thief Distilling Co. in Franklin County as its 24th stop. 

The Kentucky Distillers’ Association created the statewide journey in 2012 as the nation’s first attraction to feature the burgeoning boutique distilling movement. Its partner attraction, the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® tour, was founded by the KDA in 1999. 

Also in 2012, Whiskey Thief Distilling was founded, operating more recently under the name Three Boys Farm Distillery. The new owner, Walter Zausch, acquired the Franklin County site at 283 Crab Orchard Road two years ago and set his sights on joining the KBT Craft Tour. 

“We’re ecstatic to welcome guests into our 10-year-old distillery,” Zausch said. “We offer a unique and unforgettable experience celebrating single barrel Bourbons at barrel-strength, uncut and unfiltered. And we will keep making Bourbon and Whisky using our very traditional processes. We are ready to share the next decade of Whiskey Thief Distilling as part of the Craft Tour.” 

Visitors to Whiskey Thief Distilling Co. enjoy an informative and casual Bourbon experience, sampling from several barrels of uncut and unfiltered Bourbon, and can even bottle their favorite to take home. The back patio and cocktail bar, surrounded by the corn grown and used in the Bourbon, allows guests to relax and enjoy the scenic Kentucky landscape.

Mandy Ryan, the KDA’s Director of Kentucky Bourbon Trail® experiences, said the growth and popularity of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour® over the past 10 years has been phenomenal. 

“Our Kentucky Bourbon Trail experiences continue to expand as interest in our signature spirit soars,” Ryan said. “We are thrilled to welcome Whiskey Thief Distilling Co. and encourage visitors to seek out this and the other incredible KBT Craft Tour distilleries.”

Coupled with the 18 larger-scale distilleries on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® tour, the KDA now boasts a record 42 immersive experiences for Bourbon and spirits lovers to enjoy when visiting the Bluegrass State. 

Attendance at the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® and Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour® experiences continue their rapid rebound from COVID and closures, up 160% in total attendance from last year and expected to exceed record numbers in 2022.

The KBT Craft Tour® has tallied over 2 million distillery tours since its inception. 

The KBT Craft Tour® is divided into four regions — Northern, Central, Western and Bluegrass — with unique challenge coins commemorating the finish of each upon completion.  After finishing all four regions, guests are awarded a collectible barrel stave tray to display their coins.

The 24 participating distilleries are:

NORTHERN REGION

New Riff Distilling, Newport

Second Sight Spirits, Ludlow

The Old Pogue Distillery, Maysville

Boone County Distilling Co., Independence

Neeley Family Distillery, Sparta

CENTRAL REGION

Copper & Kings American Brandy Co., Louisville

Kentucky Artisan Distillery, Crestwood

Kentucky Peerless Distilling Co., Louisville

Jeptha Creed Distillery, Shelbyville

Log Still Distillery, Gethsemane

Limestone Branch Distillery, Lebanon

Preservation Distillery, Bardstown

WESTERN REGION

The Bard Distillery, Graham

Boundary Oak Distillery, Radcliffe

Casey Jones Distillery, Hopkinsville

Dueling Grounds Distillery, Franklin

MB Roland Distillery, Pembroke

BLUEGRASS REGION

Barrel House Distilling Co., Lexington

Bluegrass Distillers, Lexington

Whiskey Thief Distilling Co., Franklin County

Castle & Key Distillery, Frankfort

Hartfield & Co., Paris

James E. Pepper Distillery, Lexington

Learn more at kybourbontrail.com/distilleries/kentucky-bourbon-trail-craft-tour/

Founded in 1880, the KDA is the voice for Bourbon and spirits issues. Its diverse membership produces the overwhelming majority of the world’s Bourbon, from legendary, global brands to emerging micro distilleries that are building the next generation of the timeless craft.

Kentucky Bourbon is one of the Commonwealth’s most historic industries, a thriving $9 billion economic and tourism engine that sustains more than 22,500 jobs with a payroll topping $1.23 billion each year.

A key export, the iconic industry is currently in the middle of a $5.2 billion building boom, from innovative new tourism experiences to expanded production facilities, bottling centers and aging warehouses, all to meet the growing global thirst for Kentucky Bourbon. 

Bourbon production has skyrocketed more than 475% since the turn of the century. 

Kentucky now boasts more than 11.4 million barrels of Bourbon aging in warehouses across the Bluegrass, the most in its revered distilling history. Distillers filled more than 2.6 million barrels last year alone, the fourth year in a row that production topped the 2 million mark. 

The KDA recently announced 2022 is on track for the highest visitation year in the KBT’s history. Due to the rise in Bourbon tourism and a growing demand for authentic curated experiences, many of Kentucky’s distilleries are asking visitors to book their tours 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, the KDA launched a campaign asking people to “Book Now, Bourbon Later.” Click here to read more. 

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For more information about the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® Experiences, contact Mandy Ryan at mandy@kybourbon.com.

The Kentucky Distillers’ Association is a 501(c)(6) non-profit trade association that passionately unites, promotes, protects and elevates the Commonwealth’s signature Bourbon and distilled spirits industry. 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 www.kybourbon.com and www.kybourbontrail.com

KENTUCKY BOURBON TRAIL®, KENTUCKY BOURBON TRAIL CRAFT TOUR®,, KENTUCKY BOURBON AFFAIR™, KBT®,, BOURBON TRAIL™, KENTUCKY BOURBON HALL OF FAME®,, ORDER OF THE WRIT®,, KENTUCKY BOURBON TALES®,, KENTUCKY BOURBON TRAIL WELCOME CENTER®,, URBAN BOURBON TRAIL® and THE PROOF IS HERE®are trademarks/service marks of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association. 

Please enjoy Bourbon like a true Kentuckian – Responsibly.

Enjoy Like a True Kentuckian: Responsibly
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