For Immediate Release – October 24, 2016
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Already at its highest membership level since the Repeal of Prohibition, the Kentucky Distillers’ Association today launched its third annual recruitment drive to educate and welcome potential members to its hallowed ranks.
The KDA announced five new members during September – Bourbon Heritage Month in the Commonwealth – bringing its total to 33 distilling companies. That’s the highest level since the 1930s when distilling resumed after the failed Noble Experiment that was Prohibition.
“KDA membership is a coveted honor that began 136 years ago when our association was forged to unite and lead Kentucky’s signature Bourbon and distilled spirits industry,” KDA President Eric Gregory said.
“We are thrilled that our membership has swelled to record numbers, with all distilleries working together to secure the integrity of our timeless craft and strengthen Kentucky’s rightful place as the one, true and authentic home for Bourbon.”
Chris Morris, Chairman of the KDA’s Board of Directors and Master Distiller at Brown-Forman Corp. said, “The KDA has become the ‘Gold Standard’ for spirit trade associations across America.
“With the burgeoning micro-distillery movement present in all 50 states, our historic association has shown how large and small distilleries can work together for the greater good of the industry. That status is something we are very proud of.”
With more than 15 new distilleries pouring into the Bluegrass, the KDA is sending each a commemorative packet with information that explains the non-profit group, its mission and its criteria for membership.
The annual campaign slogan is “We’ve been waiting for you since 1880,” the year KDA was founded in Louisville. Produced by Upper Right Marketing in Lexington, the packets feature personalized copper membership cards and a handcrafted invitation to join.
The drive touts the KDA’s successful legislative advocacy efforts, from the virtual repeal of the discriminatory barrel tax in 2014 to this year’s landmark passage of sweeping tourism reforms aimed at leveraging the global Bourbon boom.
As many of the new distilleries are smaller operations, the drive also highlights the KDA’s effective efforts to create new craft distillers and rectifiers licenses, which drastically lowers fees and helps Kentucky compete for these important new businesses.
In addition, the KDA’s famous Kentucky Bourbon Trail® and Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour® experiences are the hottest tourism attractions in the region, educating nearly 900,000 guests last year alone from all 50 states and more than 50 countries.
Other benefits of KDA membership include media relations, international trade development, private sampling events, technical assistance, economic development support, legal defense, marketing strategies, governmental and regulatory advocacy and more, Gregory said.
“The KDA is leading the way in legislative advocacy, innovative tourism programs and responsibility efforts to ensure that Kentucky remains the gold standard for distilling,” Gregory said. “We are stronger by working together, and the best is yet to come.”
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 and Wilderness Trail Distillery. The Distilled Spirits Epicenter is the KDA’s official educational distillery.
KENTUCKY BOURBON TRAIL®, KENTUCKY BOURBON TRAIL CRAFT TOUR®, KENTUCKY BOURBON AFFAIR™ and BOURBON TRAIL™ are trademarks/service marks of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association. Please drink responsibly.