A First – Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame Luncheon Opened Up to Public

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In an unprecedented move, the Kentucky Distillers’ Association and the Kentucky Bourbon Festival, co-founders of the prestigious Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame are opening up the 2018 inductee luncheon to the public.

The two groups created the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame back in 2001 to recognize individuals and organizations that have made a significant and transformational impact on the states amber spirit, Bourbon. To be sure, being placed in this Hall of Fame is the highest honor given by Kentucky’s signature Bourbon and distilled spirits industry.

Inaugural winners of the award in 2001 include industry greats like the late Parker Beam of Heaven Hill Distillery, Lincoln Wesley Henderson of Angel’s Envy Distillery and Elmer T. Lee of Buffalo Trace Distillery. Some of the 2017 winners include Chris Morris, Vice President & Master Distiller for Woodford Reserve Distillery, the late Harry J. Shapira, Executive Vice President, Heaven Hill Distillery and Bill Samuels, Jr., Chairman Emeritus of Maker’s Mark Distillery for a lifetime achievement award.

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Get Ready for a Lot of Laughter and a Few Tears

“The Hall of Fame is my favorite event of the year,” said Kentucky Distillers’ Association President Eric Gregory. “It’s the one time when we all get together and celebrate Bourbon’s heroes and toast those gone by. There’s a lot of laughter, and usually a few tears, as the unity and camaraderie of the industry shines through.”

Gregory said this year’s event moved to Friday due to a scheduling conflict with one of the four inductees. That prompted an unexpected venue change from Bardstown, the Bourbon Capital of the World, to Louisville’s Frazier History Museum and the official starting point of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. The change in venue allowed for a larger space to accommodate more attendees.

This year’s diverse class ranges from a beloved tour guide to top executives who have grown and guided some of the industry’s most iconic distilling empires. Gregory said, “History will be made at this year’s induction. You’ll regret missing this one, so get your tickets now.”

Here’s a Behind the Scenes Video from the 2017 Celebration

2018 Kentucky Bourbon Festival and the Hall of Fame Luncheon

The 27th annual Kentucky Bourbon Festival runs September 12 -16, 2018. A limited number of tickets are available for the luncheon event on Friday, Sept. 14, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Frazier History Museum. Tickets are $100 and include lunch, drinks and parking.

Related Story
See all 2017 Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame Inductees here.
View all Kentucky Distilleries.

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