Bardstown Bourbon Co. - House of Bardstown Louisville, Kentucky

Pop-up events have been around for a long time. Some pop-up events are well publicized to get the word out to a lot of people about a brand or product while others are more speakeasy-like that require a secret word, handshake or knock on the door to get in. When well done, pop-ups create a memorable experience that endears the participants to the brand or product.

In the case of Bardstown Bourbon Company – BBC in BardstownKentucky  they, not surprisingly, created an immersive cocktail and culinary pop-up experience, that goes the speakeasy route. There were several non-descript invites from Bardstown Bourbon to an event offering very few details other than a good time. The invites started with a simple, “Save the Date”.

“We’re so excited to hand over the keys and welcome you into the House of Bardstown. Please save the date! More information and official invitation forthcoming.”

That low key email was soon followed by a paperless invite. In the case of the Louisville event, the timing took place during Bourbon Classic week. That meant there were lots of bourbon lovers in town from across the country and there were lots of competing events. We committed to this event and turned down other events. In the end, we made the right choice. The ‘House of Bardstown” delivered.

A 3 City Pop-up Experience – Louisville, Nashville & Dallas

Stay Informed: Sign up here for the Distillery Trail free email newsletter and be the first to get all the latest news, trends, job listings and events in your inbox.

Each evening, a limited number of guests will receive transportation to an undisclosed address where, through the door, they’ll dance, dine and taste their way through a series of intricately crafted rooms and one-of-a-kind sensory experiences, each a chapter in the illustrious story of Bardstown’s collaboration and innovation. The limited-run activation began in Louisville and will be followed by events in Nashville and Dallas later in the spring. 

Subscribe to DistilleryTrail’s YouTube channel.

“House of Bardstown” is more than just an event; it’s a journey through the heart of bourbon culture as told by the creative folks at Bardstown Bourbon Company. Throughout the evening, local culinary experts and bourbon connoisseurs guide guests through a deliciously immersive journey of Bardstown’s innovative bourbon expressions, fostering a unique, lingering connection that transcends the glass. Guests are invited to savor and celebrate the Bardstown story in a setting as refined, eclectic, and spellbinding as the spirits themselves.

The Inaugural ‘House of Bardstown’ Experience

The event started at Bardstown Bourbon Company’s new home place on Whiskey Row in downtown Louisville. After receiving a welcome neat pour of bourbon, it was time to start asking questions. The answer was still the same, hang tight, the buses will start leaving around 7pm. The destination; unknown.

Once aboard the 20-person or so bus the party continued with a welcome pour in a Green River Distillery (now owned by BBC) plastic cup and a key. Were we headed to Green River in Owensboro, about a 2-hour drive to the west? As the windows fogged up from the rainy evening the mystery continued. Rather than head West, we were headed East on about a 20-minute ride. To add to the mystique of the rainy evening all the windows in the bus fogged up so it was difficult to tell where we were going. Thank goodness they didn’t sequester our phones so I could watch our route. The ride continued as we passed by several spots that I thought we might be landing. We ended up pulling into a swanky neighborhood on the outskirts of town near the Louisville Country Club.

Welcome to the Mysterious 12,000 Sq. Ft. ‘House of Bardstown’

We hopped off the bus to a mysterious home lit up with all white lights dancing against the side of this spectacular 12,000 square foot private home. We were welcomed into the House of Bardstown by a cast of characters dressed mostly in black and white outfits adorned with BBC logos. Now it was time to explore.

The Experience

Once inside, the home was divided into sections that connect to various experiences one could expect from Bardstown’s bourbon offerings.

Attendees began their adventure in The Origin Room, a modern space that reframes traditional perceptions of bourbon with its clean and crisp aesthetic. After a welcome cocktail guests can jump in to take a selfie and text it to themselves.

The journey continues at the Foursquare Bar, where the essence of Barbados meets the rich heritage of bourbon, creating a captivating dance of flavors and ambiance. This outdoor patio room was filled with the sounds of a live calypso band playing tunes that one would expect to find on a sun-filled beach along the waterfront. At this particular house the bar featured three port-hole windows with HD screens running film in tandem featuring clips of waves rolling on to the beach making it feel like you were traveling on a private cruise. The featured cocktail was the Cask-Away Breeze made with bourbon and a Foursquare rum collaboration.

Within the enigmatic Goose Island Lounge, a hidden gem reminiscent of a Chicago speakeasy, guests will find a secretive and captivating escape to the city. Live music in this non-smoke filled room included a duo playing keyboards and standup bass.

And finally, the most interesting discovery of the night was the Discovery Lab, where guests could immerse themselves in Bardstown’s exquisite blends with a one-of-a-kind tasting experience designed to elevate the sensory experience. This room was designed a lot like the visitor tasting experiences are set up when visiting the BBC homeplace on Whiskey Row. BBCs VP of Product Development Dan Calloway anchored the room where he shared some of BBCs rarest bourbons for visitors to blend their own bourbon.

“The House of Bardstown is not just an experience; it’s a journey into the soul of Bardstown Bourbon Company,” said Dan Callaway, VP of Product Development. “We’re excited to bring this immersive adventure to life, celebrating the legacy we’re crafting every day in a way that’s never been done before.”

The inaugural House of Bardstown was held in Louisville this month, coinciding with the annual Bourbon Classic. Later this spring, the house will move to Nashville, Tennessee and Dallas, Texas with more detail’s forthcoming.

Looking to make the cut for the Nashville or Dallas event? Check out the House of Bardstown here.

Inside Baseball – How Did They Pull Off This Pop-up Event?

Pulling off an event like this takes lots of planning and time. We reached out to BBC to get the inside story on how this event came together and here is what they shared.

The goal of the event is to honor the tradition of making whiskey while pushing the boundaries of what’s possible through innovation, collaboration, and transparency. The House of Bardstown is a physical representation of this ethos: showcasing the way these values come to live through our products while creating a memorable experience that you won’t find from anyone else.

The project has been in the planning and execution stage for about six months. Keeping it a secret took longer than that. They worked with their longtime partner Genuine Overkill for this as well as many other BBC events over the years. The musicians and talent are local to each market.

The event is open for anyone to sign up for consideration but only a select few will be chosen to attend. The actual capacity of the event varies by market. There is no cost to attend but it is by invitation only.

Founded in 2014 by the late Peter Loftin Bardstown Bourbon Company brings a spirit of transparency to an industry often cloaked in secrecy and lore. In addition to their own brands the company produces custom rye, whiskey and bourbon for prominent brands including Jefferson’s, Blue Run, Belle Meade and many others through its one-of-a-kind collaborative distilling program.

Learn more about Bardstown Bourbon Company.
View all Bardstown/Nelson County Distilleries.
View all Louisville Distilleries.
View all Kentucky Distilleries.
View all Tennessee Distilleries.
View all Texas Distilleries.
View all U.S. Distilleries.

Please help to support Distillery Trail. Sign up for our Newsletter, like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

Recommended Posts