Bourbon & Beyond - Bourbon Lineup 2018

In case there was any doubt that the Bourbon & Beyond Festival really is a bourbon centric event, this should put it into perspective – the list of bourbons and master distillers has come out before the list of music headliners.

Festival producer Danny Wimmer Presents has announced the bourbon lineup for the world’s largest bourbon festival. The now annual celebration of award-winning bourbons, master distillers, legendary musicians, chefs, and an unforgettable showcase of the craftsmanship, soul and spirit of Louisville will be held September 22 and 23, 2018 at Champions Park in Louisville, Kentucky.

The festival’s centerpiece, the Big Bourbon Bar, will feature more than two dozen bourbons selected by best-selling author and renowned bourbon authority, Fred Minnick, the events official bourbon curator. Acclaimed Louisville whiskey bar Silver Dollar will operate The Hunter’s Club, where attendees can find vintage bourbons dating as far back as the 1930s, as well as contemporary collectibles — which last year included more than 50 rarities. The festival also announces the return of Minnick’s Mini Bar, which will showcase this year’s craft bourbon selections: Hartfield & Co. Distillery, MB Roland Distillery, Old Pogue Distillery, Wadelyn Ranch Distillery and Wilderness Trail Distillery. In an event that many would assume to be dominated by the bigger distilleries, it’s great to see the craft spirits makers getting equal billing. There is a full list of distilleries included below.

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Danny Wimmer, founder of Danny Wimmer Presents says, “Louisville is hitting on all cylinders right now because of its amazing food scene and the bourbon enthusiasm. My goal is to continue to help highlight all of the reasons to visit Kentucky, especially the incredible distillery experiences that each offer a unique window into the history, culture, and spirit of the region.”

“It is unprecedented in bourbon history to see distilleries and master distillers receive this kind of national attention and prominence,” says Fred Minnick. “For a spirit that was left for dead in the 1980s, it excites me to see a promoter like Danny Wimmer treating Kentucky’s bourbons as world-class rockstars. Bourbon & Beyond honors every bourbon pioneer that came before.”

The 2017 Bourbon & Beyond Festival attracted more than 50,000 attendees for a weekend of music, food and bourbon. Last year’s musical headliners included Stevie Nicks, Eddie Vedder,  Steve Miller Band and cocktails and bourbons paired with celebrity chefs Carla Hall, Ed Lee and Tom Colicchio.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said, “Bourbon & Beyond is a combination of fantastic bourbon, food and music that can’t be found anywhere in the world except right here in Louisville. Our city’s bourbonism sector is flourishing, and helping make Louisville a year-round tourist attraction for bourbon fans who know they can only find the real deal in this region,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. “We’re excited to hear this update and are already looking forward to another tremendous festival in September.”

Bourbon & Beyond is part of DWP’s previously announced 10-year plan to grow bourbon related entertainment in Louisville which includes Louder Than Life, a future country music festival and a spirits conference to be launched in 2020. You can read more about their projected $1 Billion investment here – Bourbon & Beyond Festival Inks 10 Year Deal – Projects $1 Billion Economic Impact [Video].

Distilleries, Bourbons Experts & Bourbon Brands (So far.)

Distillery Experts Spirits
A. Smith Bowman Distillery Bowman Brothers
Angel’s Envy Distillery Chief Innovation Officer Wes Henderson
Bardstown Bourbon Company
Barrell Bourbon – Barrell Craft Spirits Master Distiller Tripp Stimson
Barton 1792 Distillery
Blade and Bow
Boone County Distilling Marketing & Events Director Sara Barnes
Buffalo Trace Distillery Master Distiller Harlen Wheatley, Master Blender for Sazerac, Drew Mayville, VIP Tour Lead at Buffalo Trace Freddie Johnson Blanton’s, Eagle Rare, E.H. Taylor, Elmer T. Lee, Pappy Van Winkle, Rock Hill Farms, Stagg Jr., Stone Hammer, W.L. Weller
Bulleit Distillery
Castle & Key Distillery Master Distiller Marianne Barnes
Cooper’s Craft
Four Roses Distillery
Heaven Hill Distillery Master Distiller Denny Potter Elijah Craig, Evan Williams
Jefferson’s Bourbon
Jeptha Creed Distillery Bloody Butcher's Creed
Jim Beam Distillery Master Distiller Fred Noe, Kentucky Bourbon Ambassador Beth Burrows Booker's, Knob Creek, Basil Hayden’s, Jim Beam, Jim Beam Black, Larceny
Kentucky Peerless Distilling Founder Corky Taylor
Kentucky Owl
Lux Row Distillers Ezra Brooks, Rebel Yell
Maker’s Mark Distillery Master Distiller Greg Davis, Maturation Specialist Jane Bowie Maker's, Maker's 46
Michter’s Distillery Master of Maturation Andrea Wilson
New Riff Distillery O.K.I.
Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery President Julian Van Winkle Pappy Van Winkle
Old Forester Distillery
Old Scout Distiller Head Distiller John Little Smooth Ambler Spirits
Rabbit Hole Distilling
Woodford Reserve Distillery
Wild Turkey Distillery Master Distiller Jimmy Russell, Master Distiller Eddie Russell
Willett Distillery Master Distiller Drew Kulsveen

Good thing the festival is not too soon. Today, the field is better fit for ducks than bourbon fans but it’s sure to be high and dry by festival time.

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