A visit to any of the heritage distilleries along the world famous Kentucky Bourbon Trail is fantastic. Many of them boast a history that traces back to the 1800s. Members of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour are a whole different breed. Some also have family history that dates back a century or so while others simply chose to follow their dreams and start a small business. Part of that dream is to be a maker of fine spirits and build a family legacy while another part is to join some of the best distillers in the world and become part of the Kentucky bourbon lore. That dream has come true for many as the Kentucky Bourbon Trail has expanded its craft spirits makers list has grown to 20 distilleries.
The Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour started in 2012 as a way to celebrate the craft spirits distillers and make it easier for fans to find them. The interest in these small distillers has grown just as the world’s interest in bourbon and handmade distilled spirits has grown. Just last year, the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour welcomed 340,000 visitors to their doors. Now as the list of distilleries grows and spreads out across the state you can expect this number to grow considerably going forward.
“The tremendous growth of Kentucky’s craft industry has spurred local tourism with visitors looking for homegrown, intimate experiences around all kinds of boutique spirits,” said Kentucky Distillers’ Association President Eric Gregory. “The Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour now welcomes innovative micro distillers who are making everything from flavored moonshine using locally grown ingredients to barrel-aged rums and vodka, brandy, gin, and, of course, our state’s signature Kentucky Bourbon.”
To help navigate the longer list of distilleries the Kentucky Distillers’ Association that manages the Trail has divided it into four geographic regions – Northern, Central, Bluegrass and Western. The complete list is below.
According to Adam Johnson Senior Director of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® Experiences, “Each region will have streamlined itineraries and suggested stops, with visitors earning a collectible challenge coin after completing each territory. Fans who tour all 20 stops will earn a free, custom-designed barrel stave to display their coins and become the envy of friends and family.”
The Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour Map & Prizes
The actual passport has grown as the number of members has grown. The new souvenir guidebook features nearly 70 pages of distillery information, cocktail recipes, suggested travel routes, maps, events and more. The guidebooks cost $3 a piece with proceeds going to further the Association’s responsibility efforts against drunk driving and environmental sustainability initiatives.
Fans that complete a region will get a collectible coin and fans who tour all 20 stops will earn a free, custom-designed barrel stave to display their coins. In addition to the stave completing a visit to all four regions also gets fans an official Kentucky Bourbon Trail tasting glass.
Share the Spirit
Sam Rock, Founder of Bluegrass Distillers and Chairman of the Kentucky Distillers’ Associations Craft Advisory Group said, “This is an exciting new way to experience the diverse selection of distilleries all across Kentucky, and it strengthens our place as the one, true home of Bourbon and distilling craftsmanship.”
Co-founder and Head Distiller Paul Tomaszewski at MB Roland Distillery was one of the founding of the Craft Tour in 2012. Tomaszewski said, “Kentucky’s 200-year distilling history – and genteel hospitality – has been instrumental in growing tourism. Kentucky’s distillers are a welcoming, inclusive group, and we love to share that feeling of brotherhood with our guests. They usually get a kick when we recommend that they visit our distilling friends nearby, even though they’re our competitors on the shelf. That’s what the Kentucky Bourbon Trail experiences are all about. No matter how large or small, we all understand that we’re part of a rich tradition, heritage and culture that makes Kentucky unique in all the world. We’re thrilled to be able to share that spirit.”
View all Kentucky Distilleries.
The Complete List of Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour Members
|Boone County Distilling||Independence||Kentucky|
|Neeley Family Distillery||Sparta||Kentucky|
|New Riff Distilling||Newport||Kentucky|
|Old Pogue Distillery||Maysville||Kentucky|
|Second Sight Spirits||Ludlow||Kentucky|
|Jeptha Creed Distillery||Shelbyville||Kentucky|
|Kentucky Artisan Distillery||Crestwood||Kentucky|
|Kentucky Peerless Distilling||Louisville||Kentucky|
|Boundary Oak Distillery||Radcliff||Kentucky|
|Casey Jones Distillery||Hopkinsville||Kentucky|
|Dueling Grounds Distillery||Franklin||Kentucky|
|MB Roland Distillery||Pembroke||Kentucky|
|Barrel House Distillery||Lexington||Kentucky|
|Hartfield & Co. Distillery||Paris||Kentucky|
|James E. Pepper Distillery||Lexington||Kentucky|
|Limestone Branch Distilling||Lebanon||Kentucky|
|Wilderness Trail Distillery||Danville||Kentucky|