Bourbon is a distinctive product of the United States and Bourbon Heritage Month is celebrated in all 50 states. One of the many Bourbon Heritage Month traditions that started back in 2001 by the Kentucky Distillers’ Association and the Kentucky Bourbon Festival was the creation of the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame.
The Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame recognizes individuals and organizations that have made a significant and transformational impact on Bourbon’s stature, growth and awareness. It is the highest honor given by the signature industry and is presented annually during the Kentucky Bourbon Festival in Bardstown each September. The inaugural group included these bourbon industry legends Parker Beam, Lincoln Wesley Henderson, Elmer T. Lee, Fred McMillan, Frederick Booker Noe, Jr., Jimmy Russel, Jim Rutledge and Bill Samuels, Jr. This prestigious event has been celebrated annually ever since until now.
2020 Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Canceled
The Kentucky Distillers’ Association has announced that its Board of Directors has unanimously decided to cancel the 2020 Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame induction and ceremony due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kentucky Distillers’ Association Chairwoman Jessica Pendergrass said the Board felt that travel restrictions, social distancing requirements, limitations on attendance and general uncertainty about future conditions would diminish the esteemed fall event.
“It would not be fair to the inductees, their families, colleagues and our signature industry as a whole to try to conduct an event that would not do justice to their storied legacy and achievements in the industry,” she said.
“Our Board agreed we should wait a year and give these icons the recognition they deserve.” David Mandell, Chairman of the Kentucky Bourbon Festival Board of Directors, said, “We completely understand and support the KDA’s decision. We look forward to celebrating the newest Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame inductees next year during the 30th anniversary of the Kentucky Bourbon Festival.”
Take a Walk Down Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame Memory Lane
Though this years event has been canceled that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate previous winners. Take a look at these many stories to celebrate the many great folks that have made such a great impact on the bourbon world.
- The 2019 Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony & Lifetime Achievement Award Video
- The Prestigious Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame Welcomes Six New Inductees to the Class of 2019
- Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame Welcomes 3 Industry Execs and Beloved Tour Guide Freddie Johnson [Video] 2018
- 2018 Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame to Induct Freddie Johnson, Dr. Pearse Lyons, Matt Shattock and Max Shapira
- Maker’s Mark’s Bill Samuels Jr. Bestowed Parker Beam Lifetime Achievement Award [Video] 2017
- Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame Welcomes 4 New Members & Lifetime Achievement Honoree 2016
- Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame Announces 4 New Members and a Lifetime Achievement Honoree 2015
Until next year. Cheers!
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