As with all businesses of late sending out statements on the Corona virus is unfortunately our new norm. The Kentucky Distillers’ Association and its members are no exception.
In a special meeting the Kentucky Distillers’ Association Board of Directors strongly recommended that members take all necessary precautions to protect the safety of guests and staff on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour tours from the Coronavirus outbreak.
There are no confirmed cases of Coronavirus at any Kentucky Distillers’ Association member companies. The Coronavirus has not impacted production. Currently, all production facilities are operating as usual with appropriate health and safety protocols.
Kentucky Distillers’ Association members are sharing best practices and implementing strict measures to safeguard visitors, including enhanced sanitation procedures and reduced tour and tasting group sizes, while following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and the state health department.
UPDATE: As Coronavirus guidelines have changed we’ve stopped updating the actual list of closings. In general, most distilleries are closed to tours and tastings. Many are still open for bottle sales in the gift shop or via curbside service. We highly recommend you call ahead to check with your local distillery for modified hours and sales procedures. And always, please continue to support the many craft spirits makers out there. Cheers!
Suspending Distillery Tours While Production Continues
Some members are temporarily suspending all tours, while others are scaling back tours of sensitive areas like production and bottling facilities, said Kentucky Distillers’ Association Board Chairwoman Jessica Pendergrass.
“KDA member companies are taking these steps to ensure the health and well-being of visitors and employees, and to support broader initiatives across the Commonwealth to limit the spread of this most recent strain of Coronavirus,” Pendergrass said.
“At the same time, we want to assure everyone that Bourbon production continues on schedule.”
Kentucky Distillers’ Association President Eric Gregory recommended that visitors contact participating Kentucky Bourbon Trail distilleries regarding currently scheduled tours or prior to scheduling a trip, as it is up to each distillery to determine policies in their hospitality facilities, including tours, gift shops, restaurants and bars.
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“Our members are focused on keeping workers safe while maintaining production of our signature spirit that is so vital to the Commonwealth’s economy,” he said. “But as many member companies are making decisions to temporarily suspend tours as a precaution that recognizes the interests of public safety, we suggest guests contact individual distillers prior to any visit.”
Gregory noted that the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and its partner, the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour, recorded nearly 2 million visits last year. More than 70% of Bourbon tourists come from outside the Commonwealth.
If you plan on visiting a distillery in the coming weeks it’s a good idea to visit their website or call for updated distillery tours and hours.
Also please note, some distilleries are closed for tours but are keeping their retail operations open for bottle sales. Call ahead as this list changes by the hour.
Kentucky Bourbon Trail Distillery Temporary Closings
Angel’s Envy Distillery – Temporarily closed to tours.
Bardstown Bourbon Company – Temporarily closed for tours, retail and the restaurant.
Evan Williams Bourbon Experience – Temporarily closed to tours beginning March 14, 2020.
Four Roses Distillery – Temporarily closed to tours March 14 through March 29, 2020.
Heaven Hill Bourbon Heritage Center – Temporarily closed to tours beginning March 14, 2020.
Jim Beam American Stillhouse – Temporarily closed to tours.
Maker’s Mark Distillery – Temporarily closed to tours beginning March 16, 2020.
Michter’s Distillery – Temporarily closed to tours beginning March 13 through March 31, 2020.
O.Z. Tyler Distillery – Temporarily closed to tours beginning March 16, 2020.
Old Forester Distillery – Temporarily closed to tours beginning March 15, 2020.
Rabbit Hole Distillery – Temporarily closed to tours for March.
Town Branch Distillery – Temporarily closed to tours beginning March 13, 2020.
Wilderness Trail Distillery – Temporarily closed to tours and the visitor center.
Woodford Reserve Distillery – Temporarily closed to tours beginning March 15, 2020.
Note: As of this publication date there have been no confirmed cases of Coronavirus at any Kentucky Bourbon Trail distilleries and this has not impacted production. Currently, all production facilities are operating as usual with appropriate health and safety protocols.
See all Kentucky Distilleries.