When the story starts out with ‘out of an abundance of caution’ you know the Covid-19 pandemic has forced a change. But hey, change is better than a cancellation and in this case that’s what’s happening. The grand-daddy of all bourbon festivals has announced that out of an abundance of concern the 2020 Kentucky Bourbon Festival will be pivoting from in-person to online happening October 15–18, 2020.
The Kentucky Bourbon Festival is an annual event that started back in 1992 back before today’s bourbon boom. When the festival first started it was mostly a home town celebration of bourbon whiskey. Over the years the event has grown in scope and visitors to include a national and international audience to the ‘Bourbon Capital of the World’, Bardstown, Kentucky.
“Over the course of the last couple of months, we have been working diligently on the best plan to ensure the health and safety of our attendees, distillery partners, volunteers, and staff,” said Kentucky Bourbon Festival Board of Directors Chairman David Mandell. “At this time, we know it’s the right decision to move to a new type of bourbon celebration by going virtual. We look forward to welcoming everyone back to Bardstown for our 30th Anniversary next year.”
With twenty-eight years of bourbon tradition and festival know-how, the 2020 Kentucky Bourbon Festival presented by Koetter Construction will put increased emphasis on everything bourbon and spirits – with a virtual twist. Organizers still promise a unique and exciting bourbon experience that attendees will not get anywhere else, except from Bardstown.
“Bourbon has influence across the world, and we see proof of that every year when the Festival draws thousands of visitors and fans of bourbon to Bardstown,” said Kentucky Bourbon Festival President and COO Randy Prasse. “While this year may look a little different, that makes it even more special. We are constantly reassessing the Festival and making it better for our attendees – with these new, virtual ideas, we’re looking forward to hosting our regulars, as well as new friends who are looking to join the experience.”
2020 Kentucky Bourbon Festival to Include 20 Events
Nearly 20 live and recorded ‘Spirits Education Sessions’ can be viewed online throughout the weekend. Participation is free with registration. Here is a breakdown of some of the featured events.
- The Art of Whiskey Making will be a four-part series featuring multiple master distillers teaching the particulars of bourbon making.
- Bottled-in-Bond Happy Hour will toast this landmark 1897 law, its great whiskeys and cocktails made with this 100 proof lovely.
- Cocktail Quickies will occur between-session breaks in which mixologists give rapid-fire lessons on cocktails bourbon fans can make at home.
- Bourbon Legends Series features some of the industry’s most famous families as they share hilarious and heartwarming stories.
All sessions will encourage participants to buy their bourbons and cocktail ingredients in advance and ‘play along at home.’
The weekend’s festivities will culminate with the action-packed World Championship Bourbon Barrel Relay. Will competing distillery teams have what it takes to knock off 2019 champion distiller? Details are still being worked out on how the 2020 Bourbon Barrel Relay race will happen. We’ll update you as soon as we get details.
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“We are both proud and excited to support the Kentucky Bourbon Festival again this year”, stated Koetter Construction V.P. of Sales & Estimating, Todd Magner. “We’re really looking forward to the lineup of virtual educational sessions as well as announcing our newest product in barrel storage. In this rapidly growing industry that has provided us with many opportunities, we can’t think of a better way to give back to our clients and the community.”
Bourbon fans can learn more and register for the 2020 Kentucky Bourbon Festival online here.