The Kentucky Distillers’ Association created the Kentucky Bourbon Trail in 1999. As bourbon and distilled spirits have grown over the last 20+ years the worlds interest in how bourbon is made and the origins of each distillery have grown as well. Traffic to the many Kentucky Bourbon Trail distilleries has grown 171% over just the last seven years and the numbers of participating distilleries has grown as well.
When Will the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Reopen?
The Kentucky Distillers’ Association submitted a plan to Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear’s office for review and guidance. Kentucky Bourbon Trail and Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour retail-only operations meaning bottle sales, t-shirts, glasses, etc. are eligible to open May 20. Unfortunately the first part of this plan does not include tastings.
UPDATE 05/19/2020 6pm: Kentucky Gov. Beshear just released the date of June 8 for distillery openings tours and tastings. They are expected to operate at 33% capacity and individual groups must be 10 or less. Masks will be required by employees and recommended for guests. We’ll share the details as they become available.
Will All the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Tours Reopen on the Same Day?
It’s kind of like herding cats. Distilleries come in all shapes and sizes and there is no one size fits all. With the requirements and restrictions issued by the Governor’s Office, several distilleries are waiting until later to welcome guests or to reopen retail operations more gradually.
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Distillery Tours and Bourbon Tasting Will Come Later
The Kentucky Distillers’ Association didn’t provide specific dates yet but said “We expect limited tastings to open shortly thereafter. We expect limited tours to resume later this summer.”
“We strongly recommend you contact individual distilleries for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding hours, policies, and experiences. The Kentucky Bourbon Trail® will continue to update its website and social media with general information regarding distillery tourism operations and policies as the information becomes available.”
A thirsty public with a palette for Kentucky’s amber spirits is looking forward to the day that tours and tastings will one day resume.
The Kentucky Bourbon Trail® and Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour® celebrated a new world record in visits last year. The combined Bourbon Trail’s welcomed 1,719,821 visits in 2019.
See all Kentucky Distilleries.
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