If you weren’t in Kentucky last week, you were definitely missing out! Every year in September, the city of Bardstown holds the Kentucky Bourbon Festival, and it is definitely one of the most fun weeks of the year for bourbon fans. The festival takes place on a huge lawn, and each major distillery sends a booth to represent their brand. When I say booth, I don’t mean the typical kind of booth you would see at a festival. At the Bourbon Festival, the booths are essentially huge replicas/representations of the individual distilleries. Every year, the booths get more and more elaborate. Most of them act as small gift shops, but they’re also starting to add interactive aspects, such as photo booths for social media uploads. In addition to the distillery booths, lots of local craft/food vendors set up booths as well!
One of the best parts of Bourbon Festival week is all of the events that are hosted by the individual distilleries. Many of them arrange to have special product releases during the week, and every day/night there is something different happening. It’s always amazing to see the individual character and style of the bourbon brands represented by their events! Most require tickets, but they are always generous with the food and drinks. There are also a few concerts each year, featuring local and up-and-coming artists. I have to admit that my favorite event is the Barrel Rolling Contest, which features the warehouse workers at each distillery. They practice all year long to see who can roll barrels the quickest!
Even though the Festival takes place over the span of a few days, the local distilleries are still open for their regular tours, and some even offer specialty tours and extended hours. Next year’s Bourbon Festival planning is already getting started, and we hope you’ll come to Kentucky for the experience! If you want to come visit us, you’ll want to make your plans early, since tickets and hotels sell out quickly! Let us know if you’d like us to show you around!