Begun in 1992 as a Bourbon tasting and dinner, The Kentucky Bourbon Festival has grown with the leadership and support of the following distilleries – Barton 1792 Distillery, Buffalo Trace Distillery, Four Roses Distillery, Heaven Hill Distilleries Inc., Beam, Maker’s Mark Distillery, Rebel Yell, Wild Turkey Distillery, and Woodford Reserve Distillery plus the Independent Stave Company and the Kentucky Distillers’ Association. Additional major sponsors include Kentucky Bourbon brands – Bulleit Bourbon, Blantons and Michter’s. Many other sponsors have also made the festival possible.
“The people of Bardstown have been making Bourbon since 1776,” says Jerry Summers, Festival Chairperson and Director of Community Relations of Beam. “And today, sixty-nine percent of the world’s Bourbon is made in and around the Nelson County area, including the adjacent counties of Bullitt and Marion, that’s why Bardstown is indeed the Bourbon Capital of the World®.”
Today it is one of the Commonwealth’s leading community festivals, saluting and showcasing the Bourbon making process and the storied history of Kentucky’s renowned industry. Many distilleries, plus genuine Kentucky arts and crafters, display their wares…on the lawn of Spalding Hall from Friday evening through Sunday.
The attendance for last year’s Kentucky Bourbon Festival -Bourbon Capital of the World™ was approximately 53,000 individuals hailing from 44 States and 14 different countries as well as the District of Columbia.