SOS! KY’s Private Barrel Program needs your help, NOW

KY HB 500

Try imagining an imbibing world without any KY Private Barrel Selections (PBS). We agree, bad idea.

It is a disturbing possibility however as state level regulators have publicly aired that as it currently exists, PBS are NOT technically legal. New legislation is necessary in order to create the proper legal channels allowing PBS to commence (legally).

{Heroic trumpets sounding} KY SB 160 and HB 500 have each been proposed to save the day. Each contain a specific pathway of which PBS would be legal. HB 500 has some additional Bourbon related bonuses that include the sale of exclusive “distillery only” bottles and also barrel aged cocktails. From what our insider sources suggest, support HB 500 with full force.

Main Points of HB 500:

  1. Authorize private barrel selections and allow consumers and non-profits to buy their private-selection bottles at distillery gift shops.
  2. Allow distilleries to open one satellite tasting room each, bringing new downtown development, tourism and vibrancy to locations with and without distilleries. Currently, breweries and wineries can operate as many satellite tasting rooms as they wish.
  3. Let consumers buy exclusive, visitor-center-only bottles at distillery gift shops. Beer and wine lovers know this privilege well. It would draw repeat visitors to the Commonwealth and answer the question so many Kentuckians and tourists ask following their distillery tours; “What can I buy here that I can’t back home?”

What’s up with #3?…Legalize “distillery only” sold bottles? Isn’t that already a thing in Kentucky? Kinda. We looked into it.

In essence, by law, a product has to be available for purchase from a distributor at the state wide retail level. Technically, as it stands now, a distillery gift shop can’t have full autonomy of a release.

For example, Distillery X touts “available only at our visitor center”. That’s very very close to being accurate. However, because of current law, somewhere out there in KY, there may be just one case of that product floating around at some liquor store. So, “distillery only” is currently almost entirely accurate;) If passed, HB 500 will allow this to be 100% entirely accurate.

On a lesser note, the new law proposes that for a “distillery only” release, a consumer is limited to 3L of that purchase (four 750ml) vs the standard 9L cap (twelve 750ml) per each visitor.


Not saying it’s time to panic, but it’s almost time to panic. Lets call it crunch time for now. Today is day 44 of the 60 day session window for legislative approval, just a shade over 2 weeks out. If HB 500 is not passed by then, an emergency session could commence, but from what we’ve been told, that would be doubtful in this scenario.

Horse Trading” (via wikipedia) refers to complex bargaining or other transactions, such as political vote trading. What this term means essentially applied here, what seems like a no-brainer can become tricky and encumbered in political tape. More playing devil’s advocate here. Bottom line though, the more support from the public, the better.

Get Involved! Here’s How To Contact Your KY House Rep

PLEASE CLICK HERE and with one swoop, you can email your KY House Rep to advocate PBS (and some other cool booze stuff)! Link provided by the KY Distillers Association (KDA).

FULL LIST & CONTACT INFO of Kentucky House Reps and Senators: CLICK HERE

FIND your KY House Rep Senator and Rep (type home address in search bar): CLICK HERE