The annual Kentucky Bourbon Festival is bringing a lot more of one important thing this year – bourbon. For the first time ever, participating distillers at the year’s biggest bourbon weekend will be permitted to serve cocktails.
The festival is a five-day whirlwind of all things bourbon- tastings, lectures, cocktail parties, food trucks, live music, and more. It’s all located in Bardstown, Kentucky, The Bourbon Capital of the World, and last year welcomed 50,000 guests from 30 states and 10 countries. In between ticketed events, most people find themselves at The Great Lawn, a blend of “outdoor marketplace and local watering hole” where distilleries, craftsmen, and food tents are set up for guests to wander.
This year, for the first time, the distillery tents on the lawn will be allowed to serve cocktails. Bourbon lovers can watch barrel making demonstrations, shop for art and gifts, and snack on bourbon chocolates while they sip drinks crafted with their favorite bourbons. (And while you’re exploring, make sure to find The Bourbon Review and our shop Bourbon Outfitters for all the bourbon gear you need!)
But the lawn is just one piece of what makes the festival great. The Kentucky Bourbon Festival was around long before the bourbon boom, with 2019 marking the 28th year welcoming guests from around the world. Some of this year’s events are already sold out, over a month ahead of the festival, but there’s still plenty of hot tickets to book.
The Bottled-in-Bond Fire is a favorite for many, as a laid back way to enjoy a perfect fall evening with your favorite four-year-old, 100 proof whiskeys. Or learn about the magic of aging bourbon with the Science of Maturation Lecture from Moonshine University.
If you don’t want to commit to just one event, there’s plenty of parties open to the public. The aforementioned Great Lawn is certainly a centerpiece, but guests can also listen to live music or pop over to the Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History to explore the stories behind their favorite brands. The Kentucky Bourbon Festival has something for everyone – click here to plan your trip and see the full schedule of events!