Unlike National Hot Dog Day or National Paint Your Toes Red Month, Bourbon Heritage Month is real and honors the bourbon industry every September.
“The skyrocketing success of our legendary Bourbon industry is one of the biggest and proudest highlights during my two terms,” said Kentucky Steve Beshear in a press release. “I’ve been honored to break ground at new distilleries, cut ribbons on innovative tourism centers and even bung a few barrels.”
More so than any governor before him, Beshear has tapped into the political strength of the bourbon industry. The press release sent regarding the month even offered his alcohol law reform platform to help tourism.
With that said, Bourbon Heritage Month is exciting, and here are five tips to help you enjoy the most out of your September, aka Bourbon Heritage Month.
1. Blind taste bourbons from at least three states. By now, your local liquor store should have bourbons from several states. I recommend conducting blind tastings to see if Kentucky is still king in your home.
2. Join the bourbon sub culture. Whether it’s your local liquor store club or a private Facebook forum, start enjoying bourbon with people you don’t know. That way, you can get in an argument with them later about which bourbon is better.
3. Cook with bourbon.
4. Attend the Kentucky Bourbon Festival. This festival offers a glimpse inside the
bourbon culture and showcases the great city of Bardstown. My favorite event is the Heaven Hill cigar shindig, but there are many others to choose from. I also think the festival gives a better snippet of the average Kentucky person than the State Fair.
5. Visit Shively, Kentucky. On the outskirts of Louisville, Shively was essentially built to support the distilling industry. Today, it’s home to the Bulleit Experience at Stitzel-Weller, Brown-Forman’s workhorse distillery and Michter’s new distillery. If you can, tour them all. While driving through town, take note of the street names. They’re named after distilling legends.
Fred Minnick is the author of Bourbon Curious.