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10+ ways to celebrate Bourbon Heritage Month in Kentucky

Celebrate National Bourbon Heritage Month this September by learning about the history of bourbon within the Bluegrass state. Not surprisingly, 95% of the world’s bourbon is made in Kentucky. If you’re looking to explore Kentucky’s bourbon industry, here is a list of bourbon events taking place during Bourbon Heritage Month. Know one we missed? Send a note to greed1@gannett.com.

Louisville Handcrafted Event

The Louisville Visitor Center at Fourth and Market Streets on Tuesday, July 14, 2020.

WHAT: This event celebrates Bourbon Heritage Month through non-bourbon distillery partners and activations. Partners include The Local Seltzery, Hive & Barrel Meadery, Brokentown Granola, Angel’s Envy, and the Frazier History Museum.

  • Merchandise Discounts: Take 25% off bourbon-themed merchandise at the Louisville Visitors Center from Sept. 1-30.
  • Urban Bourbon Trail bonus redemption gift: “I’d Rather Be Drinking Bourbon” water bottle and the Urban Bourbon Trail t-shirt. Redemption must be in person.
  • Bourbon & Beyond Tickets Giveaway: Register for a chance to win Bourbon & Beyond tickets. Registration must be done in person at the Louisville Visitor Center. Must be 18 years or older.
  • Whiskey Walking Tours: Sept. 7 and 28, 10:30 a.m.

WHERE: Louisville Visitor Center, 301 S. Fourth St.

WHEN: Sept. 1-30.

MORE INFORMATION: Face masks are optional. Free. gotolouisville.com.

Louisville Bats vs Indianapolis Indians

Over 10,000 spectators filled Slugger Field to watch the Louisville Bats play the Indianapolis Indians on the first day the stadium has allowed 100% capacity following coronavirus restrictions in Louisville, Ky. on June 22, 2021.

WHAT: It’s bourbon and baseball and in honor of Louisville’s bourbon history, the Louisville Bats are returning to the field as The Mashers. Join them and raise your glass and pay homage to our great bourbon culture and tradition. There will be a bourbon bar on the concourse, a Louisville Mashers flask giveaway and a post-game firework show.

WHERE: Louisville Slugger Field, 401 E. Main St.

WHEN: Sept. 4, 6:35 p.m.

MORE INFORMATION: Tickets start at $9. 502-212-2287; milb.com/louisville.

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Frazier History Museum Tastings and Tours

Frazier History Museum

WHAT: The museum offers a variety of Kentucky Bourbon tastings, tours, exhibitions and products when exploring the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Events include Flight Club; Ready, Set, Go! Bourbon Experience; Craft Your Own Cocktail Experience; The Unfiltered Truth: Black American in Bourbon and private tastings and tours.

  • Flight Club: Participants will be given a blind flight of three different bourbons that will challenge their senses and teach them a thing or two about bourbon.
  • Ready, Set, Go! Bourbon Experience: Intended for Kentucky Bourbon Trail visitors and bourbon buffs. With this experience, participants get a multi-brand bourbon tasting, first and second-day admission to the museum, and much more.
  • Craft Your Own Cocktail Experience: Learn how to make the official cocktail of Louisville in the Craft Your Own Old Fashioned, presented by Old Forester.
  • The Unfiltered Truth: Black Americans in Bourbon: Learn the stories of Black Americans in the Bourbon industry throughout history.
  • Private tasting and tours: Offering several customizable guided tours and bourbon tastings led by one of Frazier’s certified Bourbon stewards.

WHERE: Frazier History Museum, 829 W. Main St.

WHEN: Seven days a week at designated times that you can opt to book online or enjoy as a walk-in.

MORE INFORMATION: The Museum Store sells more than 90 different brands of Bourbon and a wide variety of Bourbon-related merchandise. fraziermuseum.org.

Kentucky Derby Museum Bourbon Experiences

The Barbaro statue outside of Gate 1 at Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby Museum is actually a gravesite for the beloved horse.

WHAT: Sip, savor and seek thrills with their unique selection of bourbon experiences at the Kentucky Derby Museum. Learn about the rich history of Thoroughbred racing while indulging in Kentucky’s finest spirits.

  • Hermitage Farm & Derby Museum Tour: This all-day, immersive experience takes participants from the museum to the farm. Learn about horse racing and bourbon.
  • Bourbon & Bridles Experience: Starts with a tour of Churchill Downs to learn why horse racing and bourbon are a perfect pair. Then wraps up with a tasting of well-known bourbons.
  • Mint Julep University: This hands-on experience has quickly become a group favorite. Graduate a mint julep master.
  • Derby Café and Bourbon Bar on the Urban Bourbon Trail: The Urban Bourbon Trail includes more than 40 bars and restaurants around Derby City. One of these stops is the Derby Café Express at the museum. Stop by for a cocktail or a classic mint julep.
  • Tours of Churchill Downs: Build your own bourbon experience by touring Churchill Downs Racetrack and ends in the museum’s bourbon bar for a specialty cocktail or flight.
  • Bourbon Swag: Exclusive bourbon bottles, bourbon merchandise, glassware, and apparel for Kentucky’s native spirit.

WHERE: Kentucky Derby Museum, 704 Central Ave.

WHEN: Ongoing, check the website for dates and times

MORE INFORMATION: Masks are encouraged inside the museum. 502-637-1111; derbymuseum.org.

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Flavor Fest 2022 at Maker’s Mark Distillery

Red shutters with a Maker's Mark bottle silhouette cutout flank the windows of a building at the Maker's Mark distillery in Loretto, Kentucky. March 3, 2022

WHAT: The culinary and cocktail experience benefits Apron, Inc.

WHERE:Maker’s Mark Distillery, Star Hill Provisions, 3350 Burks Spring Road, Loretto, Kentucky

WHEN: Sept. 15. Depart from Louisville at 4:40 p.m. and arrive at the distillery at 6:10 p.m.; depart from Bardstown at 5:45 p.m. and arrive at the distillery at 6:30 p.m.

MORE INFORMATION: Must be 21 or older to attend, bring photo ID. Tickets start at $150 with round trip transportation from Louisville and Bardstown; $100 without transportation. Details about the pick-up location will be sent at a later date. makersmark.com/visit-us.

Bourbon & Beyond Festival

WHAT: The world’s largest bourbon and music festival is the perfect blend of bourbon, food and music and features The Kroger Big Bourbon Bar where you can sip Kentucky’s finest spirits; Rocks Room, an onsite dining concept located within the festival venue featuring cuisine from renowned chef and Louisville restaurant owner Anthony Llamas; bourbon tasting with bourbon authority and Louisville resident Fred Minnick and music.

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