Alcohol Professor: Kentucky Distilleries Are Raising the Bar

Here’s a piece I just wrote for Alcohol Professor about what the Kentucky bourbon distilleries are doing to help out the service industry, health care industry and stay in touch with their customers. Special thanks to Cordell Lawrence from Kentucky Peerless Distilling Co. and Jay Erisman of New Riff Distilling.

I love this quote from New Riff’s Jay Erisman:

“We have every faith and certainty that the bourbon industry will bounce back — in fact, despite the shutdown of tourism, consumers are continuing to enjoy Kentucky’s whiskey. Most of all, Kentucky’s distilleries are, for the most part, remaining in production with distilling and bottling, and that bodes well for the future (and it bodes well for older, well-aged bourbons of the future).”


As COVID-19 continues its escalation throughout the world, this faceless, invisible enemy has caused businesses, organizations, and life as we knew it to grind to an unfortunate halt. In the spirits industry, while most distilleries worldwide are closed to visitors, some have continued operations with a skeleton crew, and some have switched gears to help make hand sanitizer for those on the frontline of combatting the virus.

In Kentucky — where there is now two barrels of bourbon aging per resident — the distilleries are doing their part, as one of the state’s leading industries, to offer up monetary relief for those in the service industry, as well as continue to reach their customers in creative ways. Many of them also have swapped out bourbon for hand sanitizer and are getting the much-needed germ fighter to area healthcare workers.


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