News Phoebe Calver

Kentucky Bourbon Festival 2020 goes virtual

After taking onboard the Covid-19-related concern of the industry, the Kentucky Bourbon Festival has made the decision to hold the annual celebration of Bourbon on a virtual platform. The event will be from October 15 – 18 this year and presented by Koetter Construction, opening its virtual doors to an international audience.

“Over the course of the last couple of months, we have been working diligently on the best plan to ensure the health and safety of our attendees, distillery partners, volunteers, and staff,” KBF board of directors chairman David Mandell said. “At this time, we know it’s the right decision to move to a new type of Bourbon celebration by going virtual. We look forward to welcoming everyone back to Bardstown for our 30th Anniversary next year.”

In its 29th year, the festival has almost three decades of Bourbon tradition and festival know-how under its belt, this year will be no different when it comes to the emphasis placed on celebrating everything Bourbon – just with a virtual twist.

“Bourbon has influence across the world, and we see proof of that every year when the Festival draws thousands of visitors and fans of Bourbon to Bardstown,” Kentucky Bourbon Festival president and COO Randy Prasse said. “While this year may look a little different, that makes it even more special. We are constantly reassessing the Festival and making it better for our attendees – with these new, virtual ideas, we’re looking forward to hosting our regulars, as well as new friends who are looking to join the experience.”

Nearly 20 live and recorded ‘Spirits Education Sessions’ can be viewed online throughout the weekend. All will require free registration to attend. Viewers will enjoy virtual sessions that include: The Art of Whiskey Making (a four-part series featuring multiple master distillers teaching the particulars of Bourbon making); the Bottled-in-Bond Happy Hour, where the landmark law will be toasted, its great whiskeys and cocktails made with them; Cocktail Quickies (between-session breaks in which mixologists give rapid-fire lessons on cocktails you can make at home); and a new Bourbon Legends Series, in which some of the industry’s most famous families will share hilarious and heart-warming stories.

All sessions will encourage participants to buy their Bourbons and cocktail ingredients in advance and ‘play along at home.’ The weekend’s festivities will culminate with the action-packed World Championship Bourbon Barrel Relay.

The 2020 Kentucky Bourbon Festival welcomes its first-ever Presenting Sponsor, to help deliver the virtual content and underscore the commitment the bourbon industry leaders have to quality programming and to the KBF itself.

“We are both proud and excited to support the Kentucky Bourbon Festival again this year”, stated Koetter Construction vice president of sales & estimating Todd Magner. “We’re really looking forward to the lineup of virtual educational sessions as well as announcing our newest product in barrel storage. In this rapidly growing industry that has provided us with many opportunities, we can’t think of a better way to give back to our clients and the community.”

A full list of more than 20 Virtual Spirits Education programs and the presenters will be available in mid-August, at the newly launched Kentucky Bourbon Festival website,



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