Kentucky distillers could soon sell on site

A bill that will allow Kentucky distilleries to sell and serve Bourbon on their premises has received unanimous approval.

Recently filled barrels of Woodford Reserve bourbon outside of the rickhouse, where they will be stacked and stored during the aging process

Barrels of Woodford Reserve Bourbon outside of the rickhouse, where they will be stacked and stored during the ageing process

Members of the House Licensing & Occupations Committee unanimously approved House Bill 198, advancing it to the next stage. Its approval will allow distilleries in Kentucky, such as Buffalo Trace, to sell its products on-site for immediate consumption.

Currently, distilleries in the state can give away just one ounce (28ml) of their product to visitors, but are forbidden from selling any for immediate consumption. The change will allow distilleries to sell their own products in visitor centres, opening up the possibility of cocktails and straight up serves.

Ken Lewis, owner of New Riff Distillery in Newport, said the law would help grow Kentucky’s craft distilling industry and allow it to compete with those operating in other states.

“We want Kentucky to be in the forefront of craft distilling in the United States,” he said. “We don’t want that mantle to go to Colorado or Oregon or Washington. We want it for Kentucky.”

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