It wasn't long ago that bourbon was a sleepy little Kentucky industry. You could stop by a distillery and if someone was available, they'd be happy to show you around the place. But bourbon has hit the big time these days. In the past decade we've seen the emergence of bourbon tourism as a significant contributor to the Commonwealth's economy. As bourbon sales have continued to skyrocket, so have enthusiasts' appetite for knowledge, experiences and entertainment.
For our July event, we were hanging out with Fred Minnick in the tasting room at Westport Whiskey & Wine. Beginning as a bourbon author and historian, Fred has found himself at the epicenter of a tremendous expansion in the demand for bourbon media and entertainment.
Two years ago he teamed up with Danny Wimmer to create the Bourbon & Beyond festival. Last year he became the Editor-in-Chief of Bourbon+ magazine and launched the Bourbon Up interview series on Amazon Prime. This year he's introducing the Spirits Network, a new video project allowing enthusiasts to experience the world of fine liquors and the stories behind them.
While we enjoyed a variety of bourbons from the tasting bar, including a special $5 flight of three 100-proof bourbons, our ascot-wearing brother shared with us behind-the-scenes stories and the inside scoop on what's happening in the media and entertainment world. Fred can often be found judging at world spirits competitions, being interviewed on major TV networks or hanging out with rock stars and other celebrities. So he has a wealth of insight and had great stories to tell.
Afterward, several of us stayed at the bar for some special tastings from the collection at WW&W.