Bourbon & Beyond Bourbon Headliners & Bourbon Experts Announced For 9/22 & 23 Festival In Louisville

Festival producer Danny Wimmer Presents today announced the bourbon lineup for the 2018 installment of Bourbon & Beyond, the world’s largest bourbon festival. The annual celebration of award-winning bourbons, master distillers, legendary musicians, chefs, and an unforgettable showcase of the craftsmanship, soul and spirit of Louisville will be held Saturday, September 22 and Sunday, September 23 in Louisville, Kentucky.

See the official bourbon announce video here:

The festival’s centerpiece, the Big Bourbon Bar, will feature more than two dozen bourbons selected by best-selling author and renowned bourbon authority, Fred Minnick, Bourbon & Beyond’s official bourbon curator. Acclaimed Louisville whiskey bar Silver Dollar will operate The Hunter’s Club, where attendees can find vintage bourbons dating as far back as the 1930s, as well as contemporary collectibles -- which last year included more than 50 rarities. The festival also announces the return of Fred Minnick’s Mini Bar, which will showcase this year’s craft bourbon selections: Hartfield & Co., MB Roland, Old Pogue, Wade Lyn Ranch and Wilderness Trail.

Look for the full Bourbon & Beyond festival music and culinary lineup announcement when tickets go on sale in early April.

Bourbon Headliners include:

1792, Angel's Envy, Bardstown Bourbon Company, Barrell Bourbon, Basil Hayden's, Blanton’s, Bloody Butcher's Creed, Booker’s, Boone County, Bowman Brothers, Buffalo Trace, Coopers’ Craft, Eagle Rare, E.H. Taylor, Elijah Craig, Elmer T. Lee, Evan Williams, Four Roses, Jefferson's, Jim Beam, Jim Beam Black, Kentucky Owl, Knob Creek, Larceny, Maker's 46, Maker's Mark, Michter's, O.K.I., Old Forester, Old Scout, Pappy Van Winkle, Peerless, Rabbit Hole, Rebel Yell, Rock Hill Farms, Stagg Jr., Stone Hammer, Wild Turkey, Willett, W.L. Weller and Woodford Reserve, with more to be announced soon.

Bourbon Experts include:

Jimmy Russell, master distiller of Wild Turkey; Fred Noe, master distiller of Jim Beam; Harlen Wheatley, master distiller at Buffalo Trace; Denny Potter, master distiller for Heaven Hill; Julian Van Winkle, president of Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery; Eddie Russell, master distiller of Wild Turkey; Drew Kulsveen, master distiller of Willett, Greg Davis, master distiller of Maker's Mark; Wes Henderson, chief innovation officer of Angel's Envy; Fred Minnick, author and bourbon curator; Marianne Barnes, master distiller of Castle & Key; John Little, head distiller for Smooth Ambler; Drew Mayville, master blender for Sazerac; Peggy Noe Stevens, founder of Bourbon Women; Tripp Stimson, master distiller at Barrell; Corky Taylor, founder of Peerless; Andrea Wilson, master of maturation at Michter’s; Jane Bowie, maturation specialist for Maker’s Mark; Beth Burrows, Kentucky Bourbon Ambassador for Beam Suntory; Freddie Johnson, VIP Tour Lead at Buffalo Trace; and Sara Barnes, marketing and events at Boone County, with more to be announced.

“Six years ago, when we started making plans for the first Louder Than Life festival, Louisville was a hidden gem. Louder Than Life has helped turn Louisville into a major tour destination for top level musicians,” says Danny Wimmer, founder of Danny Wimmer Presents.

Wimmer continues, “Bourbon & Beyond takes that a step further. Louisville is hitting on all cylinders right now because of its amazing food scene and the bourbon enthusiasm. My goal is to continue to help highlight all of the reasons to visit Kentucky, especially the incredible distillery experiences that each offer a unique window into the history, culture, and spirit of the region.”

“It is unprecedented in bourbon history to see distilleries and master distillers receive this kind of national attention and prominence,” says Fred Minnick. “For a spirit that was left for dead in the 1980s, it excites me to see a promoter like Danny Wimmer treating Kentucky’s bourbons as world-class rockstars. Bourbon & Beyond honors every bourbon pioneer that came before.”

Danny Wimmer Presents is not the only one to believe in Louisville. Travel + Leisure ranks Louisville as one of the must-see cities year in and year out. Top Chef just announced that Season 16 will be filmed in Louisville. And last year at Bourbon & Beyond, more than 50,000 attendees witnessed a weekend of musical, culinary and bourbon craftsmanship through Stevie Nicks, Eddie Vedder and Steve Miller Band, and cocktails and bourbons paired with celebrity chefs Carla Hall, Ed Lee and Tom Colicchio.

This food and bourbon ascension was no accident. Several years ago, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer worked with culinary, bourbon and other Louisville business leaders to build what he now calls “bourbonism.”

Bourbon & Beyond is a combination of fantastic bourbon, food and music that can't be found anywhere in the world except right here in Louisville. Our city’s bourbonism sector is flourishing, and helping make Louisville a year-round tourist attraction for bourbon fans who know they can only find the real deal in this region,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. “We're excited to hear this update and are already looking forward to another tremendous festival in September."

“Bourbon is an authentic part of the spirit and culture of our city and we look forward to the return of Bourbon & Beyond,” says Karen Williams, President & CEO of the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Events like this put Louisville on the national stage and enhance our city’s reputation as being a go-to festival destination. They also draw a large number of visitors to enjoy a weekend of music by national performers and experience our one-of-a-kind bourbon scene.”

Bourbon & Beyond is part of DWP’s previously announced 10-year plan to grow bourbon related entertainment in Louisville which includes Louder Than Life, a future country music festival and a spirits conference to be launched in 2020.

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