September is Bourbon Heritage Month in Louisville, Kentucky, and an ideal time to celebrate America’s only native spirit in KentuckyӍ— where 95 percent of the special whiskey is made.
One of Louisville’s most popular tourist destinations is “Whiskey Row,” a street that’s packed with bourbon themed restaurants, attractions, accommodations, and events.
Special dinners and events are being held throughout Kentucky this month, including the Kentucky Bourbon Festival in Bardstown.
Below are several activities and events to attened to imbibe some of the country’s best bourbons and celebrate Bourbon Heritage Month in Louisville this month:
Whiskey Walking Tours (September 8, 15, 22, 29)
Discover Louisville’s special bourbon whiskey history by attending a free “Whiskey Walking Tour” through downtown Louisville. A “Looking at Louisville” tour guide will take you on a 10-block walking journey, sharing their knowledge of pre-Prohibition Louisville and the boom of bourbon on Whiskey Row that is still taking place to this day. Tours start at the Louisville Visitor Center and take approximately 90 minutes; tours are capped at 10 participants. Tours are free, but participants are asked to register online. Walk-ins accommodated based on availability.
Hospitality & Heritage Walking Tours (September 10, 17, 24)
Explore Bourbon history and Louisville's rich African-American culture and hospitality, from prohibition through civil rights. Attendees will receive a curated Bourbon Vibes guide by historian, curator, and guide Andrea Meriwether. The guide includes her recommendations about where to catch your own Bourbon Vibes in Bourbon City. Offered Fridays in September at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. The event is free, but advance reservations are requested. Walk-ins will be accommodated, based on availability.
Black Americans in Bourbon Experience (Sept. 11, 18, 25)
The Frazier History Museum (home of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Welcome Center) is the venue where you can hear the untold stories of African Americans who helped make bourbon one of the state’s greatest products and America’s native spirit. Told from multiple points of view, this tour will take you on a journey from post-World War II to the present, giving visitors an idea of what it took for African Americans to come out of the shadows and into today’s headlines. Tours run from 3:30 p.m. on Saturdays. Book your tour at fraziermuseum.org/unfiltered.
$5 Buck Bluegrass (Sept. 9, 16, 23, 30)
Experience Louisville’s heritage through music and cuisine on the scenic Ohio River while enjoying local Bluegrass music wharf side on the Mary M. Miller riverboat. This event features unique bourbon only found in Kentucky – the $5 series, starting September 9, will be held every Thursday in September from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. (21 & over only) Tickets available at belleoflouisville.org/special-events.
Kentucky Southern Social (September 16 - 18)
You don't want to miss this Bourbon lovers’ weekend at the Omni Louisville Hotel. You will get access to special events including an Old Forester 150th Anniversary Dinner, a Speakeasy Dinner with Rabbit Hole founder Kaveh Zamanian, an Angel’s Envy Cocktail Hour & bottle engraving, and fireside cocktails with Peerless owner Corky Taylor, among others. More information can be found at kentuckysouthernsocial.com.
Art of Bourbon (September 23)
The Speed Art Museum's "The Art of Bourbon" combines Kentucky’s official art museum with Kentucky’s greatest product to produce the region’s premier bourbon and whiskey auction party. Curated with the support of Wall Street Journal bestselling author and renowned Bourbon critic Fred Minnick. You will be able to bid on some once-in-a-lifetime offerings. Get your tickets by visiting artofbourbon.org.
Louder Than Life (September 23-26)
Local food and drink culture will be incorporated into the four-day festival’s culinary scene with pop-ups from popular Kentucky Bourbon brands and local Louisville restaurants. Headliners for the event include Metallica, Korn, and Disturbed. Proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test within a maximum of 72-hours before the festival will be required to enter. See full lineups and ticket pricing here louderthanlifefestival.com.
Downloads to Help with Your Trip
If you plan to make a trip to Louisville for Bourbon Heritage Month, be sure to download a copy of the Louisville Tourism’s annual Visitor Guide to help you see the city's top attractions and bourbon distilleries.
Stop by the Louisville Visitors Center, 301 S 4th Street, to get the new Kentucky Bourbon Trail Field Guide & Passport for information on local and Kentucky-based distilleries, or use Urban Bourbon Trail Passport as a guide to get a taste of some of Louisville’s best bourbon bars and restaurants.
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