Los Angeles-based concert promoter Danny Wimmer Presents has announced the bourbon line-up for Bourbon & Beyond, a bourbon and music festival that premiered in Louisville last fall. It will be held Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 22-23 at Champions Park on River Road near Zorn Avenue.
In a press release, Wimmer emphasized that the people from the bourbon industry — including master distillers and other key distillery personnel — were the “rock stars,” which is pretty impressive since last year’s actual rock stars included Stevie Nicks, Eddie Vedder and the Steve Miller Band. Among them are Jimmy Russell and Eddie Russell (Wild Turkey) Denny Potter (Heaven Hill), Harlen Wheatley (Buffalo Trace), Julian Van Whinkle, III (Old Rip Van Winkle), Fred Noe (Jim Beam) and Greg Davis (Maker’s Mark). He is also billing the event as “the world’s largest bourbon festival.”
Louisville-based bourbon writer Fred Minnick is the Bourbon Curator for the festival. He has selected more than two dozen brands for the Big Bourbon Bar, including products from Angel’s Envy, Brown-Forman, Buffalo Trace, Four Roses, Heaven Hill, Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Michter’s, Wild Turkey, Willett and others. He will also be hosting a Mini Bar featuring craft selections. The Silver Dollar will again present The Hunter’s Club where attendees will have a chance to find vintage bourbons. (Last year it featured more than 50 rare whiskeys.)
Something that stands out in the line-up of industry insiders is the number of women. They comprise almost a third of the announced Bourbon Headliners — Marianne Barnes (master distiller, Castle & Key), Sara Barnes (marketing and events, Boone County Distilling), Jane Bowie (maturation specialist, Maker’s Mark), Beth Burrows (Kentucky Ambassador, Beam Suntory), Peggy Noe Stevens (founder of the Bourbon Women Association), and Andrea Wilson (master of maturation and vice-president and general manager, Michter’s Distillery.
Also one of the headliners is Fawn Weaver. She is the executive director of the Nearest Green Foundation, a non-profit organization “dedicated to shining a spotlight on the first African-American master distiller on record in the United States, the first master distiller for Jack Daniel’s Whiskey, and the person who taught a young Jack Daniel how to make Tennessee Whiskey.”
“Early bird tickets” have already sold out. General ticket sales, as well as the announcement of the culinary line-up, all bourbon workshops and the musical acts will be announced in April. For tickets and more information, go to http://bourbonandbeyond.com. And check out our photos from last year here.
Reigler is the author of books including “Kentucky Bourbon Country: The Essential Travel Guide,” and is co-author of “The Bourbon Tasting Notebook” and “The Kentucky Bourbon Cocktail Book.”