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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Frazier History Museum and the Kentucky Distillers’ Association have finalized its partnership to mutually develop a Kentucky Bourbon Trail® Welcome Center & Exhibit that will be located at the Frazier along Louisville’s famed Whiskey Row.

The center will exclusively become the “Official Starting Point of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® Experiences” when it opens in August 2018, showcasing the iconic members of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® adventure and its Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour® featuring the state’s micro distilleries.

The interactive, state-of-the-art experience will include Kentucky Bourbon-related historical exhibits and educate visitors on why the Bluegrass has the perfect mix of water, climate, corn and natural conditions that make it the one, true, authentic home of America’s only native spirit.

A main feature will be a Kentucky Bourbon Trail® concierge service located in the museum’s new entrance that will help thousands of visitors plan their trip to KBT and KBTCT distilleries, as well as navigating Louisville’s burgeoning Bourbon culinary and nightlife scene.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer kicked off today’s announcement and said, “The popularity of Bourbon is a big reason our economy’s experiencing such tremendous growth right now.This Kentucky Bourbon Trail Welcome Center will help us keep that momentum going by bringing even more people to Louisville and beyond.”

There are 11 distillery experiences open, under construction, or in the planning stages in Louisville.

“We get dozens of calls every day from visitors around the world who are planning their Kentucky Bourbon Trail journey and asking where to start,” KDA President Eric Gregory said. “Now, we’ll have the perfect answer – The Kentucky Bourbon Trail Welcome Center at the Frazier History Museum.

“This will be an outstanding resource for our guests and the perfect place to kick off your adventure and experience our legendary industry and genteel hospitality. We’re proud and honored to be part of this historic partnership with the Frazier, and we thank them for their hard work, vision and support.”

Visitors made more than 1 million stops to Kentucky Bourbon Trail® and Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour® distilleries in 2016, breaking the milestone mark for the first time since the KDA founded the popular tourist attraction in 1999.

The booming tour has increased attendance by 300 percent in the last 10 years. Frazier President Penny Peavler said the center will focus on all aspects of the Bourbon category and culture, from the farming community and pioneer distilleries to today’s Bourbon barons, families and everyday distillery workers.

“The Frazier History Museum is where the world meets Kentucky,” she said. “And you can’t spend much time in the Commonwealth without learning about our signature spirit and celebrating its tremendous impact on the world.”

Kentucky Bourbon is one of the Commonwealth’s most historic and treasured industries, a thriving $8.5 billion economic engine that generates as many as 17,500 jobs with an annual payroll topping $800 million, and pours $825 million into tax coffers each year.

The KDA this year unveiled a University of Louisville study that shows the industry is in the middle of a $1.2 billion building boom. There are now 52 distilleries in the Commonwealth and 6.8 million barrels of aging Bourbon – both modern records.

Bourbon, however, is not just about big business, Peavler said — it is a refined product to be enjoyed responsibly. The exhibit also will explore what the industry and the Kentucky Distillers’ Association are doing to educate consumers about safe and responsible consumption.

“We are beyond ecstatic that the Frazier will be the official starting point of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail,” Peavler said. “This immersive experience will be a landmark attraction and a centerpiece in Louisville’s growing Bourbon movement.”

The Kentucky Bourbon Trail® tour showcases 10 of the state’s legendary distilleries. Participating distilleries include Angel’s Envy Distillery and the Bulleit® Stitzel-Weller Distillery in Louisville; Four Roses® in Lawrenceburg and Cox’s Creek; Heaven Hill Distilleries® in Bardstown and its Evan Williams Bourbon Experience® in Louisville; Jim Beam® in Clermont and Louisville; Maker’s Mark®, Loretto; Town Branch®, Lexington; Wild Turkey Bourbon®, Lawrenceburg; and Woodford Reserve®, Versailles.

The KDA’s presence at the Frazier also will include offices for KDA employees and dedicated meeting space for use by the KDA Board of Directors and the KDA’s prestigious Order of the Writ – Spirit of Kentucky Bourbon Society.

While contributions from individuals have provided the majority of funds for the project, vital support from the corporate community has been received from Brown-Forman Corporation, Ford Motor Company Fund, Hilliard Lyons, Kentucky Peerless Distilling Company, and Michter’s Distillery.

The Frazier History Museum also announced in a news conference on September 6th that construction is underway on a new entrance to the museum, with access from both Main Street and Washington Street. The new entrance will be a one-story glass enclosure with a public park both on top of and to the rear of the entrance.

With The Hunger Games: The Exhibition closing September 10th the Frazier also announced its new brand, Where the World Meets Kentucky and unveiled a new logo and look for museum communications. Twelve banners in that new brand were ceremoniously hung during Wednesday’s announcement.

About the Frazier History Museum: The Frazier History Museum is located at 829 West Main Street on Louisville’s downtown “Museum Row”. The Frazier is where the world meets Kentucky, bringing history to life for visitors through exhibits, artifacts and live performances every day. The Frazier is open Monday-Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 5:00 p.m. For more information, call 502-753-5663 or visit fraziermuseum.org.

About the Kentucky Distillers’ Association: The KDA, a non-profit trade association founded in 1880, is the Commonwealth’s voice for Bourbon and distilled spirits issues. Its mission includes governmental and regulatory advocacy, technical assistance, international trade development, media relations, economic development support, and legal defense and integrated marketing strategies. Its 34 members produce 95% of the world’s Bourbon and have transformed the legendary industry into a thriving, global economic engine and major tourism attraction with its Kentucky Bourbon Trail® and Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour® experiences.

For more information, go to www.kybourbon.com and www.kybourbontrail.com.

KENTUCKY BOURBON TRAIL®, KENTUCKY BOURBON TRAIL CRAFT TOUR®, KENTUCKY BOURBON AFFAIR™, KBT™ and BOURBON TRAIL™ are trademarks/service marks of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association.

Please drink responsibly.

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