Kentucky’s first black-owned distilleries to open

Kentucky will soon have two African American owned distilleries. Plans have been unveiled for Fresh Bourbon Distilling in Lexington and Brough Brothers Distillery in Louisville to open soon.

Brothers Victor, Chris and Bryson Yarbrough will bring Brough Brothers Distillery to Louisville’s west end. While the bourbon brand is already distributed in the United Kingdom, having a physical microdistillery in Kentucky was important to owners to bring positive opportunities for economic growth to west Louisville.

The facility will distill bourbon, English gin and vodka. Labels call out regional Kentucky iconography like the Louisville skyline, cardinal bird and boxing gloves inspired by Kentuckian Muhammad Ali.

Lexington will also be home to a new black-owned distillery later this year. Plans were released for Fresh Bourbon Distilling Co. near Lexington’s Distillery District. The 34,000 square foot facility will produce a line of bourbons and other whiskeys, as well as host tours and guided tastings.

Owner Sean Edwards is a Lexington native and intends to establish his premier bourbon brand in his hometown. Fresh Bourbon will have the first African American master distiller in Kentucky since slavery. At an opening event, Gov. Andy Beshear said, “Bourbon is a mainstay of Kentucky’s economy, and I am thrilled to see this step toward greater inclusivity in this iconic industry.”

— Rachel Nix

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