LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky Distillers’ Association (KDA) today announced that Lexington is the newest Official Gateway sponsor to the world-famous Kentucky Bourbon Trail® tourism program. 

Already renowned as the “Horse Capital of the World,” Lexington’s additional signature industry designation will bring new economic growth and tourism opportunities to one of Kentucky’s most loved cities. 

“With more than a dozen nearby distillery destinations, Bourbon is integral to Lexington’s economy and thriving tourism market," said Mandy Ryan, Director of Kentucky Bourbon Trail® experiences for the non-profit KDA trade group. 

“Lexington is doing a fantastic job showcasing the vibrant charm of our unique Kentucky Bourbon culture,” she said. “They’re a perfect and natural fit as an Official Gateway to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® adventure.” 

As an Official Gateway sponsor, Lexington receives prominent placement on the KBT® website and marketing materials, including recommended itineraries, signage and more. Lexington joins Bardstown, Louisville and Northern Kentucky as Official Gateway level sponsors.

 “Bourbon, horses, and Lexington are an unforgettable trifecta for those who know and love our city,” said Mary Quinn Ramer, President of VisitLex. “By becoming an Official Gateway, our unique culture built on these signature industries will be introduced to thousands of new visitors.

 “As the Bourbon and horse industries have grown, so have our dining and hotel offerings ensuring that travelers from across the world are glad they visit.” 

Kentucky Bourbon Trail® members in the greater Lexington area include Four Roses Distillery in Lawrenceburg; Alltech’s Town Branch Distillery in Lexington; Wild Turkey Distillery, Lawrenceburg; Wilderness Trail in Danville and Woodford Reserve Distillery in Versailles. 

Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour® members include Barrel House Distilling, Fresh Bourbon, James E. Pepper Distilling and RD1 Spirits in Lexington; Bluegrass Distillers in Midway; Castle & Key, Millville; Hartfield & Co., Paris; , and Whiskey Thief Distilling, Frankfort.

Lexington also features many popular venues like the 21c Museum Hotel and Lockbox restaurant and bar, which serve local food and Bourbon cocktails. Visitors can also eat well and sleep tight at the Campbell House and its dining destination, The Rackhouse Tavern

Lexington is known for horses, so a horse farm tour with Horse Country is a popular attraction for visitors as well. Fans from around the world also flock to Keeneland which hosts world-class thoroughbred racing twice annually during its boutique Spring and Fall meets. 

For more information about Lexington, go to visitlex.com.

The KDA created the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® tour in 1999 to give visitors an intimate, educational look behind the state’s most historic distilleries. The Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour® launched in 2012 as the first excursion in the country to showcase smaller distilleries.

Bourbon Trail™ tourists made a record 2.1 million distillery visits last year, the first time the KBT® experiences eclipsed two million in total attendance in its history. In the last 10 years, the amber adventure has skyrocketed by a phenomenal 370% in attendance.

KDA President Eric Gregory said KBT® experiences are an integral part of local and state tourism efforts. Research shows Bourbon tourists trend younger, spend between $400 and $1,200 on their trip, travel in large groups and stay longer than the average visitor to Kentucky. 

More than 70% of visitors are from outside Kentucky and nearly half have household incomes over $100,000. “This is a home run demographic for local communities, generating valuable revenue and tax dollars while boosting a hospitality industry still recovering from the pandemic.”

Learn more at www.kybourbontrail.com

Gregory said Lexington’s distinctive blend of Bourbon, horses, dining and cultural attractions makes for a diverse visitor experience. 

“Lexington showcases both the tradition of and innovations in Kentucky Bourbon,” Gregory said. “From centuries old distilleries to the state’s first Craft distilleries, this area offers an authentic Kentucky experience that makes it a true Bourbon lover's dream destination.

“Lexington and its surrounding communities have seen what Bourbon can do for economic and job growth and the tourism it can bring. Now, as an Official Gateway to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, it’s going to be exciting to watch Bourbon help build the Lexington area even further.”

For more information, contact VisitLex President Mary Quinn Ramer at Mramer@visitlex.com or Director of Kentucky Bourbon Trail Experiences Mandy Ryan at mandy@kybourbon.com.