© 2024 WEKU
Lexington's Radio News Leader
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Update: We now have $44,000 to go to meet our annual fundraising goal by June 30. You can help WEKU cross the finish line with your support! Click here to make your donation. Thank you!!

Woodford County marketing itself as ‘The Birthplace of Bourbon’

Big Spring, which runs beneath the Woodford County Courthouse and Courthouse Annex, is the headwaters of Glenns Creek, which supplies water for Woodford Reserve and Castle and Key distilleries.
John McGary
/
WEKU News
Big Spring, which runs beneath the Woodford County Courthouse and Courthouse Annex, leads to the headwaters of Glenns Creek, which supplies water for Woodford Reserve and Castle and Key distilleries.

Woodford County’s Tourism Commission has a new marketing campaign declaring the county just east of Lexington “The Birthplace of Bourbon.” Emily Downey is the executive director of the Woodford Tourism Commission. She said the karst landscape and limestone-rich soil made the county a perfect setting for early bourbon makers.

“You look back at the history of Jack Jouett. And what he did on his property with not only bourbon and hand, but then you look at things like James Crow being buried here. We really have a lot of history and heritage to support that, that it could be the birthplace of bourbon.”

Jack Jouett is a Revolutionary War hero who eventually settled in what became Woodford County. Downey said ad campaigns using ARPA funds are underway in cities like Chicago and Charlotte, North Carolina. They’re also in the process of applying for a trademark for the phrase, “The Birthplace of Bourbon.”

“You have to use it. And then once you use it, then you go back and apply. We did do our due diligence, though, to make sure that we weren't running into any conflicting claims or somebody that didn't really had a large presence in this space before we started using it.”

Other counties tout their historic connection to Kentucky’s signature drink – Nelson County bills itself as the Bourbon Capitol of the World – but Downey said she’s heard no objections from her peers elsewhere.

** WEKU is working hard to be a leading source for public service, and fact-based journalism. Monthly supporters are the top funding source for this growing nonprofit news organization. Please join others in your community who support WEKU by making your donation.

John McGary is a Lexington native and Navy veteran with three decades of radio, television and newspaper experience.
WEKU depends on support from those who view and listen to our content. There's no paywall here. Please support WEKU with your donation.
Related Content