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The Village Lou

Savoring the Spirit

Sep 07, 2023 04:21PM ● By Marie Lewis

It's September and it's that time of the year again when whiskey lovers across the United States raise a glass to celebrate National Bourbon Month. This cherished tradition, dedicated to America's native spirit, gives us an opportunity to dive deep into the rich history and diverse flavors of bourbon. In 2021, National Bourbon Month holds an even more profound significance as we acknowledge the historic achievement of the Yarbrough brothers, Victor, Bryson, and Chris, who broke barriers in the world of bourbon.

A Historic Triumph: Brough Brothers Distillery

In 2021, the Yarbrough brothers etched their names into bourbon history when they opened Brough Brothers Distillery, located in the heart of Louisville, Kentucky. This landmark event marked the birth of the first Black-owned bourbon distillery in the state of Kentucky, a region renowned worldwide for its bourbon production.

The journey of the Yarbrough brothers is nothing short of remarkable. Inspired by their grandfather's legacy, who was a moonshiner in the prohibition era, the trio set out to make their mark in an industry traditionally dominated by established players. Their mission was clear: to not only craft exceptional bourbon but also to inspire other entrepreneurs of color to "break the ceiling."

Victor, Bryson, and Chris, with their Brough Brothers brand, have not only challenged stereotypes but also the narrative surrounding bourbon consumers. They're on a mission to redefine who a "typical" bourbon customer is, making the spirit more accessible and inviting to everyone.

Celebrating Diversity in Bourbon

As we commemorate National Bourbon Month, let's take a moment to celebrate the diversity within the bourbon industry. Kentucky, often referred to as the Bourbon Capital of the World, is home to a growing number of Black-owned bourbon brands that deserve recognition and support.

Brough Brothers Distillery: Located in Louisville, KY, and at the forefront of this movement, Brough Brothers Distillery produces a range of bourbon expressions, each with its unique character, reflecting the vibrant spirit of the Yarbrough brothers.

Kentucky's Original Black Bourbon Enthusiasts: KOBBE, Kentucky‚Äôs Original Black Bourbon Enthusiasts, is a Louisville, KY-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization aimed at increasing the participation of African Americans in the bourbon community. In February 2017 Louisvillian Jamar Mack formed the KOBBE, with the goal of making bourbon more accessible for everyone, and as a way to give back to the community. KOBBE hosts unique bourbon events and tastings with a philanthropic branch. 

Fresh Bourbon: Located in Lexington, KY, and founded by Sean and Tia Edwards, Fresh Bourbon is a true testament to passion and craftsmanship, offering small-batch, handcrafted bourbon that delights the senses.

In Louisville, the largest city in Kentucky and a hotspot for bourbon enthusiasts, you'll find an array of bars, restaurants, and shops that proudly support Black-owned bourbon brands. When you raise a glass in Louisville during National Bourbon Month, you're not just celebrating a drink; you're celebrating a rich tapestry of history and culture.

So, as you sip your favorite bourbon this September, remember the Yarbrough brothers and their pioneering spirit. Reflect on the diversity that makes bourbon so extraordinary, and explore the world of Black-owned bourbon brands in Kentucky and beyond. National Bourbon Month is not just a time to enjoy a fine drink; it's a time to appreciate the craft, culture, and community that surround this beloved spirit. Cheers to bourbon! 

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