National Bourbon Heritage Month is an observance in the United States that calls for celebration of bourbon as America’s “Native Spirit” during the month of September. On August 2, 2007, the US Senate declared September 2007 as “National Bourbon Heritage Month.” The bill, sponsored by Republican Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky, passed by unanimous consent. The resolution calls for consumers who enjoy bourbon to do so responsibly and in moderation. The bill reinforces the 1964 Act of Congress that declared bourbon “America’s Native Spirit” by celebrating the family heritage, tradition and deep-rooted legacy that the bourbon industry contributes to the United States.
Distilleries in the United States listed in alphabetical order
- A. Smith Bowman Distillery, founded in 1934, operated as the only legal distillery in post-Prohibition Virginia until the 1950s; closed and moved to a different location in 1988.
- Atherton Whiskey was a pre-prohibition brand of Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey first produced by J M Atherton & Co. First bottled and marketed in 1867, it was once the largest whiskey making operation in Kentucky.
- Barton Distillery, originally established in 1879.
- Bomberger’s Distillery, later known as the Michter’s Distillery, with some history to 1753; closed 1989, believed to be the oldest remaining distillery building in the United States.
- Brown–Forman, a company established in 1870 with the novel idea of selling top-grade whiskey in sealed glass bottles, now one of the largest American-owned companies in the spirits and wine business.
- Buffalo Trace Distillery, formerly known as the George T. Stagg Distillery and the Old Fire Copper (O.F.C.) Distillery, with some history to between 1775 and 1812.
- Four Roses, a brand name claimed to date from the 1860s or 1888 with a distillery built in 1910.
- George Washington’s Distillery, established in 1797, the highest-capacity distillery in America at that time, reconstructed as an operating tourist attraction in 2007.
- Heaven Hill Distilleries, founded in 1935 (owner of the New Bernheim Distillery, formerly the Beargrass Distillery DSP-KY-1, and the Heaven Hill Distillery DSP-KY-31), the only large family-owned distillery headquartered in Kentucky and the second-largest holder of bourbon whiskey inventory.
- Jack Daniel’s Distillery, originally established in 1875 (although claimed on the product label as “Est. & Reg. in 1866”), the oldest American distillery operating on the same site (with continuous ownership).
- James E. Pepper Distillery, originally the Henry Clay distillery (registered distillery DSP-KY-5), established around 1880, closed 1958, reopened under new ownership in 2008.
- Jim Beam, a company that claims a distilling heritage to 1795, which re-entered t.e market in 1935 just after Prohibition, renaming the brand as “Jim Beam” in 1943.
- Maker’s Mark Distillery, formerly Burk’s Distillery, established 1889.
- McCormick Distilling Company, dating to 1856, the oldest distillery west of the Mississippi River that is operating at its original location.
- Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery, a distillery in Tennessee that operated from 1870 to 1909; the remnants were shipped to Canada in 1923 and used to create a distillery there for Seagram; the name of the distillery was reused for a new business launched in 2011
Sazerac Company, a large privately owned distilling company that traces its history to a coffee house opened in 1850 that had become a bar by 1869.
- Stitzel–Weller Distillery, founded in 1935, closed in 1972, produced notable brands and highly regarded whiskey including the stock used for Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve until 2013, reopened as the Bulleit Frontier Experience attraction for Bulleit Bourbon as part of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.
- Willett Distillery (DSP-KY-78), founded on a family farm in 1936, has had continuous family ownership and two successive female presidents (mother and daughter).
- Woodford Reserve Distillery, also known as Labrot & Graham, dating to about 1812.
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