Kentucky's Edge Bourbon Conference & Festival - Where Bourbon Begins


Bourbon Stories

NKY Convention Center

Sat, Oct 5 - 8:30am-4:30pm

One of the best things about the bourbon industry is the people behind it. If you have the opportunity to spend time with them, the stories they tell make bourbon taste even better.

1 W Rivercenter Blvd, Covington, KY 41011




  • 8:30 AM

    Registration opens.

  • 9:30 AM

    Room 1: Author Series - James Higdon
    The Cornbread Mafia: A Homegrown Syndicate's Code of Silence and the Biggest Marijuana Bust in American History

    Room 2: Bourbon Tech & Distilling
    Ready to start your own distillery? This panel will address location, marketing, engineering, space planning, financing, sourcing and fermentation.

    • Moderator: Christin Head
    • Kevin Bass
    • Ronald Flerlage
    • Michael Hiles

    Ballrooms D+E: Bourbon Pairs with Culture
    People who drink bourbon find out they have more in common with other bourbon drinkers. We’ll explore how people are combining their love for bourbon and other activities to create new groups. We’ll discuss how to leverage bourbon and start your own unique group.

    • Moderator: Kenny Colemen
    • Ben Bernstein
    • Eric Bollmann
    • Todd Carnes
    • Jason Goldberg
    • Brandon Scott Perry
  • 10:30 AM

    Ballrooms D+E: Keynote
    Marcus Niemann, Manager, Quality - Four Roses

  • 11:10 AM

    Room 1: Author Series - Brian Haara - Bourbon Justice: How Whiskey Law Shaped America
    Old bourbon lawsuits not only expose long-lost facts, but they also reveal the historical shenanigans and maverick mentality that are part of bourbon’s rich heritage. No spirit can tell the American story like bourbon does because only bourbon is distinctively—and legally—American, as recognized by Congress in 1964. Bourbon barons epitomized the American dream; they aspired to greatness, were ruggedly independent, resourceful, and highly competitive. Bourbon law shows how American distillers flaunted the law when deemed necessary, lobbied for new consumer protection laws or self-interested protectionism laws, and strategically stretched and used laws to gain an advantage over the competition.

    Room 2: Bourbon Secondary Market - Good, Bad, and The Ugly
    Looking for Pappy? The good news is we know where to find it. The bad news is that it's more expensive than you thought. And can you trust what's inside the bottle? In this session we will examine the driving forces behind the secondary market and the culture that grew around it. It's more than a marketplace, but a community that self-polices and takes bourbon seriously. Come learn how the largest bourbon companies are using the secondary market to price their own products and when fake bottles can ruin lives. It's your chance to get an inside look at how bourbon craze became what it is today.

    • Kenny Coleman
    • Ryan Cecil

    Ballrooms D+E: Mixology - How Cocktails Are Thriving in the Bourbon Industry
    The gateway to bourbon is cocktails. Bill Whitlow and Molly Wellman will show you how to make their favorite bourbon cocktails while telling their favorite bourbon stories.

    • Bill Whitlow
    • Molly Wellman
  • Noon

    Ballrooms D+E: Lunch!
    Grab your box lunch and head back to the Ballrooms. While you're enjoying your meal, you'll hear from Chasta McIntyre from Mint Julep Experiences. She'll share lessons learned and unique opportunities you may not learn about otherwise for your trip planning purposes. It will include planning your visit around bourbon distilleries, culinary ideas, visiting horse farms or experiencing racing at Keeneland and Churchill Downs.

  • 1:00 PM

    Room 1: Author Series - Bob Batchelor
    The Bourbon King

    Room 2: Cancelled
    This session has been cancelled

    Ballrooms D+E: Northern Kentucky Bourbon History - Did We Invent the Damn Stuff?
    Where did Bourbon come from? Well, it might well have originated right here in Northern Kentucky! Here the story of Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati whiskey history from three distilleries. Ranging from the present day back to the early 1,800s, this tale will show how Northern Kentucky was a powerhouse of Bourbon production back in the day; how we sustain the tradition today—and even how we might have kicked off the whole darn Bourbon thing! Join New Riff, Boone County, and Old Pogue for a lesson in OUR Bourbon history.

    • Jay Erisman
    • Anthony Mate
    • John Pogue
  • 2:00 PM

    Ballrooms D+E: Keynote
    Molly Wellman, Mixologist/Author

  • 2:40 PM

    Room 1: Author Series - Carla Carlton (The Bourbon Babe)
    Barrel Strength Bourbon: The Explosive Growth of America’s Whiskey

    Room 2: The Future of the Bourbon Industry
    Now that newer brands are making progress completing their initial steps, what’s next for each of them and what are some of their favorite stories to tell?

    • Moderator: RJ Sargent
    • Ed Bley
    • Ken Lewis
    • Johnathon "J.O." Owen
    • Merry Beth Tomaszewski

    Ballrooms D+E: Private Selections - The New Industry Driver
    How private selections began and how they are currently dominating the bourbon industry.

    • Eric Bollmann
    • Heather Johnson
    • Marcus Niemann
  • 3:30 PM

    Ballrooms D+E: Keynote
    Bill Samuels, Jr., Chairman Emeritus - Maker's Mark


Create Your Bourbon Experience

Kentucky's Edge - Where Bourbon Begins