Louisville Distilleries - The Ultimate Guide

Louisville Distilleries – The Ultimate Guide

If you are considering opening a distillery in Louisville or you want to know more about the distilleries in the area, then you have come to the right place. Keep reading to find out more.

About Louisville 

Louisville is the largest city in the state of Kentucky and is the 6th most populous city in the Southeast of the United states. It is located on the banks of the Ohio river and shares a border with the state of Indiana. 

Louisville is known as being the home of Mohammad Ali, and the international airport in Louisville is named after him. Louisville is also famous for the Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Louisville Slugger baseball bats. 

What To See & Do 

There are lots of fun things to see and do in Kentucky. Some of the most popular tourist attractions include the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory , The Kentucky Derby Museum   and the Churchill Downs Racetrack   where the event takes place, Louisville Mega Cavern   (an underground zipline adventure tour), and Louisville Zoo

The Big Four Bridge is another famous attraction in Kentucky. It is a former railroad truss bridge that connects four cities – Louisville, Kentucky, Jeffersonville and Indiana. You can get a great view of the bridge from the waterfront park .

The  Kentucky Science Center   is a great place for children to learn, and you can also visit the  Frazier History Museum and the Conrad Caldwell House Museum

What To Eat & Drink

Louisville has an excellent food scene and is known for its Kentucky fried chicken, hot brown, beer cheese and pulled pork. Keep an eye out for some of the amazing food trucks in the area offering a range of different foods. You can find a list of the food trucks here.

If you love food, then the Louisville Farmer’s Market  is the perfect place to go. It has an excellent range of local produce as well as freshly prepared food. 

An Old Fashioned is the official cocktail of Louisville, and there are plenty of bars where you can sit and enjoy one while you soak up the atmosphere of the city. The original Old Fashioned cocktail was said to be invented in  the  Pendennis club .

You should also try a Mint Julep, the official drink of the Kentucky Derby. You can also head to Whiskey Row in historic Louisville, home to the bourbon industry and now a hive of entertainment.  

Is Louisville Accessible?

Louisville is a very walkable city, with most of the main attractions located within a short distance of each other. A lot of the restaurants, museums and other attractions are wheelchair accessible.

Lousiville set a great example for the rest of the United States to follow, with over 90% of their buses being wheelchair friendly by 1990.

The buses are easy to use and there are also multi-use trails throughout the city which make it safe to get around. 

What Distilleries Are There In Louisville?

What Distilleries Are There In Louisville 

Louisville is an important part of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. There are a lot of distilleries in Louisville, offering various products and unique features.

Whiskey Row is a block in historic Louisville which was the traditional home of the bourbon industry in the area.

There are still distilleries there today, along with plenty of entertainment venues.  

Old Forester Distilling Co

Established in 1870, this distillery offers educational tours and tastings and has a gift shop. 

Rabbit Hole Distillery 

This contemporary brand is the fastest growing bourbon manufacturer in the US. Their distillery has an industrial-chic style with guided tours and tastings on offer. 

Angel’s Envy Distillery

This distillery is very popular, with daily events and a popular tasting space. It is a must-see spot for bourbon enthusiasts in the area. 

Kentucky Peerless Distilling Co

Makers of top quality Bourbon & Rye, this distillery is known for their double distilled and fermented spirits.  

Michter’s Fort Nelson Distillery

American whiskey made in the heart of downtown Louisville, across the street from the Louisville slugger museum and factory. 

Copper & Kings

Copper & Kings distillery makes American brandy, gin and absinthe. You can tour the distillery and visit the tasting room for some samples. 

Prohibition Craft Spirits

This distillery and prohibition bar offers an excellent experience. With guided tours, tastings, and even cocktail making classes it is the perfect place for an afternoon of fun. 

Barrels & Billets

This custom bourbon experience is just a 1 minute walk from the Louisville slugger factory and museum. 

Bernheim Distillery 

Also called the Heaven Hill distillery, this place has traditional open rickhouses where the spirits are distilled for 7 years. Bernheims is known for a smooth and mellow taste that is ideal for cocktails. 

Michter’s Shively Distillery

Featuring a 46 foot tall 100% copper column to produce some of the finest whiskey in America. 

Old Charter Whiskey

A newer company owned by previous California winemakers who have transitioned into Bluegrass whiskey. 

Brough Brothers Distillery

An African American owned business offering bourbon and specialty cocktails. 

Brown Forman Distillery

This establishment distills and blends whiskey, scotch and bourbon using modern and traditional methods. 

Old Louisville Whiskey Co 

A family business that offers whiskey aged for a minimum of 7 years. 

Evan Williams Bourbon

Opened in 1783, this was the very first distillery on whiskey row! 

Holi Gin

A gin distillery offering exciting flavors along with botanical classics. 

Big Bourbon Club

Distilling the spirits for the Big Bourbon club, the fastest growing bourbon club in America. 

Distilled Spirits Epicenter

A built for purpose educational distillery. 

Stitzel-Weller Distillery

Originally founded in 1935, this distillery has changed hands several times over the years. 

Opening & Operating A Distillery In Louisville 

Before you consider opening a distillery in Louisville, you need to be aware of the federal and state requirements. 

What Are The Licensing Requirements? 

Before you can open a distillery in Louisville you need to apply for the correct license. There are two different types of distilling license – Class A and Class B. For either license, you need to distill at least 600 gallons per year.

Class A is for more than 50,000 gallons and Class B is for less than 50,000 gallons. You can find more details about the license types here.  

You need a license to distill the products (Class A or B) but you also need a license for the distilling equipment, so make sure you register your distillery with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.

If you are found in possession of distilling equipment with the intention to distill alcohol and you do not have the correct license this is a Class B Misdemeanour with possible related Class A convictions.

You will also need to register your brand. You can create an online account and complete all of your license registrations here .  

What State Fees Do You Need To Pay? 

A Class A license costs $3090 per year and a Class B License costs $1000 dollars per year. If you need to upgrade your license you can do this using your online account. 

What Restrictions & Laws Are In Place? 

You must adhere to the Kentucky Alcohol laws in your distillery and while operating distillery tours. Anyone serving alcohol must be at least 20 years of age. Anyone purchasing alcohol must be at least 21 years of age.

You cannot give away any alcohol for free – any tastings must be done as part of a distillery tour which has been paid for by the customer.

Customers cannot consume their own alcohol on the premises of the distillery – only the alcohol that you are selling. It is illegal to sell alcohol on a Sunday in Kentucky without obtaining a Sunday Retail Drink License. 


Louisville has a rich history when it comes to bourbon and distilled spirits. You can see this history and soak up the atmosphere on whiskey row, and take a distillery tour to learn more about it. Louisville also has lots of other interesting attractions and a great food scene. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

What Alcohol Is Louisville Most Well Known For? 

Louisville is known for its bourbon industry and this plays a big part in the city’s tourism. There are lots of distilleries in the area and Louisville is part of the Kentucky Bourbon trail. Bourbon is a key ingredient in the official cocktail of Louisville- the Old Fashioned. 

Is It A Good Idea To Open A Distillery In Louisville? 

There are already a lot of distilleries in Louisville so you need to consider your decision carefully. You don’t want your new business to get lost in a saturated market. However, bourbon is a big part of Louisville culture so you might find that there is plenty of business to go around. 

Can You Attend A Distillery Tour In Louisville? 

Many of the distilleries in Louisville offer distillery tours. If you are considering opening your own distillery in the area then you should book onto some local distillery tours to see what products are already on offer so you can make sure that your business has something new and unique to offer.

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