(WHAS11) -- There’s now more evidence that Kentucky’s famed bourbon industry is seeing an amazing rebirth and becoming a top tourist attraction.
In the heart of horse country, Lexington is chasing Louisville’s crown as “the“ bourbon city with a first.
For the first time in one hundred years, a distillery is operating again in downtown Lexington. At Lexington based Alltech today, the maker's of Town Branch Bourbon, cut the ribbon on a nine million dollar distillery. It is now producing Town Branch Bourbon as well. It's located next to the company's brewery in downtown Lexington. It will be open for tours and tastings Oct. 1.
It's now the 7th location on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, which last year attracted a half-million visitors from 50 countries and all fifty states.
In Louisville, both Heaven Hill and Michter’s of New York are restoring historic buildings on Main Street to recreate the city’s original “Whiskey Row.” Heaven Hill is owned by the Shapira family and its top brand “Evan Williams” is named after Louisville’s first wharf master who was also the young city’s jailer. Their “Evan Williams Bourbon Experience” will be the first to open to the public on Main Street, and will have a small distillery inside the 1870 building.
Michter’s rye bourbon is said to have been the choice for George Washington and his troops at Valley Forge. They too will be open to the public with a small distillery.