Bourbon distilleries will be able to reopen in Kentucky on June 8 after a nearly three month shut down. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced there will be capacity limitations and sub-limitations. Beshear said he’s giving a heads up so distilleries can get ready to meet the criteria to open. So far, the only distillery to announce an opening date is Buffalo Trace Distillery. Last year, Bourbon tourism set new records for visits to state distilleries, nearing the two million mark.

We aren’t exactly sure what Distilleries opening up will look like, however they will need to abide by state guidelines with groups of 10 or less. Social distancing of six feet will be required and buildings will be limited to a third of capacity. Before the Coronavirus Pandemic, some distilleries ran tours of 30 to 40 people every 15 minutes.

The Kentucky Distillers’ Association says on their website they have submitted a reopening plan to the Governor’s office. They said they expect “limited tours” to open up later this summer.

“The KDA has submitted its Kentucky Bourbon Trail® Plan to Reopen to the Governor’s Office for review and guidance. KBT Visitor Center retail-only operations (no onsite consumption) are eligible to open May 20. However, with the requirements and restrictions issued by the Governor’s Office, several distilleries are waiting until later to welcome guests and/or reopening retail operations gradually. We expect limited tastings to open shortly thereafter. We expect limited tours to resume later this summer. We strongly recommend you contact individual distilleries for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding hours, policies, and experiences.”

Buffalo Trace announced via social media on May 22 that they would be waiting to reopen to visitors, but announced a reopen date of July 1. They also laid out guidelines and precautions to ensure safety for visitors and staff.

“We are thrilled to announce we will be reopening to visitors on July 1. We are implementing many new procedures to ensure the maximum safety for our visitors and staff.

One example is that all tours and tastings, while still complimentary, will require advance registration. We are upgrading our systems to accommodate these new policies. When we have more information about how to register for a tour or tasting, and the new policies to shop in our Gift Shop, we will publish on social media and on our website.

As you can imagine, we will have to reduce the number of visitors per tour, tasting and within our buildings. The great news is we have a 35,000 square foot expanded Visitor Center and will be able to spread out to comply with CDC social distancing recommendations.

We know you are working to plan your summer. Thank you for your patience while we work through these details to ensure the best experience possible.

We look forward to seeing you soon (from a safe distance).”

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

We are thrilled to announce we will be reopening to visitors ‍‍‍ on July 1. We are implementing many new procedures to ensure the maximum safety for our visitors and staff. One example is that all tours and tastings, while still complimentary, will require advance registration . We are upgrading our systems 🧐to accommodate these new policies. When we have more information about how to register for a tour or tasting 🥃, and the new policies to shop in our Gift Shop, we will publish on social media and on our website. As you can imagine, we will have to reduce the number of visitors per tour, tasting and within our buildings. The great news is we have a 35,000 square foot expanded Visitor Center and will be able to spread out to comply with CDC social distancing recommendations. We know you are working to plan your summer ‍♀️. Thank you for your patience while we work through these details to ensure the best experience possible. We look forward to seeing you soon ——(from a safe distance). ~The Buffalo Trace Team : Kevin Smith and David Netherton

A post shared by Buffalo Trace Distillery (@buffalotracedistillery) on

While they have not said anything about reopening, Woodford Reserve announced on their website that they begun curbside pick up for their regular bottle line up and would be offering special product releases in the “coming weeks.”

“Woodford Reserve Distillery is pleased to announce curbside sales and pickup starting 5/27/2020.

Our permanent expressions: Bourbon, Double Oaked, Rye Whiskey, Malt Whiskey, and Wheat Whiskey, will be available immediately — with special product releases to be announced in the coming weeks.

Each week we will have a new curated offering, so check back often! Pick-up will occur between noon until 5 pm EDT on Fridays.

Although we are offering curbside service, our distillery itself remains closed for tours until further notice.”

Brown-Forman is advising visitors to check each location in advance as not all locations will reopen in the same way or at the same rate.

The post Bourbon Distilleries will be able to Reopen June 8 appeared first on The Bourbon Review.