Why would Bourbon and Tennessee whiskey sales be up over 5% in time of a recession?
Many are attributing the increase in bourbon sales to the successful promotion of the “Bourbon Lifestyle.”
One of the finest examples of promoting the Bourbon Lifestyle is the first Bourbon Chase which started today. 150 team spots sold out months ago.
Mike Kuntz, organizer of the relay, said runners got the concept right away, but bourbon makers were a little more skeptical.
“Now they are starting to appreciate how profitable it could be,” “I would be shocked if, as runners show up, they will not be purchasing ‘commemorative’ bottles to put on their mantels back home and tap into. I think it does build brand loyalty.”
Maker’s Mark in Loretto will offer bottles with special Bourbon Chase tags that say, “We are all about the run.”
Woodford Reserve in Woodford County already has received about 235 orders for bottles engraved with runners’ names, “Bourbon Chase” and the race’s date.
Distilleries and tourism officials are toasting their successful splash into the lucrative travel market with a new marketing initiative, which was to be announced Thursday night, patterned on the branding of California’s Sonoma-Napa Valley wine country and Scotland’s Whisky Trail.
The Kentucky Distillers Association and a coalition of 10 tourism groups are forming
“Team Bourbon” to “market the bourbon lifestyle and its unique place in the commonwealth’s history and hospitality,”
said Eric Gregory, KDA president.
Formation of The Bourbon Trail, Team Bourbon, and the Bourbon Chase are already proving the success of branding Bourbon as a lifestyle dbeverage and setting Bourbon apart from other spirits.
“There is tremendous interest right now in bourbon in general but particularly in the provenance, tradition and heritage behind bourbon,”
said Larry Kass, a Heaven Hill spokesman. A good example of that, he said, is the Bourbon Trail “passport.” Visitors who go to all eight of the state’s distilleries and get their passports stamped can mail them in for a commemorative T-shirt.