Better Drinking Culture, Kentucky Distillers Partner To Launch Retailing Certification Program In Kentucky

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                        

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Jason Ley, CEO                                                                                         
Better Drinking Culture

Ali Edelstein, Dir. Social Responsibility
Kentucky Distillers’ Association


Grand Rapids, MI (March 7, 2019) — Better Drinking Culture (BDC) and the Kentucky Distillers’ Association (KDA) today announced their partnership to launch a mindful retailing program that will audit and recognize distilleries’ best practices in operations and marketing.

The program is intended to help distillers provide memorable experiences and mitigate alcohol-related harms. Visitor centers that successfully complete an audit of its best practices will receive recognition from BDC and its growing tribe.

“BDC’s mission is to shift our culture’s relationship with alcohol in a healthier and more positive direction—to help people drink better and live healthier—because hangovers suck,” said Jason Ley, Better Drinking Culture CEO. “Distilleries that complete our Certification Program help us do that.”

The groups have been in discussion since late 2016, when the KDA hired its first Director of Social Responsibility and BDC piloted their Certification Program for breweries in West Michigan. Soon after, they agreed to collaborate on a retailing program for distilleries and launch it in Kentucky—BDC’s first market outside of Michigan.

To date, BDC has granted certification to 14 KDA member distilleries across the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® and the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour® experiences, including Angel’s Envy, Bardstown Bourbon Co., Boone County Distilling Co., Copper & Kings, Evan Williams Bourbon Experience, Heaven Hill Bourbon Heritage Center, Kentucky Artisan Distillery, Maker’s Mark, New Riff, Old Forester Distilling Co., Rabbit Hole, Wilderness Trail, Willett, and Woodford Reserve.

“We’re proud of the investments our distilleries have made to incorporate alcohol responsibility practices within their visitor centers and brands,” KDA President Eric Gregory said. “As BDC launches this responsible retailing program for distilleries in other states, we’re confident our performance sets the bar nationwide.”

Under the program, certified distilleries train a minimum of one employee as a BDC Ambassador. Throughout 2019, BDC will work with ambassadors from each distillery to promote the partnership to Kentucky residents and visitors through lifestyle content, visitor center resources, social events, and industry initiatives.

The Kentucky Distillers’ Association will be sharing the program and its benefits with other distilleries at the American Distilling Institute conference in Denver later this month.

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About Better Drinking Culture
Nearly every negative consequence related to alcohol is the result of drinking too much. Inspired by this realization, Camden Brieden, a social impact entrepreneur, co-founded the grassroots movement Better Drinking Culture in 2015. The big idea? Empower people to drink better, and all of these problems go away. Jason Ley, CEO, leads BDC’s mission to shift our culture’s relationship with alcohol in a healthier and more positive direction #BecauseHangoversSuck. By engaging its tribe through educational and lifestyle content, programs that create an elevated consumer experience, and collaborative initiatives with the alcohol industry, colleges and universities, and communities, BDC is establishing a benchmark for measuring long-term, quantifiable change in our drinking culture, which translates into safer and more financially viable places to live, work, and play. BDC is a for-profit Public Benefit Corporation. 

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About Kentucky Distillers’ Association
Founded in 1880, the Kentucky Distillers’ Association is the historic voice for Kentucky’s signature bourbon and distilled spirits industry. Its diverse and growing membership produces 90 percent of the world’s bourbon, from legendary, global brands to emerging micro-distilleries that are fostering the next generation of the Commonwealth’s timeless craft and treasured economic engine. Member benefits include media relations, international trade development, private sampling events, technical assistance, economic development support, networking, legal defense, marketing strategies, governmental and regulatory advocacy, and innovative tourism experiences through the KDA’s world-famous Kentucky Bourbon Trail® and Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour® adventures. The KDA maintains an open membership policy, champions a strong commitment to the responsible and moderate consumption of spirits, and fights to curb underage drinking and drunk driving. Learn more at and KENTUCKY BOURBON TRAIL®, KENTUCKY BOURBON TRAIL CRAFT TOUR®, KENTUCKY BOURBON AFFAIR™, KBT™, and BOURBON TRAIL™ are trademarks/service marks of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association.


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