Bulleit Bourbon founder promotes equine trail at banner ceremony
A banner of Tom Bulleit now hangs on 3rd Street in Louisville.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A founder of a craft bourbon brand was honored in Louisville on Tuesday for his contribution to the bourbon industry.
Tom Bulleit took the occasion to suggest that the bourbon industry work with the equine industry to promote tourism in Kentucky.
Long before the current bourbon boom, the Louisville native created his own craft bourbon. It was in 1987 that Bulleit decided to quit being a lawyer and founded the Bulleit Distilling Company to revive a 150-year-old family bourbon recipe.
"Our recipe for Bulleit Bourbon is from my great-great grandfather August Bulleit," said Bulleit, who was honored Tuesday morning with a banner that will hang from a building on South Third Street between Main and Market Streets.
"Back in 1987, the bourbon mania was still being created and Tom was one of those who helped to create it," said Governor Steve Beshear, speaking at the ceremony to mark the unveiling of the banner.
Bulleit is the 22nd hometown honoree of distinguished citizens whose pictures are on buildings around town.
"This is a great honor and and for me I so appreciate it," said Bulleit.
Bulleit says when he first got into the business 27 years ago, he never thought he would see a bourbon boom like the one underway now.
"Our business, like the rest of the Kentucky distilling business and equine business is quite good."
With the ceremony on Derby Week, horses were on Bulleit's mind. He says Kentucky's two signature industries should work together to promote the state.
"I think to combine the equine trail with the Bourbon Trail and the urban Bourbon Trail, and over in Lexington, it would be wonderful for tourism in the great Commonwealth of Kentucky," explained Bulleit.
While Bulleit Bourbon is part of Kentucky's heritage, the brand is now owned by the giant multi-national British beverage company Diageo.