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B-Line: Bourbon Tourism Comes to Northern Kentucky

Bourbon tourism has come to Northern Kentucky with the launch of The B-Line, an inviting collection of craft distilleries, bars, and restaurants that promise visitors their own unique bourbon experience.

The B-Line complements Northern Kentucky’s recent designation as an Official Gateway to the popular and world famous Kentucky Bourbon Trail while providing a boost to the region's booming tourism industry.

"Kentucky is known around the world for its bourbon, and now Northern Kentucky is more firmly tethered to that great tradition and outstanding product," said Eric Summe, President and CEO of meetNKY |Northern Kentucky CVB. "Beginning this year, when visitors cross the Ohio River into Northern Kentucky, they'll be crossing the Bourbon Line and making a 'B-Line' into the epicenter of bourbon culture."

The B-Line includes three Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour Distilleries; five bars that are dedicated to bourbon and carry at least 100 brands; and four restaurants that carry at least 50 brands of bourbon. Members are spread across Boone, Kenton and Campbell counties as well as east into Mason County, which is just about an hour from Northern Kentucky on the AA Highway.

Visitors can complete their own bourbon experience in Northern Kentucky by visiting at least two of the distilleries, two of the restaurants, and two of The B-Line bars and having their B-Line passport stamped, which allows the holder to receive "some awesome bourbon swag," said Julie Kirkpatrick, Vice President of Sales & Marketing of meetNKY |Northern Kentucky CVB.

"You can come for The B-Line and stay in Northern Kentucky then make an incredibly easy ‘b-line’ to the heart of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® deeper into the state to take advantage of all the region has to offer," Kirkpatrick said.  

To learn more about The B-Line visit www.findyoursippingpoint.com.

Members of the The B-Line are:

Distilleries

Restaurants

Bars

 Northern Kentucky's tourism industry is surging, growing in 2016 by 7.3% to $1.83 billion in direct spending by visitors to Boone, Kenton and Campbell Counties.

The B-Line will help attract even more tourists to the region, predicted Hannah Lowen, Vice President of Operations and General Manager of New Riff Distilling.

"Northern Kentucky has a rich but often overlooked place in the history and future of Kentucky Bourbon," Lowen said. "By unifying around a message, brand, and experience that encompasses everything we offer as a community, we will be able to shine a brighter spotlight on the region. The Bourbon industry as a whole is growing, millions of tourists visit Kentucky every year and the B-Line will leverage the bourbon boom at large with the unique, varied, and exceptional options to eat, drink and learn right in our back yard.

"We pride ourselves at New Riff in offering a world class experience whether it's a tour, tasting, private event, cocktail made with our spirits, or a neat pour of our whiskies," she said. "Hopefully visitors coming to Northern Kentucky for a weekend on the B-Line go home fans of our whiskies, asking their local shops for them, and  helping grow our brand and reputation."

Bouquet owner and chef Stephen Williams said The B-Line will provide access to Northern Kentucky's rich history in distilling bourbon while providing a gateway for people who might not have previously had the means or time to experience The Bourbon Trail®.

"The B-Line experience will give them a taste of what Bourbon Country is all about," Williams said. "We plan on seeing a significant uptick in our customer traffic, especially in bourbon sales.  Being one of the first establishments as you cross the river from Cincinnati, we’ll have the ability to provide a unique experience not available across the river in Ohio."

With 70 million cars traveling through Northern Kentucky every year on Interstate 75/71, 7 million passengers arriving into the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport and 26.1 million yearly visitors to the Cincinnati region, the B-Line is well-positioned to emerge as one of area's top tourist attractions.

"This is a great year to launch The B-Line because New Riff's first batch of bourbon ages up in 2018," Kirkpatrick said. "And The B-Line is really a great complement to the huge beer brewing culture in Cincinnati, which has a tremendous history and is also experiencing a resurgence.

"But we can't forget that when those beer-making Germans showed up in Cincinnati in the 19th century, a lot of bourbon was already being made in Northern Kentucky," she said. "So The B-Line is really honoring our history but also celebrating the innovation at New Riff and other distilleries."

​-Staff report