Bourbon... it's whats for Breakfast

Clearly we have a love of this oak-aged spirit, but is Bourbon for Breakfast taking it too far? We think not, which is why we are giving you TWO opportunities to enjoy a little Bourbon and a little Brunch. To be honest, what goes together better than Bourbon and bacon? Bourbon and quiche,? Bourbon and a Kentucky hot brown? We will have a little bit of everything. You’re welcome.


Join us October 12th, 2014 for one of two Bourbon Brunch options;


11:30 AM at Alltech’sBrewstillery in downtown Lexington, Kentucky. Enjoy perfectly paired Bourbon cocktails with a delicious locally sourced and Kentucky themed Brunch, prepared by our friends at Dupree Catering.  Guests will get to hear from the folks at Alltech, and afterwards will enjoy a private tour.


Or join us at,


12:00 PM at Woodford Reserve in Versailles, Kentucky. Chef Ouita Michel and team will be crafting up a delicious Brunch paired with tasty Bourbons served in the historic Dryer House at the distillery. Guests will get a private tour after brunch.



*Transportation will be available to and from both locations*


Jim Beam & The Bourbon Social

If you haven’t heard of Jim Beam or Beam Global… kindly get out from under your rock. They’ve been aging tasty bourbons for over 200 years and with 7 generations of men from the Beam Family at the helm, they know a thing or two about distilling fine Kentucky Bourbons. What you might not know is how many brands are under the Beam Global/Jim Beam ‘hat’ – and what you should know is that you can taste, sample, and sip on almost all of them at The Bourbon Social. (Yes, you read that correctly.)

Brands, some you already know, all of which you should taste.

Jim Beam

Jim Beam White

Red Stag

Jim Beam Black

Jim Beam Devil’s Cut

Jim Beam Jacobs Ghost

Jim Beam Rye

Jim Beam Seven Year

Jim Beam Choice

Jim Beam Maple

Jim Beam Honey

Jim Beam Single Barrel

We will also have these tasty bourbons from the BeamSuntory family;



Basil Hayden

Knob Creek Nine year

Knob Creek Rye

Knob Creek Single Barrel

Knob Creek Smoked Maple


If you haven’t been to their new American Stillhouse in Clermont, KY, we highly suggest you take a visit. You could spend a week at their facility with all you can do! (And hey, it doesn’t hurt that they’ve partnered with Mila Kunis)


Check out our local Kentucky Bourbons, and take a visit to the Jim Beam facility. They are the Official Sponsors of the Bourbon Bar + Cocktail reception (10.10.14) during The Bourbon Social. You can also find them during the tasting (10.11.14) and they will be serving up tasty bourbons and craft cocktails during the main event!



For Immediate Release! The Bourbon Social Barrel Cup Cocktail Competition

The Bourbon Social Invites Mixologists, Bartenders, and Spirits Folk to Mix, Muddle, and Shake Their Way to Greatness

Nationally Advertised Event is a celebration of Bourbon and all things Kentucky


LEXINGTON, KY (May 1, 2014) – The Bourbon Social, Kentucky’s newest and most exciting celebration of “America’s Native Spirit,” is thrilled to announce The Bourbon Social Barrel Cup, a national mixologist competition for the best of the best in the bar, restaurant and spirits industry.


Creative beverage professionals will concoct killer bourbon creations for a chance at the title, a $1500 cash and other prizes, not to mention incredible recognition from industry heavy weights like judges Dale Degroff, Richard Betts, Jim Meehan, Mark Stoddard, and Chef Hugh Acheson. (2nd and 3rd places awarded as well)


“Participating in a mixology competition is a great idea for any bartender. Competition creates focus and gets the creative juices flowing,” says David Craver, President of the  National Bartenders Association and “I was in a mixology competition in 1984 in Washington, D.C. In addition to being a fun experience, the addition to my resume impressed employers for years to come.”


Twelve imaginative finalists will be selected based on their applications and move forward to the live competition in beautiful Lexington, KY during the October 10-12, 2014 event. There, they will craft their mind-blowing creations for celebrity judges and be assessed on taste, creativity, and presentation. Who will become the first ever Bourbon Social Cocktail Champion and win The Bourbon Social Barrel Cup? Only those with the skills and unique knowledge of bourbon and its special place in the world of cocktail craft will get the opportunity for the honor.


Interested and adventurous drink masters can apply from now until June 1, 2014 (10:00 PM EST) at


About the Bourbon Social

October 10-12, 2014: Lexington, KY
The Bourbon Social is a celebration of Bourbon craft and culture, and the great people who make it. Mix in a little Kentucky hospitality and the tasty foods we’re known for, and you’ve got one helluva party.
In its first year, TBS will be a three-day celebration, comprised of six events – but we plan on growing this year after year, and we hope you will help us to do so. We’ve tried to create events and activities for Bourbon enthusiasts and newcomers alike, and something that’s friendly for everyone




Click Here for an Application, Rules, and Guidelines


Calling all Bartenders, Mixologists and Spirits folks!

We are excited to announce our first Bourbon Social Barrel Cup Cocktail competition! If you’re a mixologist, bartender, or spirits industry professional and think you have the best Bourbon cocktail recipe in all the land, then we want YOU to compete for the Bourbon Social Barrel Cup title, plus cash and other prizes!

Click here for the rules, guidelines, and the application

*Big thank you to the National Bartenders Association for sponsoring this competition*


We are looking for the best of the best to show us best Bourbon cocktail during the 2014 Bourbon Social events. All applicants will go through an initial selection process in Frankfort Kentucky on June 4th. (Applicants will not be there in person) Our selection panel will choose the finalists, each of which will be attending and mixing during the 2014 Bourbon Social. We are judging based on taste, presentation, and creativity – and all participants will create their signature cocktail for 5 judges.


1st place – $1,500 cash – the Bourbon Social Barrel Cup title and plaque, and other prizes

2nd place – $500 cash, and other prizes

3rd place – Bourbon Lovers Package and other prizes



(from left to right)

Dale DeGroffMaster Mixologist and ‘King Cocktail’ 

Mark Stoddard42 Below Cocktail World Cup Winner and Mixology Mastermind

Jim MeehanFood & Wine Cocktail writer and James Beard Award Winner

Richard BettsMaster Sommelier and Spirits Producer

(second row)

Chef Hugh AchesonJames Beard Award Winner and Master of Southern Food


With this amazing line up of judges, and what we know will be an amazing line up of participants, this will be a competition you won’t want to miss! You can also check out these judges during the seminar series on Saturday at Fasig-Tipton. We look forward to seeing all the creative cocktails from folks across the country! And we look forward to seeing you all there to watch them compete live!

– The Bourbon Social Cocktail Club



For Immediate Release!

LexEffect announces: Three-day Bourbon Celebration coming to Central Kentucky

May 1st,2014                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Lexington, KY– Locally owned LexEffect, LLC, an event management and production company, announces the First Annual Bourbon Social, coming this October, 10th – 12th.  This is a three-day celebration of Bourbon and all things Kentucky (eight events), held at various venues across Central Kentucky. This is a celebration of the craft and culture of Bourbon, and the folks who make it. Along with that, we will be celebrating Southern and Kentucky inspired cuisine, the rich history of Kentucky, and the local people, places, and things that make it unique. Events are ticketed in packages or individually, ranging anywhere from $35 to $200, per event. This celebration will be grown into a month long endeavor, with 6-10 events leading up to a four-day, multi-event, closing bash. {Six additional events are already slated for 2015}

2014 participating Bourbon Brands; Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, W.L. Weller Reserve, 1792, Blanton’s, Wilderness Trace, Barrel House, Limestone Branch, Sugar Shine, Moonpie Shine, Stagg Jr., E.H. Taylor, Baker’s, Booker’s, Basil Hayden, Jim Beam Devils Cut, Jim Beam Black, Jim Beam Honey, Jim Beam Maple, Jim Beam Ghost, Knob Creek, Knob Creek Single Barrel, Knob Creek Rye, Knob Creek Maple, Woodford Reserve, as of May 1st, 2014.

Other Participants; Southern Inspired small plates by James Beard Award Winning Chef, Hugh Acheson (Top Chef/Bravo) for an exclusive VIP event (10/11/14); Dumpstaphunk (Madison House) headlining the Main Evening Event (10/11/14); Seminar Series and tasting with Industry greats Dale DeGroff, Richard Betts, Jim Meehan, Mark Stoddard, and Master Distiller Mark Coffman from Alltech. 12 mixologists, bartenders, and spirits folk from across the country will compete for the Bourbon Social Cocktail Cup, among cash and other prizes, during the Main Event. (Announcement to be released)

Grog and Grub; we will be celebrating the local food and beverage scene, ‘Kentucky Proud’ products and producers, and Chefs, Producers, and People from across the State. Our Chef/Restaurant Partners are; Chef Michael Stoddart (Seasons Catering), Chef Trish Tungate (The Dish), Chef Alan Lamoureux (Bluegrass Hospitality Group), Chef Cooper Vaughan (Apiary Catering), Chef Anthony Lamas (Seviche), Crank + Boom Craft Ice Cream, Bourbon Barrel Foods,  Chef Wyatt Sarbacker (Village Idiot), Danielle Sibley (Lexington Baking Company)

Sponsors, Partners, and Contributors; a big thanks and notable recognition goes to our sponsors and contributors, without which we would not be able to produce this series of events; Copy Express, Jim Beam, WKYT, West Sixth Brewing, Alltech Lexington Brewing & Distilling Company, Lexington Bourbon Society, Whiskey Barrel Society, Ale-8, KY Wine & Bourbon Tours, Liquor City, Unbridled Spirits, National Bartenders Association, Sullivan’s Culinary Department

*Partial proceeds, donations, and awareness are going to The Makenna Foundation in Kentucky. In Makenna David’s honor, they provide tremendous support for the award winning Kentucky Children’s Hospital *

Contact                                                                                                                                                                                                                         To learn more about The Bourbon Social or LexEffect, please contact                                                                                                  PO Box 21773, Lexington KY, 40522-1773

p:: 859.230.5365     w::   w::

f:: 859.971.0112

t:: @BourbonSocial     t:: @LexEffectKY

Volunteers, Partners, Media, and any other inquiries;


Local Love

We are learning more and more about the city we live in and the amazing people that will go above and beyond to help out! We want to share a little love today for some of those fine folks – and as always, we hope when you’re able you will support our local people, places, and things!



If you haven’t met the guys down at West Sixth Brewing… what the hell is wrong with you? Get up, stop what you’re doing, and go down there (I suggest the Lemongrass Wheat, but that’s just me) and have a beer or two.  They have some seriously awesome things going on there, yes besides the beer, like Smithtown Seafood (Yum) and Foodchain. Plus with several events, activities, and other happenings, you have an excuse to go multiple times a week. Check out their website here, and look for them on Facebook and Twitter.

We are excited to have partnered with West Sixth, for The Bourbon Social main event! They will be serving up a couple tasty options at the event, celebrating true Kentucky craft and culture. If you’re visiting from out of town – no worries. We are setting up a couple Brewery tours and a possible tasting at their place, so that you get a little love before you go home. If you’re from Lexington and you haven’t toured the facility, we suggest you look at their website and plan one ASAP.

(P.S. – If you ever want to talk Bourbon, Beer, Food, or anything in between… there’s a pretty good chance you will find us here. We would love for you to join!)


If you’re in the food service world, then you have probably heard of Papania’s. They are one of the oldest, continuously running, and family owned local businesses, and they supply most of the States fruits and veggies.  Originally located on Broadway (where the Civic Center is now),

they moved to their current location on Zesta in 1968. They’ve been serving Kentucky Proud products for over 100 
years, and clearly have a commitment to the community.We are so excited to have them as a partner for The Bourbon Social, and cannot wait for you to see all we have in store. To give you a hint, Papania’s will be partnering with several local Chefs, Restaurants, and Caterers to create some killer, Kentucky Proud, Southern and Bourbon inspired cuisine . Our mouth is watering just thinking about it!

Next time you go to a restaurant, diner, or food cart – ask where they get their produce – and if it’s not Papania’s and local – suggest they make the switch!

For more information on Papania’s and their story, click here. 


History of Bourbon in Kentucky

It’s a well known fact that Bourbon is delicious, and that Bourbon and Kentucky go together like peanut butter and jelly. While there are a lot of ‘facts’ out there about Bourbon – we wanted to know, what’s the true history of Bourbon in Kentucky?

According to the Kentucky Distillers Association (1) Bourbons rich tradition dates back to the early 1700s. Settlers wanted to transport crops, and it was easier in liquid form. (Also makes for a tasty drink to pass the time, I assume)

Now a common misconception, so often reminded to me by my friends out West, is that Bourbon HAS to be made or produced in Bourbon County in order to (technically) be called Bourbon. Wrong. There is a County in Kentucky, Bourbon County, which transported barrels of Whiskey across the region. Each barrel was stamped ‘Bourbon County’, which lead folks to start calling it ‘Bourbon Whiskey’. It quickly became popular, and soon to just be called Bourbon, and in 1964 was deemed by Congress as America’s Official Native Spirit. As it damn well should be.

According to Wikipedia, which is very reliable, Bourbon isn’t named after Bourbon County, it’s named after Bourbon street in Louisiana… I’m going with the KDA on this one. Wiki also claims that Elijah Craig led the charge in the Bourbon Industry, and is the one who formed the process using the American Oak Charred casks, giving it a distinct taste and color. (2) Now that might be true.

Regardless of which tale is true, Bourbon is a multi-Million dollar industry bringing this tasty beverage to folks across the World. There are certain specifications though, to be deemed a Bourbon. While it doesn’t have to be made in Bourbon County, KY – there are a few things that must be in place in order to claim the Bourbon category.

1. Must be made in the USA ;

2. Made from grain mixture that is at least 51% corn;

3. Aged in new, charred oak barrels;

4. Distilled to no more than 160 proof or 80% alcohol by volume;

5. Entered into the barrel to age at no more than 125 proof;

6. Be bottled at 80 proof or more.


Which ever way you spin it, we’re pretty proud of our Kentucky Bourbon Heritage. And with the impressive stats from the KDA, The Bourbon Trail, and Individual Distilleries – I’d say folks around the world would agree.

The Bourbon Social is excited to become a part of the Bourbon scene, and our goal is to give folks near and far a big dose of the craft and culture of Bourbon, as well as the people, places, and purveyors around us that fit together so nicely. From distillery tours, to tastings, to cocktail competitions, and local Bourbon and Southern inspired cuisine – we hope to provide our guests with an over-the-top, all inclusive view into the great state of Kentucky and all it has to offer.  (And let’s be honest, when you’re drinking that much Bourbon, you need tasty treats to follow. Who doesn’t love anything locally grown and perfectly paired with your cocktail.) {You can thank us later}


-> ->Getting excited about The Bourbon Social? We are too! Don’t miss your opportunity to get Early Bird Single tickets to the VIP & Main event (October 11th at Fasig-Tipton) or Early Bird Package tickets to all six events (October 10-12). Limited quantity, limited time offer. <- <-

{Tickets open March 14th 2014 at 12:00 PM, through our website}



– Cheers,

The Bourbon Social Checkers Team





What IS The Bourbon Social?

You’ve seen an ad, you’ve heard someone mention it, you’ve been hit up on facebook to ‘like’ their page… but what is The Bourbon Social?

In its first year, The Bourbon Social is a three-day celebration, comprised of six events. Spread out across Central Kentucky, we aim to please those deeply rooted in the Bourbon Culture and those just dipping their toes. You can join us for the whole weekend, or create a package of events that most interest you. The tagline is ‘A Celebration of Bourbon and all things Kentucky’, and it’s exactly that.

First and foremost, we want to celebrate the craft and culture of the Bourbon Industry, and the people who make it. Learning from them during the seminars from grains to mixing cocktails, taking private tours to understand how it’s made, and tastings to find a new brand you love – it’s all part of your experience at The Bourbon Social. We can’t wait to release the brands that will be participating, and share with you the very specific list of event details – this paired with Keeneland, Kentucky Football, and Fall in the South – it’s a weekend you just can’t afford to miss!

Kentucky isn’t just about Bourbon – and local folks know this very well. This is a celebration of Kentucky, so we can’t forget the people, producers, and purveyors when celebrating all Kentucky has to offer. We are giving you an inside look (and taste) into super creative and locally driven restaurants, chefs, breweries, vineyards, and so much more! Join us for small plates and hors d’oeuvres, inspired by our Kentucky roots and prepared by our outstanding local Chefs. We are over the moon excited about the line up we have for this years event, and can’t wait to share it with you!! These folks are whipping up some extra special, Kick Ass, Kentucky Proud cuisine – just for you!


What can you expect at the 2014 Bourbon Social?

You should expect to indulge in the following; Bourbon Tastings, Mixologist Contests, Small Plates and Hors d’oeuvres from Local Chefs, Bourbon Seminar Series, Bourbon Bars, Signature Cocktails, Private Distillery Tours, Live Music, Cigar Bars, Small Plates paired with Bourbon by Celebrity Guest Chefs, and so much more! Of course there are other things throughout the day you can partake in, check out our tab at the bottom of the website on ‘things to do’ where you will find all kinds of Bourbon and Kentucky favorites. Still not finding what you are looking for? Give us a call and we can point you in the right direction!



What is the Future of The Bourbon Social?

Well, for that we need your help! What do you want? What do you want to see? We want to know! Our plan is to grow this event over the next two years into a month long celebration, with a huge variety of events, leading up to this end-all-be-all-three-day-bash that is, The Bourbon Social. We have so much ‘on the drawing board’ for year two – but we would love to hear from you. Drop us a line, and let us know what floats your boat!!

We look forward to seeing you this Fall – and again, remember to check back often as we release new details here first!


   The Bourbon Social Drinking Club

From The Beginning

I have been working on The Bourbon Social for quite some time now. People are still learning about it and just hearing about it yes – but it has been in the works for quite some time. It was originally several different concepts, that would be spread out over a year. After several trips out West; for research, adult beverages, and a business meeting or two – I (with help from my family) decided this would become a thing, and it would be pulled together into one event. The next step – what the hell do we call it? And what is the format for the event? I am very blessed to have an amazing family, who also happen to be well connected and deeply rooted in the events, hospitality, and culinary scene in Colorado. We formed an All-Star team of professionals who would serve as an advisory group to my crazy ideas. These people are smart. These people are insanely creative and smart, and they helped me form this awesome, kick-ass, Kentucky inspired, Bourbon infused, one-night soiree – The Bourbon Social. It was going to be awesome.

I came back to Lexington to begin the planning process, and after a little planning and formation, and thinking it was coming together nicely, I took another trip to Colorado. My fabulous advisors had their interest peaked by the updates on development in KY, but you could tell something was missing. So after a long discussion, a lot of brainstorming, and several choice words, we took TBS and flipped it on its head. This baby Bourbon event (HA! originally 1,200 people in one night!) became a three-day, six event celebration and jumped to 2,500+ people. So off I went, back to Kentucky, right back to work on this now massive Bourbon expo. And here we are, Seven and a half months away from the first annual, and we couldn’t be more excited! Our hope in planning this weekend is to entice the Bourbon enthusiast, and the newcomer alike, and to fit within anyone’s budget. This is a ‘Celebration of Kentucky’, so we really wanted to focus on not only Kentucky based Bourbons, but Kentucky people, places, and purveyors. We are giving you a firsthand look (and taste) into the things that make Kentucky great, and the people who make those things. And who doesn’t love supporting these local folks, right?!

Am I bat-shit crazy? The answer is yes. But I like to think I’m crazy with passion. Our plans for this event are to grow it over the next two years into a month long celebration, with one or two smaller events each week, leading up to this end-all-be-all-three-day-blow-out-bash, that is, The Bourbon Social.

We hope you’ll join us on this journey, and help us think BIG! Buckle up… it’s going to be a fun ride!



Kaelyn is the Founder of LexEffect :: Creative Event Management. LexEffect is a full service event management company based in Lexington, KY. They coordinate private events for their clients; large-scale productions for the general public; and events for Non-Profit organizations free of charge.