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One Distillery Reopens for Tours, One Goes Virtual

Bardstown Bourbon Company 360-degree virtual tour.

Two bourbon producers are giving their fans and the curious two different means of escape from our new normal. Maker’s Mark reopened their doors to the public today, and Bardstown Bourbon Company is giving people full access to their grounds and cutting-edge facility online.

Rob Samuels, managing director of Maker’s Mark Distillery and grandson of the brand’s founders, has announced the initial reopening of the distillery. Select portions of the property, which is a National Historic Landmark, are now open for tours. Out of caution and respect for guest and staff health and safety, the distillery will be open for a limited number of tours during temporarily limited hours, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday.

People interested in getting out of their homes to enjoy scenic Maker’s Mark Distillery are urged to book their tours ahead of time. According to today’s announcement, Maker’s Mark is only taking reservations within four-week windows. Tours are limited to eight people and no cash will be accepted, so guests should plan accordingly. IDs will be checked and face coverings are mandatory.

Maker’s Mark plans to reopen Star Hill Provisions, the distillery’s restaurant, on July 22. The eatery will also operate with limited hours, from 11:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday. People who want to add the experience of locally-sourced food and Maker’s Mark cocktails should plan their visits around the restaurant’s reopening.

For those who feel more comfortable taking their tours digitally, Bardstown Bourbon Company has launched virtual tours. This move is fitting given the brand’s state-of-the-art distillery. Anyone who has visited the property in person can attest to the modern design. And now, those who have yet to see it can do so from the convenience of their desktop, laptop or mobile device—free of charge.

The Bardstown virtual tour is fully interactive and as informative as a viewer wants it to be. Not only can viewers explore the stunning grounds, they can interact with objects to learn more to boost their bourbon and distillation knowledge. Just about every area of the property can be explored, including the distillery’s Kitchen & Bar restaurant, the tasting bar, and the all-new Pete’s Place tasting lounge, named for Bardstown Bourbon Company founder Peter Loftin. Viewers have the ability to control their virtual experiences, returning to previously visited areas or choosing to skip around as they see fit.

At the end of the tour, virtual guests will find themselves in the distillery’s retail space. They can purchase bottles, grab some Bardstown merch, and even book in-person tours. Bardstown, located less than 20 north of Maker’s Mark, is also open to the public and operating during the same times and days as their Loretto, KY, neighbor. In-person tours and classes have resumed at Bardstown, with limited capacities and in accordance with health and safety policies. The Kitchen & Bar reopens tomorrow, July 10, with reduced capacity.

Click here to book a tour at Maker’s Mark.

Click here to take the virtual Bardstown Boubon tour.

Neither the author nor Hospitality Villains received compensation, monetary or otherwise, from Maker’s Mark, Beam Suntory, Bardstown Bourbon Company, or any other entity in exchange for this post.

Image: Bardstown Bourbon Company

David Klemt View All

I’ve been studying and writing about the hospitality industry since 2006. Like so many people, I started my journey in this business by working as a host, server and bartender. I was introduced to nightlife in Chicago, learning the ins and outs of nightclubs and after-hours hot spots.

After moving to Las Vegas nearly 20 years ago, I both co-owned a valet company and helped promote the club it serviced. That led to me taking on the role of editor for a Las Vegas hospitality industry publication.

A few short years later, I continued along my journey of hospitality industry reporting. I went from contributing to a major industry outlet to taking on the role of editor and content curator.

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