KENTUCKY DISTILLERS’ ASSOCIATION WELCOMES BROUGH BROTHERS DISTILLERY AS NEWEST MEMBER
FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Kentucky Distillers’ Association today announced that Brough Brothers Distillery in Louisville is the newest and 42nd member of the non-profit trade group that unites and leads Kentucky’s signature Bourbon and distilled spirits industry.
Brough Brothers Distillery is the first and only African American-owned, licensed and operating distillery in the state of Kentucky. It was founded by Victor, Bryson and Christian Yarbrough, three brothers who were born and raised in Louisville.
The distillery, located at 1460 Dixie Highway, opened in December 2020. The brothers chose the Park Hill community location as a way to support local businesses and economic growth in the historically underserved area of Louisville’s West End.
Brough Brothers Bourbon is currently available on shelves, an 82-proof whiskey with a mash bill of 75 percent corn, 21 percent rye and four percent malted barley. The sleek bottle features drawings of Kentucky’s vibrant culture: Bourbon, basketball, boxing, horse racing and Louisville’s iconic skyline.
“The KDA congratulates Brough Brothers for their vision and perseverance in an industry that has largely remained inaccessible to minority entrepreneurs,” KDA President Eric Gregory said. “Their success as the state’s first African American-owned, licensed and operating distillery is a long-overdue step for our industry.”
Brough Brothers Distillery CEO Victor Yarbrough said, “It is an honor to be recognized and accepted as a KDA member. We thank the KDA and its members for their tremendous support as we strive to build a legacy that Kentucky will be proud of.”
Pauline Rooney, Chairwoman of the KDA Board of Directors, said, “This is a welcome and significant breakthrough in the history of Kentucky Bourbon. Our members offer their full support as Brough Brothers expands its operations and provides tourism and employment opportunities as they help revitalize local businesses and the proud heritage of Louisville’s West End.
“We are honored to welcome them to our growing family of Kentucky’s finest distillers,” said Rooney, who is Vice President of Distillation and Maturation for Diageo North America.
Founded in 1880, the KDA is the state’s voice for Bourbon and spirits issues. Its diverse membership produces the overwhelming majority of the world’s Bourbon, from legendary, global brands to emerging micro distilleries that are building the next generation of the timeless craft.
Brough Brothers Distillery is the KDA’s 24th Craft-level member, aging less than 10,000 barrels a year, and joins an impressive list of flourishing distilleries in the Louisville area, including Angel’s Envy, Brown-Forman, Evan Williams Bourbon Experience, Heaven Hill, Michter’s, Old Forester, Rabbit Hole, Stitzel-Weller, Barrell Craft Spirits, Copper & Kings, Kentucky Peerless and Moonshine University.
For more information, visit Brough Brothers Distillery website at https://broughbrothers.com.
Jessica Pendergrass, KDA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Panel Co-Chair and General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer for Heaven Hill Brands, said the addition of Brough Brothers brings much needed perspective to the industry.
Victor and Christian serve on the KDA DEI Advisory Panel, a group of community and business leaders that steer and guide initiatives for the industry. “African-Americans have helped to build and shape our industry, and we need these resilient, entrepreneurial, and empowered voices at the table,” Pendergrass said.
“It has been inspiring getting to know the tremendous men behind Brough Brothers Bourbon. Victor and his brothers came together on this project with purpose and passion – to connect the Black community to economic opportunities in the Bourbon industry, to find ways to elevate and educate the community, and to give back to the community they know and love.
“We can all take a lesson from the intentionality behind their business.”
In addition to the DEI Advisory Panel, the KDA is taking steps to cultivate a culture of diversity, inclusivity, meaningful engagement and collaboration within the industry.
Last year, the KDA created the Lifting Spirits Foundation to fund scholarships at the University of Kentucky, University of Louisville and Kentucky State University’s distilling and fermentation programs to benefit Black, LGBTQIA, women, people of color and other minority and underrepresented groups.
The scholarships, coined “KDA Scholars,” will be funded for many years to come at these flagship institutions. The non-profit group also is working to build similar scholarships at other Kentucky educational institutions in an effort to expand opportunities for traditionally underrepresented, young professionals to launch meaningful careers in Kentucky’s Bourbon and distilled spirits industry.
Bourbon is one of the Commonwealth’s most historic and treasured industries, a booming $8.6 billion economic engine that generates more than 20,100 jobs with an annual payroll topping $1 billion each year, and is one of the state’s main tourism drivers through the KDA’s Kentucky Bourbon Trail® adventures.
“We are committed to these initiatives and doing more to create long-term, permanent and historic change in our industry,” Gregory said. “We have a lot of work to do – but we can and will do more to lead our industry, and we are grateful to Brough Brothers for their leadership and support.”
Founded in 1880, the Kentucky Distillers’ Association is the legendary voice for Kentucky’s signature Bourbon and distilled spirits industry. Its diverse and growing membership produces the overwhelming majority of the world’s Bourbon, from historic, global brands to emerging micro distilleries that are fostering the next generation of the Commonwealth’s landmark economic engine and its thriving, timeless craft. 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. A 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization, 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 www.kybourbon.com and www.kybourbontrail.com