Two of Louisville’s iconic brands create a new partnership
For more than 150 years, Louisville’s bourbon industry and Louisville Water Company have produced two of the city’s most recognized products. Now, Louisville Water is partnering with a local distiller to bring awareness to the important and essential role Louisville’s water has with the industry.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, along with representatives from Louisville Water and the Bulleit Frontier Whiskey Experience at Stitzel-Weller, unveiled a new partnership at the distiller’s Shively location. The visitor experience at Stitzel-Weller now includes an exhibit on how the bourbon industry benefits from water step-by-step … from the crops, the fermenting process and bottling, to how the bourbon is served.
“This new partnership is another part of the growth and evolution of Bourbonism in our city,” the Mayor said. And it reflects a very old alliance between two of Louisville’s most recognized products – bourbon and water.”
The partnership also includes a history of bourbon and water. Louisville Water began in 1860 and by the 1880s, more than 10 distillers were using water, initially for cooling the equipment, fire protection and hydraulic elevators. Today, Louisville Water counts more than a dozen distillers among its customers. Louisville Water first provided fire protection to Stitzel-Weller in 1937 and then a supply line in 1944. “The bourbon industry is an important part of our daily production of 115 million gallons of drinking water,” says Spencer Bruce, President and CEO of Louisville Water. “Our water’s great taste supports the flavor whether it’s a drop of water or a rock in the drink. And water is the only ingredient that can be added to the bourbon once it leaves the barrel and goes into the bottle so in that way Louisville Water is enjoyed by millions worldwide.”
For distillers, Louisville’s water provides a great base to start the distilling process. “There’s nothing in it to cause unpleasant tastes and odors,” says Kevin Didio, Manager of the Bulleit Frontier Whiskey Experience at Stitzel-Weller. “Beyond the distilling, we serve Louisville’s water in the tasting room. It’s a key ingredient as a visitor samples our bourbon – as air is to wine, water is to bourbon. And beyond that, we’re committed to a socially responsible experience.”
In addition to the distillery presence, Louisville Water will expand its involvement in many of the community’s bourbon-related events and attractions where water is served. The company will add a special tour at its WaterWorks Museum that highlights the bourbon and water connection.