Stave & Thief Society, a Bourbon Certification Program, Launches in Louisville

image001Frontline staff to become experts on America’s native spirit through standardized training

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Jan. 12, 2015) — Stave & Thief Society, a new bourbon certification program, has been launched to educate Louisville’s hospitality staff. Established to promote and uphold Kentucky’s distinguished bourbon culture, Stave & Thief Society will lead restaurant, bar, hotel and retail employees to become Certified Bourbon Stewards through a standardized training program. Downtown educational distillery Distilled Spirits Epicenter, 801 S. 8th St., is responsible for coordinating the curriculum and will administer workshops, learning materials and exams to prepare Louisville’s front line to explain the city’s rich bourbon history, discuss Kentucky brands and guide customers to the ideal choice for their palate.

The inception of Stave & Thief Society came as part of a Bourbon & Food Work Group consisting of business executives, chefs, distillers and tourism leaders assembled by Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer to further the city’s image as a top food and beverage destination. The bourbon certification curriculum was then developed by an advisory panel that included master distillers, restaurant owners, beverage directors, and spirits industry veterans in partnership with the Kentucky Distillers’ Association.

According to Mayor Fischer’s Bourbon & Food Work Group report, “for Louisville to become the heartbeat of bourbon culture, the front line of hospitality staff must be well-trained to answer questions and provide history and other details of this signature industry. The goal is for every hospitality worker to be able to expertly discuss bourbon.”

Much like sommelier and cicerone certifications, each business and staff member accredited by Stave & Thief Society will reflect a superior education in the field. Enrollment is now open and first year membership dues are $1000. Study guides, online tests and management training are included in the price of enrollment, with an additional annual fee to retain membership status. While the program was initiated in Louisville in preparation for Kentucky Derby season, Lexington hospitality businesses are also invited to enroll in advance of Breeders’ Cup.

Each business will send a member of their management staff to a day-long Executive Bourbon Steward training course at Distilled Spirits Epicenter, planned for Monday, Feb. 16, where they will distill bourbon and learn everything they need to achieve certification and lead their employees to pass evaluations. Training includes distillation science, bourbon history, sensory evaluation and an overview of all Kentucky Bourbon Trail stops. Upon certification, bourbon stewards will have the knowledge to discuss bourbon attributes, advise patrons on the spirit and distinguish basic flavor profiles. Training workshops will be held quarterly. Learn more about Stave & Thief Society at http://www.staveandthief.com.

About Distilled Spirits Epicenter:

Located at 801 S. 8th St., Distilled Spirits Epicenter consists of Grease Monkey Distillery, Moonshine University and Challenge Bottling and offers educational and training resources focusing on artisan spirits. Through hands-on distilling instruction, classes and bottling services, the Epicenter brings Kentucky’s unique distilling legacy to life. Distilled Spirits Epicenter is the sister company to Flavorman, an international custom beverage development and ingredient supply company. Flavorman’s Beverage Architects and the Epicenter’s team of distilling consultants can take your idea through every phase of beverage development and production…from start through finish. For more information, visitflavorman.com and ds-epicenter.com.