New Riff Bourbon Shares Barrels With 34 Kentucky Craft Beer Brewers

NEWPORT, Ky.—New Riff Distilling, a Northern Kentucky distillery offering a new riff on American whiskey, today announces that it will share barrels that formerly held New Riff Bourbon with 34 of the state’s top craft brewers on Jan. 16. It marks New Riff Distilling’s first participation in the Kentucky Guild of Brewers’ Kentucky Craft Bash, where a single distillery donates barrels to be given a new life by brewers who will use them to barrel-age their brews.

Brewers from Across Kentucky to Unveil Experimental Beers in June

The brewers, who hail from cities and towns that include Louisville, Lexington, Frankfort and New Riff Distilling’s hometown of Newport, will pick up their allotted barrels at a special ceremony at the distillery. They will share their experimental barrel-aged beers at the third annual Kentucky Craft Bash event in Louisville on June 22, 2019.

“We are very excited to partner with some of the most creative and entrepreneurial folks in the great state of Kentucky,” says Ken Lewis, founder, New Riff Distilling. “As distillers, we salute our craft brewing colleagues and honor our Head Distiller Brian Sprance, who joined us from the beer world. We can’t wait to sample the marriage of our New Riff Bourbon barrels, seasoned over four years, and their amazing beers.”

“New Riff Distilling is one of the most exciting new distilleries in Kentucky,” says Derek Selznick, executive director, Kentucky Guild of Brewers. “By pairing the barrels that housed their new riff on Bourbon with the innovations of 34 of our state’s craft brewers, we see this as a laboratory for experimentation, as well as an expression of Kentucky pride. We are already looking forward to June to taste these exquisite brews that bring together the best of the spirits and beer worlds.”

“As a former beer brewer, the Kentucky Craft Bash holds special meaning for me,” says Brian Sprance, head distiller, New Riff Bourbon. “Whiskey is essentially distilled beer and fermentation is the common denominator that links these two iconic beverages that are different, yet similar. It is the all-important process where foundational flavors are created. I’m excited to collaborate with my friends in the beer world on this meaningful project.”

A New Riff on Bourbon Shakes Up the Spirits World

New Riff Bourbon, which embraces the highest possible quality standard, Bottled in Bond Without Chill Filtration, reached its four-year maturity in 2018 and is rolling out to retailers, bars and restaurants. It has earned legions of spirits fans both within and beyond the Bluegrass State. New Riff Bourbon’s launch was celebrated with the Big Bourbon Toast that brought 2,200 VIPs and notables to the Purple People Bridge that spans Newport and Cincinnati.

An Extension of New Riff Distilling’s Commitment to Eco-Friendly Practices

The barrel program is an extension of New Riff Distilling’s commitment to sustainability. The distillery also recycles its spent distilling mash as animal feed, and its water source, the Ohio River Alluvial Aquifer, provides 58-degree water 365 days a year, obviating the need for energy-intensive cooling equipment.

Participating Kentucky Craft Bash Breweries (in alphabetical order):

3rd Turn Brewing – Louisville

Against the Grain Brewery – Louisville

Akasha Brewing Company – Louisville

Alltech Lexington Brewing – Lexington

Alexandria Brewing Company – Alexandria

Apocalypse Brew Works – Louisville

Bircus Brewing Company – Ludlow

Blue Stallion Brewing – Lexington

Braxton Brewing Company – Covington

Country Boy Brewing Company – Lexington

Darkness Brewing – Bellevue

Dry Ground Brewing Company – Paducah

Ethereal Brewing – Lexington

Falls City Brewing Company – Louisville

Flywheel Brewing – Elizabethtown

Fusion Brewing – Lexington

Goodwood Brewing Company – Louisville

Gordon Biersch Brewery Company – Louisville

Henderson Brewing Co. – Hendersonville

Holsopple Brewing – Louisville

Jarfly Brewing Company – Somerset

Lemons Mill Brewery – Harrodsburg

Mile Wide Beer Co. – Louisville

Mirror Twin Brewing – Lexington

Monnik Beer Co. – Louisville

Old Louisville Brewery – Louisville

Paducah Beer Werks – Paducah

Pivot Brewing – Lexington

Rock House Brewing – Lexington

Sig Luscher Brewery – Frankfort

Yancey’s Gastropub and Brewery – Glasgow

West Sixth Brewing – Lexington

White Squirrel Brewery – Bowling Green

Wooden Cask Brewing Company – Newport

About New Riff Distilling

Located in Newport, Kentucky, New Riff Distilling’s mission is to be one of the world’s great small distilleries. Co-Founded in 2015 by Ken Lewis and Jay Erisman, who were formerly in spirits retailing, it is family-owned, Kentucky proud, grounded in tradition yet unafraid to riff and innovate. The distillery’s New Riff Bourbon and New Riff Rye are aged four years and embrace the ultimate quality benchmark, Bottled in Bond Without Chill Filtration. For more information, please visit, like us on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @newriff.