About the Festival

Why this Festival?

Simply put, we want to introduce you to the people we know who love making great craft beer and spirits.  Kentucky's great old Bourbon distilleries have long enjoyed a camaraderie, fellowship, and cooperation that comes from a shared passion in bourbon. Today, New Riff, Ei8ht Ball and the breweries and distilleries you’ll meet over the weekend want to extend that tradition. We’re all of us proud to be making high quality libations in a state with an incredibly rich history of just that. Although the whole world knows the big Bourbon distilleries, we want to create a space where the smaller stills can share, taste, and talk with all of you. 

Why Craft? 

Craft is the preservation of doing things the slow and careful way, the continuation of traditional foodways—or in our case, drinkways. Craft is putting flavor first and shareholder profit never. Craft is collaborative, communal, cutting edge and caring. We are all craft—legal definition be damned—and all about process, independence, and quality of product. 

Why Kentucky?

Kentucky is celebrated around the world for fine flavor. We never did stray too far from the farm, and we have the patience to see good flavor through to the end: think of nearly five million barrels of Bourbon aging here and you'll understand. There is just something special about Kentucky—the water, the grains, the air, the people. For most of us, it is not only home, but our passion, career, family, and life’s work. 

About New Riff

New Riff Distilling was founded in Newport, Kentucky in 2014. We opened with one goal, one singular focus: to one day be included among the great small distilleries of the world…renowned for making world-class whiskey like it’s the last thing we’ll ever do. We are inspired by the whiskey greats that came before us but also determined to play a new riff on an old Kentucky theme. We are proud to be in the great Commonwealth of Kentucky, steeped in the history, the tradition and resources for making great whiskey. We are also proud to be in the shadow of the Cincinnati skyline, a true regional urban distillery. We are part of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour and the ongoing Cincinnati drinks revival. We have one foot in Kentucky and one foot in Ohio; one foot anchored in the old, the other striding into the new.