The Kentucky Distillers' Association has launched its first membership drive to recruit craft distilleries.
"It's an honor and a privilege to be the leading voice of the spirits industry in the commonwealth for more than 134 years," said Joe Fraser, chairman of the KDA board and vice president of operations at Heaven Hill Distilleries Inc. "And we're equally proud that our ranks have swelled to record numbers."
More than 50 leather-bound packets are being sent to all existing and potential Kentucky distillers to explain the nonprofit group, its mission and its criteria for joining. Founded in 1880, the KDA lobbies for and promotes Kentucky's bourbon and distilled-spirits industry.
The campaign slogan is, "We've been waiting for you since 1880," and it features personalized copper membership cards. Today, the KDA encompasses 20 unique companies statewide, the most since 1947.
The KDA successfully lobbied earlier this year for a tax credit to offset the ad valorem taxes on aging barrels and for the creation of a reduced license fee for craft distillers. The KDA also promotes the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour, which recorded more than 630,000 visits in 2013.