Food & Drink

Barbecue and bourbon ... could this be Kentucky’s best festival?

The Kentucky State BBQ Festival will be Sept. 7-9 at the Wilderness Trail Distillery in Danville. Tickets are available online for the barbecue festival admission as well as special events such as the whole hog luau, the master distillers’ panel, tours with Shane Baker and the Bloody Mary Brunch on Sunday.
The Kentucky State BBQ Festival will be Sept. 7-9 at the Wilderness Trail Distillery in Danville. Tickets are available online for the barbecue festival admission as well as special events such as the whole hog luau, the master distillers’ panel, tours with Shane Baker and the Bloody Mary Brunch on Sunday. ©KYBBQFestival.com

If you love barbecue, there’s only one thing to know about the annual Kentucky BBQ Festival in Danville: It’s the one where you get to eat the barbecue.

The festival, Friday through Sunday at Wilderness Trace Distillery, features celebrity pitmasters Shelly Hunt, Carey Bringle, Moe Cason, Craig Kimmel, Mike Mills and Amy Mills, Leslie Roark and Rod “Lucky Dog” Bennett

Admission is $5 per day or $10 for all three days in advance. You can order tickets online at kybbqfestival.com.

The festival kicks off with a VIP luau Friday evening featuring a whole hog by Mike Mills of 17th Street Barbecue of Memphis and a special edition bottle of Wilderness Trail bourbon. Tickets are $200 and available online at kybbqfestival.com. The event is a fundraiser for Heart of Kentucky United Way.

Wilderness Trail Distillery is doing its second releases: Two bottled-in-bond wheated bourbons, single-barrel and small-batch versions of their popular offerings, at this year’s festival. The release is planned for 10 a.m. Friday.

On Saturday, the barbecue festival doors open at 11 a.m. And the distillery will feature tours with Wilderness Trail master distiller Shane Baker at 2 and 4 p.m. with sampling straight from the barrel. Tours are $40 per person.

There’s also a master distiller’s panel discussion at 11 a.m. featuring Peggy Noe Stevens, Dave Scheurich, Al Young of Four Roses, and Shane Baker, Kevin Curtis, Marianne Eaves of Castle and Key. Tickets for the discussion are $100 per person.

Also, there’s a Sunday Bloody Mary Brunch, featuring a breakfast buffet and a Bloody Mary bar, as well as a bottle of single-barrel Wilderness Trail Bourbon. Tickets are $100 per person.

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