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Frazier Museum's Expansion Means Kentucky Bourbon Trail Will Officially Start in Downtown Louisville

Aging bourbon at a distillery in Kentucky.
Aging bourbon at a distillery in Kentucky.

The Kentucky Bourbon Trail would officially begin in downtown Louisville under a planned expansion of the Frazier History Museum, the museum and the Kentucky Distillers' Association announced Thursday.

The Frazier History Museum plans to develop a bourbon-focused visitors' center in its building, which is expected to expand into the three adjacent buildings on West Main Street, according to a joint news release. The buildings were given to the museum by Laura Frazier and Catherine Frazier Joy, whose father was the late Owsley Frazier.

Under the plan, the museum would expand its bourbon exhibit to further explore the history and cultural impact of the spirit. Plans include "interactive learning programs and events," the news release said.

The expansion is a partnership with the Kentucky Distillers' Association, which owns the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour. The trail includes the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience in Louisville, Four Roses Distillery in Lawrenceburg and several other distilleries.

The trail had 627,032 visitors last year.

In the news release, Mayor Greg Fischer noted that bourbon generates $3 billion in gross state product and provides 15,400 jobs in the state.

In the same news release, KDA President Eric Gregory said the Frazier will help tell the story of a spirit important to Kentucky's culture.

"The Frazier is a natural launch point and we look forward to capitalizing on the museum's experience and resources to make this dream a reality," Gregory said.

The help with the expansion, the Frazier has hired the creative agency Imagination, which has previously worked with the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Natural History Museum in London, the news release said.

The cost of the project has not been determined.

We'll have more on this announcement later today.

This story has been corrected to reflect that the cost of the project has not been determined.




Joseph Lord is the online managing editor for WFPL.

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