LEXINGTON, Ky. — After going virtual for 2021, The James B. Beam Institute for Kentucky Spirits at the University of Kentucky is offering a robust, three-day Bourbon Industry Conference in person for 2022. The institute is committed to offering spirits industry professionals and enthusiasts innovative research and educational opportunities with its third annual conference March 14-16 on the UK campus in Lexington.
The Beam Institute is a collaboration between the UK colleges of Agriculture, Food and Environment; Arts and Sciences; Business and Economics; and Engineering. Its vision is to educate the next generation of distillers through a curriculum that develops skills for undergraduates, graduate students and professionals to succeed in the distilled spirits industry.
“Last year, we offered the conference virtually so that COVID-19 didn’t interrupt our momentum,” said Seth DeBolt, Beam Institute director and UK horticulture professor. “This year, we’re excited to move back to an in-person event to provide a wealth of information and resources bourbon industry professionals can use in their jobs.”
The conference will address key topics those in the industry regularly encounter. UK and industry representatives will lead sessions focused on the current state of the bourbon industry, human resources in the distilled spirits industry, fermentation, maturation, distillation, spent grains, supply chain, sustainability, sales and tourism, construction, business, diversity, equity and inclusion and social responsibility. Participants will have opportunities to network and visit more than 40 interactive displays at the vendor expo. Attendees will also earn a certificate of continuing education for participation.
The conference will begin each day with registration and expo at 7:30 a.m. ET, breakfast at 8 a.m., followed by a welcome at 9 a.m. The expo will reopen during breaks and 2:30-6:30 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday.
A lunch and panel of distillers will take place March 14 at 12 p.m. Members of the media are welcome, with prior registration, to take part in the question-and-answer session.
Mitch Codd of Lallemand Biofuels and Distilled Services will host two sensory sessions on Monday, March 14 at 2:40 and 3:20 p.m. Participants must be 21 or older to take part in these sessions. Attendance is limited to 30 participants and identification will be checked at the door. The sensory session will include nosing only, no tasting.
The popular diversity, equity and inclusion panel discussion will take place Tuesday, March 15 at 9 a.m. Panelists include Victoria Russell, chief diversity and inclusion officer for Beam Suntory; Kate Jenkens, chief business officer for Uncle Nearest Inc. and Uncle Nearest Inc. master blender Victoria Eady Butler.
Conference organizers have confirmed speakers from UK, Kentucky Distillers’ Assocation, Independent Stave Company, Maker’s Mark, James B. Beam Co., Beam Suntory, Diageo, Heaven Hill, Rabbit Hole Distillery, Campari Wild Turkey Distillery, Sazarac, Watershed Distillery, Uncle Nearest Inc., U.S. Forest Service, Brewing and Distilling Analytical Services, Hartwick College for Craft Food and Beverage, SoMax BioEnergy, BioProducts LLC, MinedXAI, StructuRight, TricorBraun, Averitt, AnyRoad, Hall Environmental Consultants LLC, International Solutions, Joseph & Joseph Architects, McBrayer PLLC, Pall Corporation, Louisville Water, Spirtas Wrecking Company, University of Louisville and Miami University.
Registration is $350 for the full conference; one-day tickets are $200 per day. UK faculty and staff discounts are available. Organizers are still accepting vendors. Vendors will receive two free conference registrations and have the option to sponsor a hospitality, coffee break, lunch or technical session. To register as a participant or vendor, visit the conference’s Eventbrite page at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/3rd-annual-james-b-beam-institute-industry-conference-registration-169121993435.
Partners at the time of this release include Kentucky Distillers’ Association, American Farmland Trust, Averitt, Beam Suntory, Lallemand Biofuels and Distilled Services, Team Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, Fire Protection Services, Great Western Malting, AnyRoad and PNC.
Space is limited at three conference hotels. For group rates at these hotels, visit https://beaminstitute.ca.uky.edu/files/conference_hotel_rates_final.pdf.
For more information, visit the Beam Institute website at http://beaminstitute.ca.uky.edu.
UK and Jim Beam-parent company Beam Suntory are dedicated to the responsible consumption of alcohol and together will develop and expand successful alcohol awareness programs, including programming already funded by Beam Suntory.
— Aimee Nielson, UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment