Behind the Bar

Getting to know the ingredients of the people who craft the cocktails at Louisville Thoroughbred Society

 

By Sarah Levitch
Photos by Andrea Hutchinson

 

Yes, this is the bourbon issue, but we wanted to dive deeper into the world of cocktails and what makes a cocktail and the bartenders who create them great. We spoke to two of the cocktail professionals at Louisville Thoroughbred Society, Beverage Director Dante Wheat and Lead Mixologist Will Jones, to get to know them better and the ingredients in themselves that make them so skilled behind the bar. 

Dante Wheat.

Dante Wheat
Beverage Director at the Louisville Thoroughbred Society
Founder of Raw Pineapples Spirits Media Company
“Spirited Creator”

What are the ingredients that make up who you are as a professional? 

Resilience, a touch of fake it ‘til you make it, a good amount of creativity and consistency. Without any of those things, I couldn’t do anything I do. I can be creative, but if I’m not consistent, then no one’s going to work with me again. I can be resilient, but if I don’t have a little bit of that “fake it ‘til you make it,” I’m not going to put myself into rooms that I shouldn’t be in. Once I am in there, I’ll make sure I am supposed to be.

There are plenty of times when I feel like I should quit. The moment I hit that wall, the voice in the back of my mind says no, we’re not succumbing to that, we are going to break through. 

Where did your passion for this industry come from?

I saw how people talked about spirits and bars and didn’t like it. They make it something bigger than it is. A bar is a place to hang out and have fun. The conversations and things you experience in a bar may change your life, but the bar and the drinks are not going to. I take spirits into bar culture and think about how each spirit creates a different experience. Like, this spirit is good for talking about this, this is the environment you should drink this in and this is why you should drink this. I think people care more about the experience you give them rather than the process of making a spirit. What are you going to remember? I always remember who I go to a bar with, not what I was drinking. 

What words would you use to describe yourself?

“Spirited Creator.” It’s a play on spirits, and everything I do is with spirit, whether it be my passion or disdain for something. 

Where does your disdain come from?

My disdain partially comes from copying ideas that were cool five years ago in other markets. For example, everybody wants to open a whiskey bar because we’re in Kentucky. Vodka sells just as much as whiskey though. If you want to be successful, you have to take a risk. I believe we can do something organic as a city, and we can transcend all that.

Will Jones.

Will Jones
Lead Mixologist at the Louisville Thoroughbred Society
“A bartender willing to push boundaries”

What are the ingredients that make up who you are as a professional? 

A big thing as a bartender is relationships. There is a difference between a person who just makes drinks and a person who makes you feel welcome whenever you come into their establishment. This could mean remembering someone’s drink or remembering their name and details about their life.

Another vast importance is knowledge. Being humanistic in nature as well. The best professionals can be stumped. My mentors taught me that you never know who is sitting across from you at the bar. There could be a lead scientist from NASA sitting across from you, but they don’t know how to make their own bitters. There’s no need to chastise them for that. If you are really passionate about it, then you share that passion with them. 

I see couples come into town, and the husband is a big bourbon drinker, but the wife hates bourbon. Using the knowledge I have, I know if someone doesn’t like bourbon, they won’t like a spirit-forward drink. That’s a big part of brand and spirit knowledge, being able to modify or craft a cocktail for the individual. 

How would you describe yourself as a bartender?

“Avant-garde.” I am a bartender willing to push boundaries. For instance, if someone tells me something won’t work, I’ll find a way to make it work using my knowledge. Most recently, at the Black Rabbit, there was a chevre and beet risotto and it inspired me to make a chevre and beet cocktail. I worked under Clay Livingston at 8UP many moons ago, and they had the strawberry cheesecake cocktail with ricotta. Since then, I’ve been searching for an opportunity to use cheese in a cocktail. I used beet, chevre, pisco, mezcal, lime juice and some bitters. I also think a simple cocktail done right goes a long way. I’m like that Green Day song, “Walking Contradiction.” I value tradition as well. With the new cocktail menu I have coming out at LTS, we have bottles from the 1910s and 1920s, so I chose cocktails from 1908, 1924, 1948 and a rendition of the Bramble, which was around 1984. One thing I learned when creating a cocktail menu is you want to get a feel for your consumer base first. You don’t want to alienate them. What I have now is a balance of classics with some of my creations.

Louisville Thoroughbred Society
209 E Main St. #200
Louisville, KY 40202
thelouisvillethoroughbredsociety.com
502.416.1282

Daily Libations September 2021

Joe Daily and Thomas Bolton.

Get to know the nature distilled product of Maker’s Mark through Distillery Diplomat Thomas Bolton and their exciting new offerings

 

By Joe Daily
Photos by Andrea Hutchinson

 

Welcome, everyone! Thanks again for joining us here at the Daily Libations column! I had the pleasure of interviewing a long-time friend and Maker’s Mark Distillery Diplomat, Thomas Bolton. Thomas is a salt-of-the-earth kind of guy. He’s funny, extremely witty and has a passion for bourbon like no other. He and Maker’s Mark do a tremendous amount for the surrounding community of the distillery, but also for our service industry as a whole. He is a lifer in the industry, right beside me. 

This month, I had the opportunity of joining Thomas at the Maker’s Mark Distillery to discuss the many changes it has undergone and the new products they plan to release. It is astounding how Maker’s Mark continues to evolve yet stays true to form in their quality of products. It is truly some of the best bourbon in the world and these guys and gals know what they are doing. Without further adieu, let’s go headfirst and ask some hard questions!

Joe: So how did you get in the business, Thomas? 

Thomas: That’s a long story, but let me give you the short version. I put myself through undergrad and grad school by bartending. I have met so many amazing people through my work behind the pine. One person I met was Jane Bowie who is now our director of innovation. We had a couple of classes together at Bellarmine. She was the Maker’s Mark Diplomat at the time. I told her I was looking to move on from the service industry after about a decade. She mentioned a tour guide position was open at the distillery and would try to get me an interview. That was February 2016 and I started working for Maker’s in April 2016. 

Joe: Tell me about this amazing room we are standing in. It’s pretty chilly!

Thomas: This is one of my favorite rooms at our distillery. It’s our limestone cellar, the home of Maker’s Mark 46 and our original Private Selection tasting room. One of my favorite things about this room is the fact that it constantly hovers around 50 degrees. It’s a great refuge when you are taking groups around the distillery in 100-degree weather, however, it does serve a bigger purpose than cooling down tour groups. It’s built into the side of our hill and has a natural limestone back wall and living roof which helps keep the temperature cool enough for our finishing process. This is vital for meeting the taste vision of Maker’s Mark 46 and Private Select.

Joe: It looks like the grounds are extremely well kept and you have added a garden. What’s the scoop?

Thomas: I have worked at Maker’s for over five years and it seems the campus is always growing and changing. Now, when you walk to the Visitors Center, you will pass our Innovation Garden. It’s a beautiful garden where we focus on creating the most flavorful produce for our restaurant on site, Star Hill Provisions. Many of the things we are growing are from Row 7 Seed Company. Some of the produce hasn’t been grown in Kentucky before, so if we find something that thrives, we can share it with local farmers and hopefully give them another option of a crop to grow.

Joe: It seems that Maker’s Mark is huge on sustainability. Do you have a curated water source on the property?

Thomas: Sustainability is very important for Star Hill Farm and Maker’s Mark. As our Chief Distilling Officer Rob Samuels would say, “We are nature distilled.” At the end of the day, we are an agricultural product. Taking care of the land is our responsibility. When the Samuels family purchased this property back in 1953, it came with the 10+ acre spring-fed lake that we still use today as our water source. Throughout the years, we have slowly purchased the entire watershed that surrounds our lake. We believe we are the only bourbon distillery that owns its water source and the entire watershed that affects it. In the past few years, we acquired another piece of land that also has a lake. So, now we have two lakes on Star Hill Farm.

Joe: As we were riding through the property, I saw an apiary. What can you tell me about it? It was extremely cool to see and really does highlight the level of sustainability that Maker’s Mark is pushing towards. 

Thomas: The apiary is a cool part of the property. Our Drinks and Education Manager, Amanda Humphrey, has spearheaded it using the property to its fullest in our cocktail program. I don’t know much about harvesting honey from the apiary, but I can tell you that it is delicious, and if honey is in a cocktail at the distillery, you should get it.

Thomas Bolton.

Joe: Not only is Maker’s Mark one of the most beautiful distilleries I have ever been to, it looks like the facility is expanding. I believe some portions of this will be available to the public. Is this correct?

Thomas: If you have been down to our distillery in the last six years, it would seem that there is always something new and exciting happening. This year is no different. New this year is our Innovation Garden, the pergola at our homeplace, our double barrel bridge and our apiary. When you come down to the distillery and take a tour, you will see a new project coming together in the heart of campus next to our bottling line. It will have offices, an event space and I hear a rooftop bar is in the picture too. I am very excited for these projects to finish so we can continue to show our guests what Maker’s Mark Distillery and Star Hill Farm have to offer. 

Joe: We just had a couple of cocktails and a variation of the Manhattan. I know there is a backstory here.

Thomas: This is a very specific variation of a Manhattan. What I made for you is a “Bill Samuels Jr. Manhattan.” This cocktail and I have a funny history. I was making cocktails for a charity event at Bill Jr.’s house. He ordered a Manhattan and I made it the standard 2-1-2 method. Two parts Maker’s Mark 46, one part sweet vermouth and two dashes of bitters. Bill informed me I had made this wrong, and we had a spirited debate on how to make a Manhattan. We decided to call what he likes a “Bill Samuels Jr. Manhattan” and that’s what I made you today. Instead of bitters, substitute a bar spoon full of cherry juice. It’s a little sweeter than a traditional Manhattan but the bourbon is still the star.

Joe: We always like to have cocktails in “Daily Libations” and I am having a Gold Rush. The honey is actually from Maker’s Mark’s apiary. What are your thoughts on the Gold Rush?

Thomas: A Gold Rush is quickly becoming one of my favorite cocktails. It is a modern classic with just the right amount of sweet, paired with the perfect amount of bourbon and enough citrus to make it a porch sipper for me. Add in honey from the onsite apiary and you have a perfect cocktail. I like to use classic Maker’s Mark for this. The 90 proof bourbon with its vanilla, caramel and baking spices makes a perfect pairing with the honey and lemon.

Joe: I hear you have some new products coming out, one in particular that definitely piqued my interest. Can you shed some light on it?

Thomas: Innovation and new products are not words that were often spoken at the Maker’s Mark Distillery from 1953 until about 2009. For a long time, we only made one thing: classic Maker’s Mark. It was the only thing we did and we still do it very well. Maker’s Mark 46 was our first innovation and we haven’t looked back since. FAE-02 is coming out this fall 2021. Our wood finishing series started in 2019 with RC-6, in 2020 with SE4 X PR5 and at the beginning of 2021, we had FAE-01. Every one of our wood finishing series focuses on a specific process in our bourbon making and highlights it. RC-6 focused on the flavors we get from our yeast strain. SE4 x PR5 focused on the seasoning of the oak we use for our barrels. The FAE series focuses on the flavors you get from non-chill filtering. At Maker’s, we split flavor into two camps: taste and texture. FAE-01 focused on the tastes you get from non-chill filtering. FAE-02 is focusing on the texture you get from leaving the fatty acid esters in your bourbon. I am very excited about this release and trying FAE-01 next to FAE-02 is going to be a really fun tasting experience.

Joe: To close it out, a question many of us have asked ourselves: bourbon is on a tear, do you think we will ever see a slowdown?

Thomas: Joe, you and I have known each other for a long time. We have probably had this conversation three or four times in our friendship. Eight years ago, I was saying this bourbon bubble had to burst and it had to burst soon. I was wrong then. I am happy bourbon is on a tear; it is great for business and it is great for the state of Kentucky. The amount of tourism bourbon drives is huge for our state and the hospitality industry in Kentucky. I think the spirit industry is cyclical and it will have its ebbs and flows. Selfishly, I hope it never slows down. 

If your readers are interested in following the adventures of a Maker’s Mark Diplomat, they can follow me on Instagram @beardedbourbonboy. 

Joe: Thomas, thank you very much for taking the time out of your schedule to meet with us! It’s always a pleasure.

As always, let’s talk about those recipes for you to make at home. Giving our readers the opportunity to drink what we drink is extremely rewarding for me. I hope you enjoy it as well. Thank you again for joining us this month at “Daily Libations”!

Joe Daily and Thomas Bolton.

If you drink it. I study it.

Cheers,
Joe Daily

Gold Rush Cocktail:
Tools required to tipple your senses:
• 1 oz to 2 oz jigger (A bartender’s tool to measure)
• Boston shaker (Tin to tin or glass to tin. I prefer tin to tin.)
• Hawthorne strainer (I prefer a strainer with a very tight spring to catch particles.)
• 8 to 12 oz (Rocks glass or Old Fashioned glass)
• Ice scoop (The tool everyone forgets, including me.)
• Paring knife for garnish
Where the magic happens:
• 2 oz Maker’s Mark Kentucky Straight Bourbon
• 1 oz honey syrup
• .75 oz lemon juice, freshly squeezed
• Garnish: ½ lemon wheel
• Ice: fresh ice
• Rocks glass
Directions:
• Add liquid ingredients
• Fill with ice
• Clap tins together and vigorously shake for 12 seconds or until the tins begin to frost over
• Strain ingredients into a rocks glass over fresh ice, garnish and enjoy!
vHoney syrup 2:1
• 2 cups honey
• 1 cup water
• Warm mixture on low heat in a small saucepan until completely dissolved together. Bottle and refrigerate for up to two weeks.

“Bill Samuels Jr. Manhattan” Cocktail
Tools required to tipple your senses:
• 1 oz and 2 oz jigger (A bartender’s tool to measure)
• Yarai mixing glass (This is 90% of the time a glass vessel, but there are some metal versions as well.)
• Stirring spoon (This is a spoon designed to stir cocktails.)
• Hawthorne strainer or julep strainer(I prefer Hawthorne strainers for all applications.)
• Coupe glass
• Ice scoop (The tool everyone forgets, including me.)
Where the magic happens:
• 2 oz Maker’s 46 Kentucky Straight Bourbon
• 1 oz sweet vermouth of your choice
• 1 bar spoon of maraschino cherry juice
• Garnish: brandied dark cherries
Directions:
• In the mixing glass, add Maker’s 46 and sweet vermouth together
• Fill with ice above the line of fluid (I usually fill almost ¾ up in the mixing glass.)
• Stir the cocktail moving the spoon to the outside wall of the mixing glass 37-50 times. We want smooth laminar flow. (Laminar flow is when we have layers of liquid moving in the same direction, and in return, supercooling the beverage.) Your ice should swirl in a seamless manner quietly. It requires a little practice!
Strain ingredients using your Hawthorne strainer over fresh large format ice into a coupe glass
• Add 1 bar spoon of maraschino cherry juice
• Garnish with dark brandied cherries and enjoy!

Home Trends September 2021

Greg Fickle, Don Kavanaugh, Jude Loew, Patrick Gittings, Vanessa Pendergrass, Gregg Keller and Barry Wooley.

Featuring Barry Wooley Designs and their take on the changing landscape of home design today

 

By Liz Bingham
Photos by Kathryn Harrington

 

Since the pandemic, people have been spending more time in their homes which is redefining the home design industry. We spoke to the Founder of Barry Wooley Designs, Barry Wooley, and Design Director, Greg Fickle, to learn more about the changing design trends and how Barry Wooley Designs can help make your home beautiful and functional.

What changes have you seen in terms of design requests or trends post-pandemic?

Barry: Designs that are tailored to comfortable living have been a priority for clients during and post-pandemic. Comfortable seating, fabrics and soft “hardscape” items like carpets and rugs are being used more in design as people adapt to being home regularly. Keeping in mind that clients have adapted to working from home, the request for office solutions has increased, including cord and wire control and “lifestyle” offices that fit residential interiors.

Greg: While open-concept isn’t going away anytime soon, clients are wanting a little more separation. We were around each other a lot! We all needed some space. Also, as close family and friends came together more in small groups, we wanted to enjoy that time together. Those moments became sacred. We didn’t want to spend time cleaning up the kitchen after a dinner party, but also didn’t want to look into a dirty kitchen from the lounging spaces. Some partitions became needed. 

As far as furnishings, clients wanted no-fuss pieces. We want to spend as much time together as possible. As home trends typically follow clothing styles, think athleisure wear. Performance fabrics, comfort, items that can be easily washed, flexible styles that coordinate with one another, no ironing, bright and fun patterns mixed with neutrals, etc.    

What do you think is causing these changes?

Barry: During the pandemic, people spent the majority, if not all, of their time at home. This led them to begin investing their time and money into making their homes comfortable for 24/7 living. With a limited environment where families were living, working, raising children and adapting to new norms, clients started to realize components of their spaces that needed new style and a refreshed design. Essentially, they were bored of staring at the same things in their house that they’ve had for years. The design and furnishings industry began leaning into the needs of clients during an unprecedented pandemic, which kept the industry stable for the last year and a half.   

Are there any requests or trends you think will continue, even once we’re truly past the pandemic?

Barry: It’s been surprising to hear clients request carpets and larger rugs to cover hardwood and tile floors. These are investment pieces, and people seem to be transitioning back into wanting soft and comfortable surfaces. The reason it appears these trends may stay is because people wouldn’t invest in these pieces if they intend to replace them within the next few years. Not only that, but carpets and rugs have a more refreshed style that’s fitting the current age of interior design. It’s no longer like it was twenty years ago. 

Greg: Definitely the trend to create efficient and dedicated home office spaces. The pandemic has changed how we do work for good. Whether companies adopt the practices now or in the future, some sort of hybrid version will inevitably be our future.

What’s the number one request you’re seeing now? And what’s your favorite trend you’re seeing now?

Barry: Things that are in stock and available now. It’s clear that clients have been willing to make decisions based solely on what’s available earlier, with our expertise in guiding those conversations to ensure the space still carries the integrity of our vision. Our design team is recommending more color to liven everything up from the monochromatic. 

I have always believed life begins at home, and if you get your home right, your life will fall into place. It’s really comforting to see so many people taking steps to create spaces they truly love.

How is your new space conducive to these new trends?

Barry: Our new space allows us to carry a large overhead of in-stock and available one-of-a-kind pieces. While most design companies require clients to wait months for custom pieces, Barry Wooley Group Designs has a surplus of unique pieces – sofas, rugs, carpet, artwork, decorative accessories, occasional seating, buffets and tables – that clients can take home today. This also allows us to complete projects more efficiently because we can leverage our own in-house pieces to incorporate into our design projects when the client is on a shorter timeline. We consider ourselves lucky to offer high-end, custom, consigned furnishings from some of the best furnished homes in the region. 

Greg: We are also a one-stop shop. If your space is not working for you, you need more space, a new space altogether, or to get rid of your space, we can make any of those things happen. We can help make your house meet your needs through furnishings, staging, additions, remodeling, etc. We can help get your house ready to sell if it no longer meets your needs, or we can help you find a new house and make it exactly what you need it to be!

Barry Wooley Designs
116 S 10th St.
Louisville, KY 40202
bwgroup.design
502.569.7101

This Side of Paradise

A speakeasy bar and cocktail to beat the end of summer heat

 

By Liz Bingham
Photo by Jon Cherry

 

As summer winds down with a final pop of heat and humidity, there’s no better escape than below Whiskey Row. A highlight of Hell or High Water’s summer menu is a fun, tropically inspired cocktail called “This Side of Paradise” that will have you savoring the end of summer in no time. It’s a riff on Ti Punch that combines lime, cane syrup and Rhum Agricole, with hints of pineapple and coconut. The drink has Sirop de Canne made in-house by the bar’s beverage director, James Siegel. You’ll find it on the sweeter side but delightful with all of the different notes of tropical fruit.

We’d like to say thank you again to Hell or High Water for hosting our September issue cover shoot, especially to James for providing the ice and bourbon! It was the absolute perfect venue for our bourbon issue with its elegant, moody atmosphere and speakeasy vibes. So to beat the heat these last few weeks of summer, we recommend you head to Hell or High Water yourselves for a local, speakeasy experience you can’t find anywhere else. Cheers!

This Side of Paradise
.25 oz Sirop de Canne
.5 oz Lime
.5 oz Pineapple/Coconut gastrique
2 oz Rhum Agricole
Shake with ice and pour over rocks.
Garnish with lime slice.

Hell or High Water
112 W Washington St.
Louisville, KY 40202
hellorhighwaterbar.com
502.587.3057

Get Into the Spirit of Kentucky

The Frazier History Museum marks the official starting point of Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail

 

By Ella Treinen
Photos by Andrea Hutchinson

 

It is a trail with no clear path, and for years, no clear starting point. In 2018, the Frazier History Museum earned a designation and responsibility to change that. The Frazier is now the official starting point of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, offering direction, guidance and a logical place to begin your Kentucky Bourbon tourism experience.

When many think of Kentucky, they also think of fried chicken, horses and bourbon. Bourbon is an integral part of Kentucky’s history and economy with 95 percent of the world’s bourbon produced in-state. As a result, it pours over $8.5 billion into the state’s economy every year.

“We do make 95% of all bourbon, but we like to say we make 100% of good bourbon,” said Bourbon Steward and Manager of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Welcome Center at the Frazier Sam Newton.

 Kentucky is home to 38 bourbon distilleries, each with a brand to represent and a story to tell. The Frazier acts as a launching pad, highlighting the category of bourbon from a completely unbiased perspective. The Frazier teaches visitors what it is about our land, our water, our people and our politics that put Kentucky in this unique position. The Bourbon Trail Welcome Center, located on the first floor of the Frazier, is free to anyone and offers guidance, distillery videos, trail maps, merchandise and more.

 “Unlike all the other distilleries that are in business to tell the story of their brand, our job is to tell the story of the industry and how it ties into Kentucky,” said Frazier Bourbon Expert and Group Sales Manager Stephen Yates.

 The Frazier tells the story of bourbon in more ways than one. Besides the Bourbon Trail Welcome Center, they offer bourbon tours like their “Ready, Set, Go! Bourbon Experience and The Unfiltered Truth” which offers the perspective of Black Americans in bourbon. The tours are unique and interactive, highlighting the Frazier’s “Spirit of Kentucky” bourbon exhibition which features a speakeasy, a touch-screen interactive table and a bottle hall with over 270 bottles of whiskey. Rather than a lecture-style experience, Yates said he approaches his tours as if he were hosting guests he wanted to show a good time.

 Through tastings with one of the Frazier’s bourbon experts, visitors can learn how to isolate the taste of rye on their tongue, where the flavors come from and why Kentucky bourbon just tastes better. If you can’t get enough, there is an array of bourbon programs just a click away on the Frazier’s website. The most recent featured Master Distillers were from Wilderness Trail, Kentucky Peerless and a brewer from Jeffersontown’s 3rd Turn Brewery. September’s Masters Series features Jackie Zykan from Old Forester and the three brothers who founded Kentucky’s first Black-owned distillery, Brough Brothers.

“We’re trying to get more Kentuckians educated about this awesome product we’re making, so when they introduce it to their friends, they can actually tell them the facts so you have a little bit more pride in what you’re talking about,” said Newton.

Kentuckians aren’t the only ones eager to learn. There are license plates from all over in the Frazier History Museum parking lot owned by people eager to get a taste of Kentucky. In fact, the Kentucky Bourbon Trail itself has drawn in over 2.5 million visitors from all 50 states and 25 countries in just the last five years. What better place to introduce the state, and what our state does best, to the rest of the world than the Frazier History Museum.

“It’s promoting what we do at the Frazier, but also, our hometown,” said Yates. “We get to sell our city and our state to the rest of the country.”

Frazier History Museum
829 W Main St.
Louisville, KY 40202
fraziermuseum.org
502.753.5663

The Magic of Field & Fork

The Parklands of Floyds Fork’s ninth annual fundraiser promises an evening under the stars in true Kentucky style

 

By Emily Renco
Photos by Bob Hower and ted wathen

 

In 2020, The Parklands of Floyds Fork had a record-breaking year and saw more than 3.8 million visits. Park-goers enjoyed the hiking trails, sports fields, playgrounds and more as a way to reconnect with nature and find a sense of solace in a socially distanced and safe way. Even before the pandemic, The Parklands have made an impact on people from all over Kentucky and the region since its opening in 2011. “It’s about reintroducing people to nature and having an accessible way to have an adventure. Some might think that they have to travel several hours and instead only have to drive 20-30 minutes to have access to bike trails or a kayak outing. Those options are all right here in The Parklands’ backyard. It’s something that I think is unique to our state and region,” said Director of Communications & Marketing for The Parklands, Anna Rosales-Crone. 

To continue to provide free access to The Parklands 365 days a year and maintain the nearly 4,000 acres of land it encompasses, the highly anticipated annual fundraiser, Field and Fork, will bring people together who love and care deeply about The Parklands in hopes of raising money for their annual operations. 

Now in its ninth year, Field and Fork presented by JPMorgan Chase & Co. is Co-Chaired by Mac and Jessica Thompson, who returned home to Louisville some years ago partially due to a “need for green space, The Parklands being one of the many ways we can reach the outdoors on a weekly basis,” said Jessica. While growing their business White Clay, which was founded in 2006 to provide consulting services and custom software solutions for regional bank partners, the Thompson’s are passionate about staying involved in the community and supporting the many treasures of our region. Mac has been on the board at the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival and Actors Theatre, and Jessica is serving on the Louisville Zoo Foundation’s Board of Trustees to name a few. The Thompsons believe that Louisville is a place where it’s small enough that, if you take the time to make connections, you can have an impact. 

The Thompson’s have attended Field and Fork for many years, and because of their love of The Parklands, they were honored to become Co-Chairs this year. When asking them what it means to them, Jessica said, “We’ve worked with many of the people at The Parklands previously and when we were asked, it just felt natural.” 

This year, Field and Fork will be hosted on September 11, 2021, at the beautiful Brown-Forman Silo Center in Turkey Run Park. “After a year of being away, guests will be able to enjoy a delicious dinner, relaxing evening and so much more,” said Rosales-Crone. 

Additionally, Field and Fork will host a live auction with a wide variety of items that guests can preview online. Included in the auction and new this year, Maker’s Mark has donated a unique Private Selection Experience at Star Hill Farm, home of National Historic Landmark, the Maker’s Mark Distillery in Loretto, KY. The winning bidder will be taken on an intimate whiskey adventure where they will get to explore the grounds, including places usually reserved for master distillers, and handcraft their own personal barrel of Maker’s Mark. 

One of Jessica’s favorite parts of the evening is The Afterglow, where guests can come together, look up into the night sky and appreciate The Parklands’ splendor. As for Mac’s favorite part, he shared, “The overall experience of being outside at the park, underneath the stars and near the gorgeous barn just gives you this amazing feeling for why you’re there and what you’re trying to accomplish.” 

If guests are unable to attend Field and Fork, The Parklands will be hosting other fundraising events throughout the end of 2021 and in 2022. “Another easy way to support The Parklands is simply by visiting,” said Rosales-Crone. “Exploring the area and coming out for a run, hike or bike ride is a great way to learn about and enjoy the area.” As for the Thompsons, they continue to support and encourage others to visit the parks since, “The Parklands provide a [nearly] 4,000-acre backyard for the community to exercise, engage in activities and live and experience the outdoors,” said Mac. “The Parklands itself is an impactful experience that brings people together and that shared experience is one of the reasons why The Parklands is something we continue supporting.”

The Parklands of Floyds Fork
Beckley Creek Pkwy
Louisville, KY 40245
theparklands.org
502.584.0350

The Beauty & Sport of Horses

Kentucky welcomes EQUITANA USA, the world’s largest equine trade and exhibition show

 

By Rachel Porter
Photos provided by EQUITANA USA & The Kentucky Horse Park

 

Although it can be hard to imagine a love for horses bigger than the horse capital of the world, there are people as far away as Germany who have been sharing their passion and appreciation for horses for years. Wolf Kröber, a German rider, was one of them. In Essen, Germany in 1972, Kröber saw an opportunity in the market to bring more people in the equestrian industry together by having numerous exhibitors display their knowledge and talent about horses. Therefore, he created his own “One Man Show” known as the famous EQUITANA, to fill in the missing piece he had been looking for. It rapidly became known for introducing new equestrian specialties, but also new international horse breeds to countless numbers of equine riders throughout the world. What started as a small trade fair show over 48 years ago in Essen exhibition halls has now become the world’s largest meeting place and brand for equestrian sports.

This year, the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY has the honor of hosting the newest and in-person edition of EQUITANA USA. The three-day event is an equine exposition that simply celebrates the beauty and sport of horses. Reed Exhibitions North America and the Kentucky Horse Park are very excited to share this high-quality expo with the state in October. Even Former First Lady of Kentucky Jane Beshear cannot wait. She will return as the official spokeswoman to show her love and support for the state and the equestrian industry’s largest event. We spoke with the EQUITANA USA Event Director, Meghan Margewicz, to learn more about what EQUITANA USA will bring to Kentucky and for the attendees and horse enthusiasts.

When choosing what expo was going to be used for EQUITANA USA, Margewicz and her team knew it needed to be the best fit. “There are a lot of other expos, but there wasn’t one at a place like the Kentucky Horse Park that is made for international equestrians. We knew that the right people would be there,” explained Margewicz. “There also aren’t many expos that cater to every aspect like EQUITANA USA will do and after really looking around, we found a pocket of opportunity.”

The new EQUITANA USA provides the experience of shopping, education and entertainment in the hopes of there being something for everyone regardless of a person’s knowledge or skill set for horses. 

“We want the feeling of the exclusive expo but one that is more inviting to everyone and will also still give you the wow factor,” Margewicz said.  

EQUITANA USA will not only feature 165 exhibitors but also host seminars, clinics, training and the 90-minute EQUUS Evolution evening show each night. Each event is informative and unique in its own way. From the Social Responsibility of Equestrian Influencers Panel to Phillip Dutton, an American Olympic equestrian, hosting a clinic, there will be so many educational opportunities for horse enthusiasts to partake in. 

For people who like the arts and history, EQUUS Evolution is a must. “EQUUS Evolution is a scaled-down version of Cirque du Soleil. It incorporates performances of well-known polo riders, dressage and history of horse and man to push through the concept of relationships between a person and a horse in a theatrical way,” described Margewicz. Nicole Forbes, the content manager, with the help of Margewicz and the rest of the team, worked together to discover performers, from equestrian relationships to finding people on Instagram. Tickets for EQUUS Evolution need to be purchased separately from the EQUITANA event and include complimentary parking at the Alltech Arena and assigned seating that is socially distanced.

When it comes to activities for children, Margewicz wanted to make sure there were activities for all ages. “I still want to make adults feel like kids again,” said Margrwicz. There will be the Play Paddock full of nostalgic fun. Families can paint horse figurines together or race in the Bouncy Horse Bash to raise money. For more “mature” parents and their children, they can listen to speakers on how to hold the reins when it comes to buying their child their first horse or pony. 

EQUITANA USA is from Oct. 1-3. For more information on ticketing, pricing and who all will be there, visit equitanausa.com. Attendees can also reference the website for COVID-19 regulations or any updated changes. 

“Diversity inclusion in the equestrian space has been a struggle, but you don’t have to look a certain way or have money to be in it. We wanted to represent all different types of people and people that others could relate to. EQUITANA USA also covers all different types of education and discipline,” said Margewicz. “We can learn from everyone and anyone.”

EQUITANA USA
4089 Iron Works Parkway
Lexington, KY 40511
equitanausa.com
877.547.6398

A Tribute to Michael David Power

1971 – 2021
By Laura Ross

 

His boisterous, happy belly laugh was loud and instantly recognizable. The advertising business – The Power Agency (formerly Power Creative) – that his father, Mike Power, founded in 1976 was his passion. Giving back to the community he loved was second nature. But, a fast and difficult battle with cancer ended that all too early for Michael David Power, who died at his Prospect, KY home on July 24, 2021, at only 49-years-old. 

“While we are heartbroken at the loss of David, we are inspired by his courageous fight and the tenants he has left us,” said Tim Lucas, President of The Power Agency. “Just like his father, David believed in hard work and exceeding client expectations. Those things are only accomplished when you fill your hallways with talented, passionate and wildly creative individuals. Those of us here are determined to carry on the legacy that David and his father Mike built, and know that they have left us with the guidance and confidence to accomplish that task.”  

An often-quoted story told is how the young David Power’s first job at his father’s agency was sweeping the floors in the photography studio. He graduated from Trinity High School and the University of Louisville and worked his way up the ladder, assuming the title of CEO of The Power Agency in 2012. 

“Under his leadership, I was able to witness the transformation of our firm,” added Lucas. “David was an early adopter, and he brought that love of technology to the agency. Because of him, we were one of the first agencies in the country to have an in-house CG team, as well as numerous other innovations that we use with our clients every day.” 

Throughout his life, Power supported numerous community nonprofits and the schools he loved, including Trinity High School and the University of Louisville. 

“David was highly regarded at his alma mater, and rightly so,” said Dr. Robert Mullen, President, Trinity High School. “We honored him as our alumnus-of-the-year in 2002, with an award for his philanthropy in 2004, and with induction into our Hall of Fame in 2008.”

“He allowed the school to tap into the power of The Power Agency, and their innovative and savvy approaches have assisted us in telling our story to prospective students and parents,” Mullen added. “David was a generous donor to numerous causes, especially in putting Trinity within reach of many families with his support of our need-based financial aid programs. That support is continuing after his passing. I will miss his great handshakes and that welcoming smile.”

Power served on multiple boards of directors, including Kids’ Cancer Alliance, Olmsted Parks Conservancy and the Speed Art Museum. His insight helped these organizations achieve significant business and civic goals. He also supported multiple nonprofits, including Hope Scarves, the Warrior Empowerment Foundation and others by providing guidance, funding and pro-bono marketing support for causes close to his heart. 

Michael Greenwell, CEO of Titan Marine, and the founder of the Warrior Empowerment Foundation, first met the Power family in 1984 through their love of boating.  “When I founded the Warrior Empowerment Foundation in 2013, a charitable foundation that provides financial assistance to local veterans, David provided writers, artists, marketers and other experts to us at no cost,” said Greenwell. “They treated the Foundation as if we were a million-dollar client. His grandfather, L.C. Power, was a World War II veteran, with three Purple Hearts and the Bronze Star for his heroic service and we are happy to honor him through our ongoing grant program.”

“The philanthropy and generosity of David and the Power family are generational and inspiring,” added Greenwell. “Unfortunately, in the last six years, I have witnessed the passing of three generations of the Power family, L.C., Mike and David. Their loss personally and to this community is immeasurable, however, their impact will continue to ripple throughout time. Through our philanthropic pursuits, boating, and just goofing off, David and I became ‘brothers from others’ and his friendship and loss will leave an indelible mark on me.”

David is survived by his husband, Bruce Hardy. Expressions of sympathy can be directed to the Kids Cancer Alliance at kidscanceralliance.org. 

David Power.

Passport: Places, Trends, Style

Featuring Crew Aviation: Private Jets. Stellar Service.

 

By Amy Barnes
Photos by Kathryn Harrington

 

When it comes to quality, guest experience, safety and acute attention to detail, Louisville’s Crew Aviation team provides executive-level clients with highly personalized and meticulous luxury boutique travel services. We recently chatted with Crew Aviation COO and Director of Operations Tim Peace and Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer Shannon Weidekamp regarding the company’s fastidious focus on safety and service as it opens its newest offices in Palm Beach and Sarasota, FL. 

Tim Peace and Max Weidekamp.

Tell me about your business. Who do you serve?

We work with private jet owners, interested in private aircraft management, as well as individuals, businesses and groups seeking charter flights and other private aircraft options. Most of these clients are people and businesses who want to maximize their time, have greater control of their destinations and planning, and those whose main concern is safety in terms of security, health and mitigating any potential risks associated with flying.

Where do you fly?

Whether it’s a quick trip to Nashville, a California business meeting, a weekend in Florida or a romantic getaway, we can provide world-class domestic and international private charter flights in most countries across the globe. 

You equate your company’s attention to detail and application of service quality to the ritual of serving tea. Could you elaborate on this comparison?

The notion of tea spans all nations of our world. Most of us are aware of Great Britain’s historical heritage to the social convention of the drink. How does this contrast to our business? Tea is a trade item and has been for hundreds of years. This also makes tea a luxury item, a social convention and something to share with guests. Historically, as a luxury, tea was a highborn consumable that spanned the globe because, as it has been said, “the sun never sets on the British Empire.” Luxury has no comparison, and while service, quality and safety are all foundational principles, we at Crew Aviation strive in every way to assure luxury expectations are exceeded before they are requested.  

Max Weidekamp.

Describe some examples of Crew Aviation’s boutique and luxury services.

We continually strive to live up to our mantra: Private Aircraft, Stellar ServiceTM. From the blankets we have on board, to the type of bourbon or beverage our clients drink, to food preferences and more, we try to learn what our clients desire and continuously anticipate their needs. For example, we have access to high-end royal markets and textiles such as the Queen’s blankets (the same blanket the Queen [of England] uses), monogrammed pillows, made-to-order bedding or custom-created accessories from some of the finest purveyors of luxury goods around the world. 

Whether it is a simple offering of Werther’s candies or the finest champagne, we feel the greatest luxury is listening to our clients’ needs, wants and requests. 

Before a client flies with us, we ask them to fill out a passenger preferences survey. We ask things like their food allergies, what type of water they like, what type of blanket they prefer, their favorite candy or beverage. We try to offer Kentucky bourbons on our flights (including Brown-Forman products) but we cater to our client’s preferences. We want our clients who are not owners to feel like our jets are also their asset. 

Additionally, we watch what our clients bring on board. Is it a special beverage, served at the desired temperature? Do they bring a certain type of snack because they are gluten-free or vegetarian? If this item is not currently in stock, we will assure that it is available on the next flight. We try to notice and meet their exact preferences.

You recently opened new locations in Palm Beach and Sarasota, FL. What are your additional plans for future growth?

In addition to our location in Louisville, KY and the Florida offices, we have plans to open new locations in several other states and are in discussions to open divisions outside of the United States. We have multiple projects to unveil in the near future that support and enhance our existing operations.

Describe your additional services.

In addition to the boutique services previously mentioned, we also work in aircraft acquisitions, consulting and maintenance. Our professional and highly experienced team creates personalized plans that fit our customers’ wants and needs. Whether you are purchasing, chartering or simply want to learn more about private aviation, we guarantee stellar service.

Crew Aviation
1176 Standiford Ave.
Louisville, KY 40213
crewaviation.com
502.368.7200

 

Big Four Bridge Arts Festival 2021

Soak up one of the last weeks of summer with art, food and fun for the whole family

 

By Rachel Porter
Photos provided by Big Four Bridge Arts Festival

 

Although it seems like summer is slipping away, there are still several events to look forward to during the warmer months we have left. The Big Four Bridge Arts Festival is one of those events you don’t want to miss. The fifth annual festival will be hosting up to 150 juried artists on the Big Four Bridge Lawn that overlooks the Ohio River at Waterfront Park in Louisville, KY.  We spoke to the Big Four Bridge Arts Festival Directors, Lou Nunnelley and Amy Powers, to hear more about the event and what attendees can expect this year. 

How did the Big Four Bridge Arts Festival begin five years ago?

The Founder and Director, Lou Nunnelley, planned the festival approximately four years before it fully flourished into the popular event it is today. When Nunnelley heard about the city’s plans to start the Big Four Walking Bridge, he knew that it would be the best place to hold the art festival. From traveling around the country to different festivals to reading books on how to put art festivals together and also being an artist himself, Nunelley felt ready and inspired to bring his idea to life. As an art festival that started with 120 vendors to now 150, it has grown to have over 40,000 attendees, making it the most attended two-day event ever held on the Big Four Bridge Lawn.

Which and what types of artists are participating in the festival this year? Are there any new, exciting and notable artists to keep an eye out for? 

Each year, artists from all over the country participate and display their art to the city. To participate in the festival, the art has to be 100% handmade. It can range from fine arts to crafts, ensuring there is something for everyone. This year, there will be eight emerging artists. An emerging artist can be someone who has never even done a festival before but still has a gift and passion for artmaking. Some of the emerging artists include Rachel Carter, a silversmith, Chad Vance, a painter and James Callop, a photographer. There will be returning artists such as Chris Hartsfeld, a painter and Doug Brink, a ceramic artist. 

What are some of the other activities the Big Four Bridge Arts Festival will have for families to enjoy?

The Big Four Bridge Arts Festival will provide entertainment of all aspects for adults and children. Every year, Nunnelly and Powers scout local musicians from around the city to play live music for the attendees and artists to watch and listen to. Tyron Cotton and Carly Johnson are two musicians that will be returning this year. This year is very special in regards to music because it is the first time the festival is partnering with the University of Louisville’s Music Therapy Department. 

While attendees are listening to music or observing and buying art, they can also enjoy some delicious food. There will be several food trucks and festival cuisine and spirits for attendees to indulge in. Children have the opportunity to have some fun as well in the children’s activities tent with arts and crafts and the Foggy Bottom Petting Zoo. 

What types of relationships has the Big Four Bridge Arts Festival established with the Louisville community?

Nunnelly and Powers specifically wanted the festival to have a meaningful cause. They have not only partnered with the University of Louisville’s Music Therapy Department, but have also been partners with Bridgehaven Mental Health Services since the beginning. Bridgehaven provides hope and recovery through innovation and community-based mental health services to adults living with mental illness. This year, admission is $5 and a portion of the proceeds goes to Bridgehaven. The festival hopes to advocate for the importance of destigmatizing mental health and creating more positive mental health facilities. To find out more information, there will be volunteers at the front gate helping with admissions. 

How can volunteers and artists get involved?

If people would still like to volunteer for this year’s festival, they can go to the website and sign up for a time slot. Artist applications for 2022 will be opened on the website from Jan. 1 – May 10. 

The Big Four Bridge Arts Festival will take place the weekend after Labor Day, from Sept. 11- 12, at the Big Four Bridge Lawn. Tickets will only be sold at the entrance of the festival for $5. Nunnelly and Powers are very excited about this year due to the festival being canceled last year and want everyone to enjoy the river, warm weather, and most importantly, the art.

Big Four Bridge Arts Festival
1103 River Road
Louisville, KY 40202
bigfourbridgeartsfestival.com
502.435.7602

It’s Time to Toast the Trees!

Angel’s Envy’s eighth annual initiative to plant oak trees during the month of September

 

By Sarah Levitch
Photos provided by Angel’s Envy

 

Raise a glass, take a photo and plant a tree! For the month of September, Angel’s Envy is hosting its annual Toast the Trees initiative. Starting in 2014 as a humble effort towards sustainability and putting back the resources used in the process of aging bourbon, Toast the Trees soon exceeded expectations and sparked excitement in the spirits industry. Co-Founder of Angel’s Envy, Wes Henderson, stated, “When we started the program, we never imagined we would be able to plant as many trees as we have. We didn’t grasp the enormity of what we’d be able to do and how it would be embraced by the bartending community, industry partners, restaurant partners and our distribution partners.”

During the month of September, for every social media post of a drink, bottle or celebration with a #ToastTheTrees, Angel’s Envy will plant one oak tree. Henderson encourages participants to get creative and have fun with it! In their eight years, Angel’s Envy has planted over 130,000 trees, which is more trees than they have used for barrels. Henderson added, “Normally, I’m not speechless about anything, but I’m really humbled and honored about how the team has made this program come to life and how significant it is to Angel’s Envy and the industry.”

To plant the trees, the Angel’s Envy team will come together to plant a few, but their partners, Arbor Day Foundation and Green Forests Work, help do a bulk of the planting as well as finding places to plant trees. Henderson noted that, “the majority of the trees have been planted in the Appalachian mountains. Much of that is reclaimed land from coal strip mining. I also plant a couple of the trees in my yard because I like to see how much they grow each year.”

Looking towards the future, Henderson will continue to let Toast the Trees grow organically, with hopes to find new areas to plant the trees. He said, “I would like to see us look at different places and opportunities to plant trees, like in areas where there is deforestation. I’d like to expand to some other areas that have been impacted by forest fires too and do a deeper dive in the strategy behind specific locations to plant trees.”

In 2020, Angel’s Envy set a goal of 50,000 trees, which was met and exceeded despite most bars and restaurants being closed. As things open up more in 2021, the Angel’s Envy team is setting a goal of 65,000 trees.

Whether you’re at home enjoying a bourbon after a long day, out for dinner sipping wine with a loved one, drinking a cocktail with a friend at a bar or celebrating a special occasion with a glass of champagne, raise your glass, post a photo and #ToastTheTrees!

Angel’s Envy Distillery
500 E Main St.
Louisville, KY 40202
angelsenvy.com
502.890.6300

Note from the Publisher September 2021

Photos by Andrea Hutchinson.

“If she were a drink, she’d be a single barrel bourbon on ice. Smooth with a kick, a chill and a burn all at the same time.”
– Brad Paisley
 

Welcome to the September Bourbon issue and all things bourbon. We are situated in the heart of bourbon country, the land of bluegrass and culture that ranges from couture fashion, thoroughbred racing to having access to the finest distilleries in the world, all in our own backyard. This is why I chose to invite our newest team member and Managing Editor, Alex Hepfinger, to join me for a lighthearted photoshoot in the chicken coup in my own backyard. When I proposed the idea to her, she did not skip a beat, the answer was a solid “yes.” And of course, Andrea Hutchinson, one of our staff photographers, was even more excited than any of us! What better way to express the cultural variety in Kentucky than to talk about bourbon while the chickens gathered at our feet. It was lighthearted indeed. Alex shared, “My feelings of stepping into the role of managing editor are closely related in these series of photos. They are both unexpectedly natural and incredibly terrifying. In many ways, it feels familiar to my time as an intern, stylist and Voice of Style editor of this publication years ago. However, at the same time, a demanding role to assume following the gracious and effortlessly stylish Editor in Chief Liz Bingham. My continuing comfort is knowing I have the mentorship and support of our Publisher, Janice, by my side as I take on this new challenge. Coming back to The VOICE is a full circle sensation. And while we’ve never solved the conundrum of which came first, the chicken-or-the-egg, let’s hatch all the wonderful things our communities have to offer together. It’s a daunting and fabulous honor to take on this adventure with you.”

The outpouring of support from advertisers that participated in this issue was overwhelming. I am deeply humbled and grateful. Whether you subscribe or pick up a copy around town, we thank you for your loyal support as well. We encourage you to visit our website voice-tribune.com and subscribe today. Beginning Sept. 1, we are updating our list of subscribers and invite you to continue to have your copy delivered to your doorstep. Without all of you, we cannot do what we do so well, deliver the area’s iconic city magazine, The VOICE of Louisville. 

Cheers,

Janice Carter Levitch Humphrey
Publisher