Distilling in the state of Kentucky has always been hard work. Manning the stills in the bitter cold of winter and through the dog days of summer can be exhausting. Rolling 500-pound whiskey-filled barrels to and from the rickhouse takes strength and skill.
According to stories passed down over generations, Kentucky distillers would once empty bourbon barrels to bottle their product and replaced that liquid with their very own sun-brewed iced tea. This tea would mingle with the devil’s cut of the bourbon left in the American oak barrel and develop into a bourbon-forward beverage for distillery staff to enjoy at the end of a long day of hard work.
The Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co. has developed this homemade drink into their newest offering to the market: Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Hard Tea.
This new hard tea is brewed with all-natural tea and a hint of citrus for an extremely refreshing spiked beverage. With a fresh-brewed iced-tea flavor complemented by the time the tea spent resting in freshly emptied bourbon barrels, Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Hard Tea is the perfect canned cocktail to represent Kentucky.
“Consumers are moving toward flavor-forward, convenient beverages,” said Niall Little, VP of Sales for Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co. “We wanted to deliver a drink that tells the story of Kentucky as we continue to develop our barrel-aged portfolio.”
“This was a fun project to develop,” said Pete Weiss, marketing manager for Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co. “We have launched every beer style you can think of, but creating a hard tea was something new and different. These unique flavors represent our brand of barrel-aging and showcase the bourbon tradition in Kentucky.”
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Hard Tea — which will be available in canned six packs, perfect for any adventure — comes in three flavors: original, peach, and half-and-half lemonade. With more than 1,500 points of retail chain distribution ready to go live in March, Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Hard Tea will be one of the largest product launches in the history of Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co.
“We are really happy to have support from our largest retail partners, such as Kroger, Total Wine & More, Liquor Barn, Meijer and many others,” said Little.
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Hard Tea will launch across Kentucky in the first week of March and in all other markets the following week.