Seven Local Bourbon Distilleries You Need to Know

Bourbon Country has expanded to Northern Kentucky and beyond. Here are the key players to get familiar with.

As the popularity of Kentucky’s finest spirit grows, more parts of the state—and region—are getting in the game. Learn more about the local distillers rolling out their barrels for you to enjoy.

Photograph courtesy Northside Distilling Co.

Northside Distilling Co.

Born in a barn (really!) in Cincinnati’s quirkiest neighborhood, Northside Distilling made the move to Race Street in 2017. Though the company started out with a white corn whiskey, its bourbon is now the official bourbon of the Western & Southern Open tennis tournament. Game, set, match. 922 Race St., downtown, (513) 202-6532

Photograph courtesy Woodstone Creek

Woodstone Creek

The OG of Cincinnati’s modern distilling industry, founded in 1999, was one of the first microdistilleries in the state. It’s still a tiny operation, producing something like three barrels a year. Try the goods at the St. Bernard tasting room. 4712 Vine St., St. Bernard, (513) 569-0300

Photograph courtesy Karrikin Spirits Company

Karrikin Spirits Company

There’s more than just bourbon to Karrikin. Beer and sparkling spirits also make an appearance, and in June the Fairfax distillery hosted the second Ohio Craft Whiskey Festival, which featured a limited-edition collaboration between Karrikin, Brain Brew, Northern Row, and Woodstone Creek. 3717 Jonlen Dr., Fairfax, (513) 561-5000

Photograph courtesy Robert James Distillery

Robert James Distillery

Bob Slattery bought the former Shumrick and Leys and rebranded it in 2019. RJ Cinema, near Jungle Jim’s in Eastgate, serves as a de facto tasting room. The Highland Avenue facility is available for private parties and events. 4450 Eastgate South Dr., Eastgate, (513) 738-7680

Photograph courtesy New Riff Distilling

New Riff Distilling

Since releasing its first bottles in 2018, New Riff has racked up plenty of awards for its bourbons and other spirits. And it’s growing: A 2021 expansion increased production, and the company plans to build a new aging warehouse in Silver Grove where all those barrels can rest. 24 Distillery Way, Bellevue, (859) 261-7433

Photograph courtesy Second Sight

Second Sight Spirits

The theater design and prop building background of founders Rick Couch and Carus Waggoner makes the Ludlow home of this small distiller one of a kind. Where else can you find a fortune teller–inspired still? 301 Elm St., Ludlow, (859) 488-7866

Photograph courtesy Boone County Distilling Co.

Boone County Distilling Co.

Its slogan is “Made by Ghosts,” a nod to a Boone County whiskey-making tradition that dates back to 1883 and the founding of the Petersburg Distillery. Its event center opened in 2021, and this year, it introduced the Canvus line of ready-to-drink cocktails, which is spinning off into its own company. 10601 Toebben Dr., Independence, (859) 282-6545

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