Derby Fest Mini/Marathon runners can etch their times, names on bottle of Beam

This fancy engraving machine can etch 10 bottles at a time. | Photo by Sara Havens

Most people who make it through a marathon — or even a mini-marathon for that matter — keep their race bibs as a souvenir. But what if you could commemorate your effort with a bottle of bourbon — etched with your name, date and race time?

On Saturday, April 28, as Louisvillians (and visitors who travel here just to run) make it across the finish line of the Kentucky Derby Festival’s miniMarathon/Marathon, they can walk a few more blocks to the Jim Beam Urban Stillhouse at Fourth Street Live and purchase a bottle of the Stillhouse Select.

The distillery will etch their name, date and race time (and/or anything else they’d like) on a bottle that includes the marathon logo for free, although the 750ml bottle will cost $45.99.

Hey, you can’t finish something you don’t start, right? | Photo by Sara Havens

Those interested can actually preregister for a bottle when they pick up their race packets at the Kentucky Expo Center on Thursday and Friday, and Beam staff will look for your bib number to appear when you finish, quickly get it etched with your info and hopefully have it ready to pick up by the time you make it to the store.

Or, explained Urban Stillhouse Manager Grey Davis, you can just swing by anytime after the race and get one made.

Insider stopped by the Stillhouse to check out the process, and Davis was happy to show us how they’ve streamlined the operation with a high-tech engraving machine that can etch up to 10 bottles at a time.

He said last year — the first year Beam sponsored the race — they got a little behind with getting people’s bottles to them. They sold more than 600 in one day.

But this year, it’ll only take 70 seconds to get a racer’s info on the bottle, he said, as the miniMarathon/Marathon logo will already be on the bottle. He even devised a special cutout that allows the machine to do 10 at a time.

Jim Beam Urban Stillhouse Manager Grey Davis explains the process. | Photo by Sara Havens

“We think it’s a neat way to commemorate a big occasion like running a marathon,” he said. “And runners can really put anything they want on it — if they don’t want their time on there, it doesn’t have to be there.”

The bourbon is the special Urban Stillhouse Select, which is only available at the downtown distillery. And while participants wait for their bottle, they’ll be able to sample Beam products as well as purchase cocktails from mint juleps to a drink made with electrolytes and other goodies.

The Jim Beam Urban Stillhouse will be open Saturday, April 28, from noon-9 p.m.