Urban Bourbon Trail celebrates 10 years with new passport and September bonus gifts

A look at the new 10-year anniversary Urban Bourbon Trail passports | Courtesy of CVB

When the first Urban Bourbon Trail passports were issued in 2008, there were only eight places where you could get a stamp and a decent bourbon cocktail. Now, the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau has issued its 10th anniversary of the passport, and there are a whopping 39 participating bars and restaurants.

The new passports will be available — at participating bars, restaurants and the Visitors Center — starting Friday, Sept. 1, in honor of National Bourbon Heritage Month. And again this year, organizers are giving away extra prizes if you collect six stamps before the end of the month.

The redesigned T-shirt | Courtesy of CVB

If you’re not familiar with the concept, you pick up a free passport and collect stamps by ordering a drink at six or more places. You then can turn your passport in at the Visitors Center (at Fourth and Jefferson streets) and get a free T-shirt.

Katie Kubitskey, marketing communications manager for the CVB, tells Insider the theme for September’s promotion is “Make it a Double,” and the bonus gifts include an “I traveled the trail” drawstring backpack and Louisville wood grain sunglasses, as well as the redesigned UBT Trailblazer t-shirt — while supplies last.

She also shared with us some interesting statistics about the program. For instance, did you know:

  • Since its inception in 2008, 22,000 visitors have completed the Urban Bourbon Trail.
  • Visitors from all 50 states and 21 countries have embarked on the UBT experience.
  • There are strict rules and regulations for a bar to qualify to be in the passport, the main ones being they must have more than 50 bourbons, offer bourbon flights and feature a special bourbon cocktail.
  • The bars are chosen by members of the CVB and Urban Bourbon Trail Board*.
  • Of those who turned in their passports, 50.6 percent were male and 49.4 percent were female.

Many local bars and restaurants also are celebrating National Bourbon Heritage Month with special discounts, deals and dinners. For a full list, check out the CVB’s online listings.

To complete the passport, you collect six stamps at participating bars. | Photo by Sara Havens

And if you’re curious to know which 39 bars and restaurants are featured in the passport, here’s a rundown:

8Up Elevated Drinkery & Kitchen; The Bar at Blu; Bourbon Raw; Bourbon’s Bistro; Brendon’s Catch 23; Bristol Bar & Grille – Downtown; Bristol Bar & Grille – Highlands; Brown Hotel Lobby Bar; Buck’s; Charr’d Bourbon Kitchen and Lounge; Corner Restaurant & Bar; Derby Café; Dish on Market; Doc Crow’s Southern Smokehouse & Raw Bar; Down One Bourbon Bar; Garage Bar; Gary’s on Spring; Harvest; Haymarket Whiskey Bar; The Hub; Jockey Silks Bourbon Bar; Lilly’s Bistro; Marketplace Restaurant; Merle’s Whiskey Kitchen; Momma’s Mustard, Pickles & BBQ; North End Café; The Old Seelbach Bar; Patrick O’Shea’s; Proof on Main; Ramsi’s Café on the World; River House Restaurant & Bar; Rye; Sidebar; Sway; Taj Louisville; Troll Pub Under the Bridge; Varanese; Vincenzo’s; and Volare.

*Editor’s Note: The writer is a member of the Urban Bourbon Trail Board.