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View Full Version : Chuck Cowdery Said...(again) but in our local paper



boone
09-03-2010, 13:10
http://www.lcni5.com/cgi-bin/c2.cgi?091+article+News+20100902171657091091007

Dramiel McHinson
09-03-2010, 19:19
I like the, "Think big," theory.

cowdery
09-04-2010, 17:46
So, how much trouble do you think I'm in?

boone
09-04-2010, 19:20
So, how much trouble do you think I'm in?
Hmmmmmmmm...:grin: :grin:

I spect they won't be invitin' ya ta vittles anytime soon!:slappin: :slappin: :slappin:

smokinjoe
09-05-2010, 06:14
I'll bring the Groucho nose and mustache glasses to KBF for you.

MJL
09-05-2010, 06:39
To be frank I agree with what you said in the article. My personal preferance would be to see the festival held in late June or July. Alot of the distilleries slow down during this period anyway but this is the height of the tourist season in KY. If one of the functions of the festival is to reach out to the greater world there is no better way to do this than via transient tourists who will take home a desire for what they have tasted. Anyway, just MY thoughts. I sure wish I could make my way to a festival but holding them in September cuts out people like myself who have families or jobs connected to the academic year and who live out of state.

cowdery
09-05-2010, 13:51
The defensiveness that comes through in the article speaks volumes. It's like the old joke about how many psychiatrists does it take to change a lightbulb. The answer is one, but the light bulb has to want to be changed.

The KBF doesn't want to be changed.

My suggestions in my own words can be found here (http://chuckcowdery.blogspot.com/2010/08/few-suggestions-for-improving-kentucky.html).

Anyone care to volunteer to be my bodyguard at KBF?

DeanSheen
09-05-2010, 13:56
Time to pitch the American Whiskey festival to Louisville city council.

No way I come to KBF if it was not for this board and it's members and if I did I suspect it would only be once as a curiosity.

cowdery
09-05-2010, 14:02
That's why any animosity toward me in Bardstown would be misplaced, because I'm trying to save their festival, not destroy it.

What seems to have been missed is this point I made in the blog post:

When you say "Kentucky" think "center of but not sum of" the universe, and when you say "bourbon" think "American whiskey" in all its styles and forms. Paradigm shift, ya know. Grab the high ground before someone else does. Because someone else (Louisville?) will.

As Bob Dylan sang, "He not busy being born is busy dying."

SBOmarc
09-05-2010, 15:48
If it would get me to the Festival Chuck, I would be your bodyguard.

I would need some perks, like a flight. I would add a place to lodge, but you will ned to be protected while you sleep.

p_elliott
09-06-2010, 07:02
To be honest how many people from this board attend that many functions of the KBF? I went last year for my first time we attended the sampler because we got free tickets, we went to the barrel rolling contest and then strolled the grounds afterwards, we did hit most all the distilleries. This year we will hit one distillery, maybe do the barrel rolling contest. We are doing only SB.com things other than that. We had great get together in Houston with no KBF. Chuck is right they need to start thinking bigger and broader.

Oh and Chuck I would say your probably in the dog house in Bardstown like most small towns they don't like some one messing with the status Quo.

Vosgar
09-06-2010, 21:09
I'll be going to my first KBF this year and after looking at the events calendar, I think the people in charge of the festival should take into consideration some of Chuck's ideas. I especially like his thoughts on promoting bourbon. As a fairly new enthusiast, I'd like to see more in the way of programs to help my, as Chuck said, "enjoyment, understanding, and appreciation of bourbon". Other than the seminar by Jim Rutledge, I don't see much of anything.

I'm looking forward to going, but it appears like it will only be for getting together with fellow SB'ers and maybe a distillery tour or two. (Of course, theres always the Ghostly Spirits of Bardstown:skep:)

Gary

cowdery
09-06-2010, 22:18
Go to the barrel rolling on Saturday "morning" (as drinking people, they know Saturday "morning" begins at 11:00 AM). It's a hoot.

It's also a good event in the sense of what the festival needs to be. If you go and pay attention, you will actually learn something about how bourbon is matured, yet in a way that is totally fun and entertaining, yet also unique to the whiskey bidness. It involves the producers as all of the contestants are producer employees, so it gives them a showcase in front of their neighbors as well as out-of-town visitors, and it's just a hell of a lot of fun.

In sum:
(1) It has bourbon content
(2) It showcases the bourbon industry
(3) It's easy to access
(4) It doesn't cost much to put on
(5) It's fun
(6) It's free

Not bad criteria.

boone
09-07-2010, 06:10
Go to the barrel rolling on Saturday "morning" (as drinking people, they know Saturday "morning" begins at 11:00 AM). It's a hoot.

It's also a good event in the sense of what the festival needs to be. If you go and pay attention, you will actually learn something about how bourbon is matured, yet in a way that is totally fun and entertaining, yet also unique to the whiskey bidness. It involves the producers as all of the contestants are producer employees, so it gives them a showcase in front of their neighbors as well as out-of-town visitors, and it's just a hell of a lot of fun.

In sum:
(1) It has bourbon content
(2) It showcases the bourbon industry
(3) It's easy to access
(4) It doesn't cost much to put on
(5) It's fun
(6) It's free

Not bad criteria.

I've been a member of the Heaven Hill Barrel Rolling Team for 10 years :grin: :grin: Matter of factly I'm getting ready to leave for practice in about 20 minutes :grin: :grin: On the team, I am "in the rick" feeding the barrels to the setter and keeping them ~ on and back ~ on the run. I won the roll off for one of the individual entry competition. I came in second place last year got beat by 2 seconds!

Here's a video of our guys :grin: After total barrel deductions their score was a -37. A all time record win (three years in a row) :grin: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCAz3lBYt14&feature=related

and...Here's FUBU making his traditional victory back flip :grin: Actually, that's the third time he had to do it for all the photographer's who missed it the first and the second time ! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYZWsB25Vnk

doubleblank
09-07-2010, 10:30
There have been a lot of suggestions in this and other threads on how to make the KBF better for "us" (the SB and other afficionado groups) and better in general. But as mentioned in this article and in their actions, the KBF isn't really trying to get "us" to come to the festival. It has been and continues to be:

1. Locally and regionally oriented
2. An "Industry Insider" based celebration of their product

I am surprised that the industry continues to financially support the fest in light of a) its overall lack of promotion of bourbon and b) very little information about bourbon is even offered or presented.

The KBF might find my story (probably common here at SB) interesting. I have been interested in bourbon a long time.......even before Al Gore invented the internet. I knew about the KBF long before I began attending but never was interested in attending until I became associated with this group. There was not a single KBF activity that drew me to the festival. It was getting to meet the many fine people here that brought me to the Sampler and Fest. Had I not become an active member here, I would never have attended the KBF. I had been to visit distilleries but the KBF always seemed like a county fair and that would only add unwanted crowds to my activities.

Randy

Gillman
09-07-2010, 11:09
Well, if you have a fair in any area devoted to a prized local production (it could be sugar, corn, maple syrup, etc.), generally you don't see detailed explanations of how the product is made because people in the area know about that. KBF I am sure drew its visitors mostly from Kentucky initially and perhaps that is still the case. Also, alcohol presents special issues in terms of promotion, so it is understandable that product characteristics would not be heavily stressed. Certainly too the Getz offers good information about the history and production methods of bourbon as do some of the distillery visitor centers including especially Heaven Hill's. I liked the core KBF events and attended many of them, but once you've done that a couple of times, inevitably with many they will want something different. I see the Festival has added some new events this year. And some people do enjoy going back to the same events or rotating amongst those available for some years. The SB thing is sort of a special case, I and many others really found out about KBF via SB, not the other way around, and for those who want specialised bourbon information there is lots around, more than ever on the Internet, many books have been published, etc. I like the way KBF is structured at the moment, I wouldn't change it too much except perhaps to add a tasting seminar by master distillers. That is a good idea, and was suggested by some commenters in the thread. But overall I like its tone and vibe and wouldn't change it too much.

Gary

Josh
09-07-2010, 11:52
My favorite new activity: bingo on the lawn. I'm really heartbroken that I can't attend that. There are only about a dozen bingo halls within a 15 minute drive of my house, serving a demographic somewhere between 75 and dead. When you go to a bourbon festival the last thing you want to do attend yet another bourbon-related activity.:rolleyes:

Gillman
09-07-2010, 12:03
I'm no bingo fan, but there is also a Bourbon Mixology event that's been added. I think they're looking at different demographics, at variety.

Gary

camduncan
09-07-2010, 13:04
The KBF might find my story (probably common here at SB) interesting. I have been interested in bourbon a long time.......even before Al Gore invented the internet. I knew about the KBF long before I began attending but never was interested in attending until I became associated with this group. There was not a single KBF activity that drew me to the festival. It was getting to meet the many fine people here that brought me to the Sampler and Fest. Had I not become an active member here, I would never have attended the KBF. I had been to visit distilleries but the KBF always seemed like a county fair and that would only add unwanted crowds to my activities.

Randy

I second that Randy. Our first trip to Bardstown was for the April 2008 Sampler. I did attend, but my reason for going at that time was to catch up with members from SB and to see some distilleries.
We both had such a good time with the people from SB that we set a goal to return every 3rd year or so (we still want to travel to other countries.) Our return trip is in the planning, but has been delayed by a year or two as we wait for our 20 month old girl to be old enough to fly the 26 hours required to get to Bardstown via Louisville.
We'll definately coincide our return trip with the Sampler (likely) or the Festival (not as likely due to the usual accomodation issues,) but it will mostly be about catching up with people from here on SB.
Like you, we would probably never be targeting the April/September dates if it wasn't for the concentration of SB people in one place at the time.

Gillman
09-07-2010, 13:39
I loved KBF when I attended, which took in the first few visits. I went to the Gala a few times, boots and bourbon, barrel rolling of course, the fairgrounds for the music and different foods, the Getz museum, and other things. Loved those old cars near the fairgrounds! And not least, Bardstown itself, which is a lovely town in a great setting. The SB meetings were different in my mind, it's two different things for me. By the way, I suspect they don't want to make it too much bigger. Events that have alcohol as a theme can get unruly, and one of the things I've always liked about KBF is you feel comfortable there, things rarely get out of hand. That's true too about the SB meetings because of the good people in it and the seriousness with which they focus on their hobby. I am not saying KBF can't be improved, but I always loved going to the events at large, for me it was very different than anything I had ever seen.

I endorse the suggestion, as I mentioned earlier, for a masterclass on tasting and to impart product information. Also, I think it is time to include rye. Rye and bourbon are two sides of the same coin. And rye is getting bigger, it deserves the attention and provides some fresh focus. As for other forms of whisky, perhaps at the off-season event, but I wouldn't do that at the main annual KBF.

Gary

fishnbowljoe
09-07-2010, 16:25
Hmmmmmmmm...:grin: :grin:

I spect they won't be invitin' ya ta vittles anytime soon!:slappin: :slappin: :slappin:

Chuck, we'll save a place for you at our table. A little food, and a little bourbon. It's all good. :grin:

I've been mulling this over the last few days, and thought I'd finally put in my two cents worth. I know full well there are two sides to every story. I can understand why the folks at the KBF don't want to mess with something they perceive as working well. It reminds me of the old adage, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Well, it may not be broke, but a tune up and a new set of tires sure would be nice. :grin:

FWIW Chuck, I like your suggestions. After one or two (or more) times going to the KBF/Sampler, I'm left wanting something more. Why not add other American whiskies and ryes? Why not add something more for some of us more astute/avowed bourbon lovers? As many others have already stated, I too, am now pretty much in it for the camaraderie with fellow members here at SB. (That and going on a tour with Fred at BT.:grin:) Not that it would hurt the KBF any, but I wonder if we could have our own unofficial SB Bourbon Festival? Make it at a time other than the KBF and Samplers. At least if we stayed at the GN, we might not have to pay inflated prices for "special" days. :slappin: Members with different agendas could split time between Bardstown and Louisville. Heck, without so much going on, maybe we could even get a little more attention from the distilleries and master distillers for a change. :bigeyes: You never know.

Oh well, may have been more than two cents worth, but what the heck. We can still dream can't we? :rolleyes: Consider me on the bandwagon. Can't wait to share a pour with you Chuck. See you next week. Cheers! Joe

p_elliott
09-08-2010, 07:12
Actually Joe is on the right track here If we planned our get together a time other than the sampler or KBF we could have the whole hotel to ourselves. No reservation hassles, no body having to stay in other towns etc. We could tour distilleries in groups if we wanted to or what ever. I'm sure we could find things to keep us entertained during the day without the KBF.

cowdery
09-08-2010, 13:51
Actually Joe is on the right track here If we planned our get together a time other than the sampler or KBF we could have the whole hotel to ourselves. No reservation hassles, no body having to stay in other towns etc. We could tour distilleries in groups if we wanted to or what ever. I'm sure we could find things to keep us entertained during the day without the KBF.

In case you missed it, that idea was discussed at great length here (http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13030).

p_elliott
09-09-2010, 07:38
In case you missed it, that idea was discussed at great length here (http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13030).


I am aware of that post I participated in it and went to the Houston get together. But that thread talked mostly of going some where else besides the GN and even Bardstown. What I'm saying is we can stay in Bardstown at the GN just another week other than the Sampler or the KBF. I like Bardstown and I like seeing the distilleries. I also like the being able to get the selections of bourbons that are available in KY. I like going to dougdogs and doing Beattey Jo's tasting contest.

DeanSheen
09-09-2010, 08:36
I am aware of that post I participated in it and went to the Houston get together. But that thread talked mostly of going some where else besides the GN and even Bardstown. What I'm saying is we can stay in Bardstown at the GN just another week other than the Sampler or the KBF. I like Bardstown and I like seeing the distilleries. I also like the being able to get the selections of bourbons that are available in KY. I like going to dougdogs and doing Beattey Jo's tasting contest.

Stop....Making.....Sense! :grin:

cowdery
09-09-2010, 15:29
My recollection is that the Houston discussion was prompted by an earlier discussion about exactly what you are suggesting, having a Bardstown get-together at a time of our choosing instead of during the KBF or Spring Sampler. Of course, this would be the worst of all possible years to have something the week after KBF because of the World Equestrian thing.

I would probably still go to KBF even if I also went to something else but I have, for example, found the spring sampler to be non-essential here recently. It's also easy for me to travel to Kentucky, not so easy to points further afield. So I like this idea.

The previous discussion also started because of some significant unhappiness with current management of the General Nelson, which has caused the BTOY to relocate.

To me, one of the great things about most straightbourbon activities is that no one would call them over-organized. Just enough organization to negotiate a favorable group rate at the GN or an alternative venue is really all we need.

BourbonJoe
09-09-2010, 19:03
I would probably still go to KBF even if I also went to something else but I have, for example, found the spring sampler to be non-essential here recently.

I feel just the opposite in that I much prefer the sampler to the KBF. Much less crowded and far less distracting crap.
Joe :usflag:

p_elliott
09-10-2010, 23:55
OK undersatnd that in the sceme of things I'm a new guy here. But a lot of the hassles that that people have with the GN is is just new owners trying to get used to being in business for themselves. Is it a pain in the ass for us yes is it a normal thing for a new business yes. As far as the relocateing thing is I don't see a lot if any hotels leting us do what the GN lets us do. We need to be grateful to them for letting us do what we do. All others would be protecting their liquor sells from their bars or worring about how this looked to the guest or their insurance policy. We really need to quit biting the hand that feed us. We could all show up some time and they could go no Gazebo party and then where would we be.