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An ABV Network Announcement by Colonel Steve Akley
Jason Brauner for the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame
Awareness Campaign
Let's get Jason in the KY Bourbon HOF and you can help!

If there is one thing bourbon is... it's for the people. We don't have an industry if fans of bourbon aren't buying bottles at their local liquor store, drinks at their favorite restaurants and bars, or planning travel around bourbon tourism.

Well, if we agree bourbon is for the people, shouldn't the greatest honor the industry can bestow on an individual, enshrinement into the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame be inclusive of all of those that contribute to our love for bourbon, not just distillers, owners, politicians and authors?

Well, I say it should, and if you agree with my assessment, I'm not sure there is a more important next category to look at then bourbon bars and the people behind them. After all, it's where people go to drink bourbon, talk about bourbon, get educated on bourbon, celebrate bourbon and spend their entertainment dollars at dinners and events focused on America's Native Spirit.

If you are still with me here, then Jason Brauner  is a slam dunk for hall enshrinement. He's been a leader in his business, the bar and restaurant business, but the focus of his establishment, Bourbons Bistro in Louisville, is all about bourbon, and as such, he's had a huge impact on the bourbon industry as well. 

Over the next few months, the team at the ABV Network is going to make the case for Jason Brauner to make the KY Bourbon Hall of Fame. We're going to present a mountain of evidence that clearly lines out why he should be in the Hall with all of the bourbon greats.

We start out today by taking a look at his qualifications. Please check it out and be sure to sign our petition.


Is Jason Brauner Qualified for the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame?
by Colonel Steve Akley

For this exercise, I took at the qualifications for a sports hall of fame, and made them bourbon-focused. Here's how Jason stacks up looking at these parameters:

  • Has Bourbons Bistro ever regarded as the best in his industry? Obviously, the best "bourbon bar" is incredibly subjective, but that being said, there isn't one of those lists worth its salt that doesn't have Bourbons Bistro on it. The culmutive effect of being on so many of these lists means that Bourbons Bistro is certainly in the discussion as best in the industry if not cited as such. Assessment: As the founder and owner of Bourbons Bistro this adds to his viability as a candidate.
  • Has Jason Brauner ever been looked at as the best owner of a bourbon bar? Absolutely! He is a pioneer in just about everything that defines a bourbon bar today: pairing bourbon and food, hosting bourbon events with people from the industry, having a large inventory so customers can sample different offerings that they may or may not be able to find themselves, he's frequently cited as the first on-premise business owner to buy barrels of bourbon (before distilleries had barrel programs in many instances). Assessment: This one's like Nadia Comaneci at the 1976 Olympics... perfect scores across the board!
  • Does Jason Brauner have an impact on the bourbon industry? - We're in the middle of this bourbon boom, one that is fueled by a whole new generation of fans discovering bourbon. How did we get here? Well, there obviously many contributing factors, one of which is bourbon bars like Bourbons Bistro. Pulling fans into a place where you don't just order a drink but you learn about the history, the people and the brands... that's what makes people fans for life. Assessment: Jason Brauner has OG status when it comes to bourbon bar owners.
  • Does Jason Brauner have a legacy worthy of being preserved by the single greatest honor the industry can bestow on an individual? You're damn right he does! Not only have all the credentials needed to go into the Hall based on his role as a pioneer in the bourbon bar industry, he's spent the last 15-years grinding it out as a one-person P.R. department for the bourbon industry. Every night he's behind the bar at Bourbon Bistro, not serving drinks... serving up knowledge. He doesn't tend bar there, he talks to fans, educates people about bourbon, shares stories about the people of bourbon. Assessment: We're not talking about Jason being given anything here... he has earned his place in the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame.
  • Is Bourbons Bistro a special place for the bourbon industry? It's literally where bourbon goes to drink. I'm not sure that I've ever been to Bourbons Bistro and there hasn't been someone from the bourbon industry there. A list of bourbon celebrity encounters at Bourbons Bistro includes: Max Shapira, Bernie Lubbers, Mark & Sherri Carter, Carla Carlton, Susan Riegler, Jim Rutledge, Jimmy Russell, Royce Neeley and so many more we can't even begin to list them. Assessment: The bourbon industry loves this place, it's time to permanently tie it to the history of bourbon with an enshrinement for Jason.                                                                                       
  • Does it matter if Jason Brauner gets in? - Hell yeah it matters. It's important to us as bourbon fans. Even if you haven't met Jason, somebody, somewhere in your life has probably gone to Bourbons Bistro and learned a thing or two from Jason that your friend, in-turn, shared with you. His legacy far exceeds direct and personal interaction. Assessment: We need to make this happen!

So How Can Everyone Help?
The way anyone can help is by signing our petition. We want to present Jason to those in the know as a viable candidate and let those making these decisions how important Jason has been to their person bourbon journeys. If you want to get involved, simply click on the button below and take 20-seconds to sign the petition. Better yet, if you would mind, use the comments area to share any story you have about Jason and how important he has been to your enjoyment of bourbon. We are planning on presenting this to the selection committee this spring.

You can also help us by spreading the word. Use the hashtag #Jason4BourbonHall on social media and share this link to tell others to sign the petition:

Thank you!
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Bourbon Zeppelin is delivered to you raw an unedited by author Steve Akley on the 1st and 15th of every month. (Apologies for any errors.) Check out Steve's books by clicking here: Steve's Catalog on Amazon.