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September 11, 2018 – Three new members have been named to the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame, while an industry leader will be honored with the award named for one of his closest friends and colleagues. The Class of 2018 was announced today ahead of this Friday’s induction luncheon to be held at the Frazier History Museum in Louisville. Buffalo Trace VIP Visitor Lead Freddie Johnson, Alltech founder Dr. Pearse Lyons, and Beam Suntory Chairman & CEO Matt Shattock will be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Freddie Johnson has become popular with Bourbon lovers for his unique style of leading tours at the distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky, where he follows in the footsteps of his father and grandfather – both of whom spent their careers at what’s now known as Buffalo Trace.
Dr. Lyons, who passed away in March, was the founder and chairman of Alltech, the Kentucky-based agricultural food and science company that produces enzymes and yeast for the distilling industry. Dr. Lyons took his family’s company into distilling with the Town Branch Distillery in Lexington, while also building the Pearse Lyons Distillery in his native Ireland. His final project was the new Dueling Barrels Distillery in Pikesville, Kentucky, which opened in June.
Shattock led Beam through its 2011 spinoff from Fortune Brands into a standalone company, followed by the 2014 acquisition by Suntory Holdings for $16 billion. After the acquisition, he became Chairman and CEO of Beam Suntory with responsibility for all of the company’s global spirits businesses.
Heaven Hill President Max Shapira will be the fourth recipient of the Parker Beam Lifetime Achievement Award, named for Heaven Hill’s longtime Master Distiller Parker Beam. Beam was the first recipient of the award in 2015, a little more than a year before he died following a long battle with ALS. Wild Turkey Master Distiller Jimmy Russell was the second recipient in 2016, and Bill Samuels Jr. of Maker’s Mark received the award last year.
“Each, in their own way, has forever transformed our signature spirit, “Kentucky Distillers Association president Eric Gregory said in a statement announcing the Class of 2018. “We are eternally grateful for their remarkable achievements, dedication and commitment to our timeless craft, and for that we offer our heartfelt thanks.”
The Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame was founded in 2001, and is a joint venture between the Kentucky Distillers Association and the Kentucky Bourbon Festival. Inductees are nominated each year by KDA member distilleries and the Bourbon Festival’s board, and the KDA’s board of directors makes the final selections. Each honoree receives a miniature still, and the Frazier History Museum’s new permanent exhibit on the history of Kentucky Bourbon has a display honoring all of the Hall of Fame members.
Tickets are still available through the Kentucky Bourbon Festival’s web site for the induction luncheon Friday at the museum.