Better Drinking Culture partners with association of distillers

Better Drinking Culture partners with association of distillers

Better Drinking Culture is a “grassroots movement” that advocates “living and promoting a healthier and better drinking lifestyle.” Photo via

Grand Rapids-based Better Drinking Culture is teaming up with Kentucky distillers on a retail certification program.

Better Drinking Culture, or BDC, and the Kentucky Distillers’ Association, or KDA, have announced a partnership to launch a “mindful retailing” program that will audit and recognize distilleries’ best practices in operations and marketing.

The program is intended to help distillers provide better drinking experiences and mitigate alcohol-related harms. Destinations that successfully complete an audit of BDC’s best practices will receive recognition from BDC.

“BDC’s mission is to shift our culture’s relationship with alcohol in a healthier and more positive direction — to help people drink better and live healthier — because hangovers suck,” said Jason Ley, CEO, Better Drinking Culture. “Distilleries that complete our Certification Program help us do that.”

The two groups have been in discussion since late 2016, when the KDA hired its first director of social responsibility and BDC piloted its certification program for breweries in West Michigan. Soon after, they agreed to collaborate on a retailing program for distilleries and launch it in Kentucky — BDC’s first market outside of Michigan.

To date, BDC has granted certification to 14 KDA member distilleries across the Kentucky Bourbon Trail: Angel’s Envy, Bardstown Bourbon Co., Boone County Distilling Co., Copper & Kings, Evan Williams Bourbon Experience, Heaven Hill Bourbon Heritage Center, Kentucky Artisan Distillery, Maker’s Mark, New Riff, Old Forester Distilling Co., Rabbit Hole, Wilderness Trail, Willett and Woodford Reserve.

“We’re proud of the investments our distilleries have made to incorporate alcohol responsibility practices within their visitor centers and brands,” KDA President Eric Gregory said. “As BDC launches this responsible retailing program for distilleries in other states, we’re confident our performance sets the bar nationwide.”

Under the program, certified distilleries train a minimum of one employee as a BDC Ambassador. Throughout 2019, BDC will work with the ambassadors to promote the partnership to Kentucky residents and visitors through lifestyle content, visitor center resources, social events and industry initiatives.

The Kentucky Distillers’ Association will share the program and its benefits with other distilleries at the American Distilling Institute conference in Denver later this month.

Better Drinking Culture is a for-profit public benefit corporation that provides educational and lifestyle content, programs and collaborations with the alcohol industry, colleges and communities to promote a healthier drinking lifestyle.

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