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Welcome to Bardstown, KY
The Bourbon Capital of the World®

Bourbon’s popularity is now a global phenomenon, but you need only look at Bardstown, Kentucky, to see its remarkable and evolving impacts. This historic city of 13,500 people is booming as a result, but it’s also enduring growing pains.
The economic impacts from a massive influx of tourists to what is now America’s bourbon epicenter are positive on many levels, but with those crowds comes pressure on infrastructure, services and accommodations. The demand for hotels, bars and restaurants is at an all-time high, and investors from across the globe are addressing those needs.
Still, as a two-century-old Kentucky cultural and entertainment center – long before it was discovered by bourbon drinkers – many locals want to ensure the traditional Bardstown experience doesn’t disappear amid novel entertainment options.
The Rebirth of Bourbon tells the story of the rising popularity of bourbon and the opportunities, challenges, traditions, and most importantly, people who have pushed the industry forward in Bardstown. Many of the most popular names in bourbon today contributed quotes, stories, and their memories of the rise of the bourbon industry.
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About the Authors

Steve Coomes

Steve Coomes is a journalist and custom content writer for the restaurant, spirits and travel industries. In his 30-year career, he has received multiple awards for reporting, commentary and photography while authoring and/or ghost writing five books including “Country Ham: A Southern Tradition of Hogs, Salt & Smoke,” and “The Home Distiller’s Guide to Spirits.” He also conducts large-scale spirits and food pairing events for public festivals and private events. A graduate of the University of Louisville, Steve is a married father of one and lives in Louisville, Ky.

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Kim Huston

Kim Huston is President of the Nelson County Economic Development Agency (NCEDA) and has overseen economic development activity in Bardstown for 20 years. In 2015, NCEDA was named by “Southern Business and Development Magazine” as the Number One Economic Development Agency in the State of Kentucky. Kim’s efforts helped Bardstown gain national recognition as Rand McNally’s and USA Today’s “The Most Beautiful Small Town in America.” Kim Huston is the author of,  BARDSTOWN , a coffee table book featuring 161 photos of America most beautiful small town and “Small Town Sexy: The Allure of Living in Small Town America.” Kim travels across the country speaking on small town economic development potential. A graduate of the University of Kentucky, Kim is a married mother of two and is a native of Bardstown, Ky.

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Mike Mangeot

Mike Mangeot served as Executive Director of the Bardstown Nelson County Tourism Commission from 2018- 2020.  He was named Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Tourism in January 2020, returning to the post that he previously held from 2012-2016.  Mangeot has also served as the president and CEO of the Kentucky Association for Economic Development, the Associate Athletic Director for Advancement at the University of Louisville and was Director of Advertising & Community Affairs for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kentucky. A graduate of Eastern Kentucky University Mike is a married father of two, and lives in Frankfort, Ky.

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Rated 5 Stars by Readers

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The Napa-fication of Bardstown

New book contrasts bourbon industry with growth of California’s wine country… Bardstown’s story is just as fascinating and is one that people need to know. This book will keep the reader entertained throughout with interviews with every major name in the bourbon history and then some. 


The Kentucky Standard