Lewis to brand Kentucky Bourbon Trail program

The Birmingham-based marketing agency was one of dozens to submit a branding proposal

Lewis, a marketing agency headquartered in Birmingham, was selected to refresh the Kentucky Bourbon Trail’s brand ahead of the tourism attraction’s 25th anniversary next year.

Lewis, which has offices in Birmingham, Mobile and Nashville, was one of dozens of proposals received by the non-profit trade group for the refresh.

“It was impressive to see the breadth of talent and incredible enthusiasm this project evokes from so many great agencies,” said Mandy Ryan, the Kentucky Distillers’ Association’s director of Kentucky Bourbon Trail Experiences. “Within that accomplished field, Lewis’ proposal immediately caught our attention.”

The last branding project for the trail took place in 2009, when only eight distilleries participating in the KBT program. Now that number has grown to 42 distilleries, including 24 on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour, which was created in 2012 to showcase smaller distilleries.

Bourbon has a $9 billion economic and tourism impact in Kentucky, sustaining more than 22,500 jobs with an annual payroll topping $1.23 billion each year.

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“We were already thrilled about the opportunity to work on something as legendary as the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, but the minute we met them in person, there was an instant connection that just felt comfortable,” said Katie Peninger, vice president account service at Lewis.

Peninger said Lewis’ work would build upon the previous brand experience with successful beverage companies as well as the firm’s tourism, economic development and placemaking experience. Lewis has worked with Good People Brewing, Tiffin Motorhomes, Ascend Federal Credit Union, Vanderbilt Health and others.

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