Our story


Bourbon is popular. Booking tours is difficult. While distillery tours and tasting experiences have boomed across the state, their booking technology hasn’t caught up. Visitors wanting to book an outing have to put in hours of legwork in research and logistical coordination, from researching distillery options and amenities to understanding available ticket inventory and travel between locations.

Unless you’re willing to spend thousands on hiring a private tour company, planning your own outing takes time, work, and a heavy reliance on SEO results.

And then there’s the distilleries. Millions of visitors come and spend millions of annual dollars, and yet we know very little about them. While the most basic demographic data is captured, it’s limited, and restricted to the purchaser of tickets – not super useful when most visitors come in groups.

In comes Eddie Fieldhouse. As an owner of a global transportation company specializing in Kentucky Bourbon tours, he stood uniquely positioned to realize the challenges faced by both visitors and hosts of Bourbon experiences, and propose a solution. He partnered with David Galownia and Dan Murphy of Slingshot Ventures, a Louisville based venture studio firm, and The Kentucky Hug was born. The Kentucky Hug works with distilleries to centralize their various Bourbon experiences and available tickets, and allows users to plan and book those experiences – all in one place. Googling, searching distillery sites, trying to find available time slots that line up with your day – the years of endless browser tabs are over.

The Kentucky Hug will also provide the most accurate and holistic picture of where visitors are spending their time and money, capturing valuable information about each visitor attending an experience, not just a single credit card holder.

But that’s just the beginning – it’s bigger than Bourbon.

Kentuckians have seen the impact of the Bourbon boom in our backyards, but a lack of cohesion between distilleries and the broader communities has left opportunities untapped. By capturing and sharing valuable visitor information with the local tourism industry, we’ll be providing previously unseen insights that will help build and enrich local community businesses.

Further, in centralizing distillery options for visitors to compare, users will be able to easily understand the diversity of available Bourbon experiences in a way they haven’t before – ensuring selections that feel inclusive of their needs, and welcoming a whole new wave of Kentucky Bourbon drinkers.

Our broader vision includes a wider reach into Kentucky’s hospitality industry, centralizing holistic visitor experiences and showcasing experiences outside of the rickhouse.

The Kentucky Hug aims to remove barriers to entry of Bourbon experiences, smoothing logistics for visitors while capturing critical data to provide and empower the communities of the place we call home.

Want to get

Your contribution can help bring The Kentucky Hug to life. Become a backer today and get exclusive Beta access, waived booking fees, and more.