September is National Bourbon Heritage Month, calling for the celebration of the ‘Native Spirit’ of America — bourbon. Culturally, economically, and socially sourced in America, bourbon is truly an all-American beverage.
History of Bourbon Heritage Month
Dating back 400 years, American Whiskey established itself as an important factor in the economic development, and cultural shaping in the history of the United States. It all started when English colonist George Thorpe filtered the first-ever batch of corn whiskey in Virginia. The founding father of our great nation, George Washington, continued this tradition of distilling and operated the largest whiskey distillery in Virginia, in the nation’s early years.
It is widely believed that Elijah Craig is the Father of Bourbon. In 1789, Craig concocted bourbon by maturing the existing corn whiskey, or moonshine, in oak barrels. Popular as this theory is, many argue that bourbon was not invented by any one person, and instead evolved over time.
Even though America’s distilling heritage started before the nation was founded, bourbon was declared as a unique product of the United States in an act of Congress in 1964. Federal law states that bourbon must be produced in the United States, contain at least 51% corn, and mature in freshly charred oak barrels for at least two years.
In 2007, a resolution was passed by the U.S. Senate, declaring September as National Bourbon Heritage Month. Every year, bourbon enthusiasts come together to appreciate the history, craftsmanship, and milestones of the bourbon industry.
Bourbon Heritage Month timeline
The Samuels family starts making whiskey when Robert Samuels perfected a "secret" family recipe.
Evan Williams opens his distillery in Kentucky.
Bartenders amp up Whiskey Cocktail with new ingredients, leading to a purist movement advocating for the “Old Fashioned” drink.
Congress declares bourbon a “distinctive product of the United States.”
More than 26 million cases of American Whiskey are sold.
Bourbon Heritage Month FAQs
What month is Bourbon Month?
September is Bourbon Heritage Month.
Why is it National Bourbon Day?
National Bourbon Day is celebrated on June 14.
Is Jack Daniels a bourbon?
Jack Daniel’s is not a bourbon — it’s a Tennessee Whiskey.
How To Celebrate Bourbon Heritage Month
Mix up a cocktail
Concoct your own cocktail at home, and toast to National Bourbon Heritage Month!
Host a bourbon tasting
Meet up at your local bar, or host a bourbon tasting at your home for friends and/or family.
Attend a virtual tasting
Enjoy one of the many virtual bourbon tastings and live sessions that take you through the decades of bourbon.
5 BOURBON RULES FOR THE PERFECT TASTE
Bourbon must be made in the United States.
The vessel is important
Bourbon must be aged in a charred, new-oak barrel.
The result must consist of at least 51% corn.
Whiskey cannot enter the barrel higher than 125 proof.
No fancy ingredients
Distilleries cannot add anything except water, that too to lessen the proof when necessary.
Why We Love Bourbon Heritage Month
Bourbon Heritage Month encourages people to celebrate their love for the beverage, respectfully and responsibly.
Bourbon is a true American beverage
Predating the nation’s creation, bourbon has been a part of American culture and economy since the beginning.
Food and Beverage holidays are always a favorite at National Today. We love how delightful food-related items we enjoy today came into being and their rich history.
Bourbon Heritage Month dates