Welcome to Bourbon’s Napa Valley

One of the great aspects about teaching in the Beverage Management degree at Sullivan University is the close access to the bourbon industry. In less than 30 minutes, a person can drive to at least one of the distilleries. Also, the master distillers (the rock stars of the bourbon world) are all accessible and approachable; each possesses their own unique healthy sense of humor, and they are more than willing to answer questions about how they make their iconic product.

Students who study in the Beverage Management degree program can do so either at a distance or in a hybrid program that’s both online and on campus. Those that choose the hybrid program have access to the bourbon distilleries and other beverage opportunities at the many wineries, breweries and with the beverage professionals in Louisville. One of our students was fortunate enough to intern with Master Sommelier Scott Harper. Again, opportunities abound for the Beverage Management students in “bourbon central.”

While bourbon can be made anywhere in the United States, Kentucky has the perfect climate to make world-class whiskey. So the bourbon made in Kentucky is like the wine made in the Napa Valley – simply among the best in the world. People who want to experience the whiskey-making tradition of the Blue Grass State can take in this beverage perfection (both literally and figuratively) by traveling the Bourbon Trail and/or the Urban Bourbon Trail. The Bourbon Trail is a whiskey trail to most of the major distilleries including Four Roses Distillery, Heaven Hill’s Bourbon Heritage Center, Jim Beam Distillery, Maker’s Mark Distillery, Town Branch Distillery, Wild Turkey Distillery and Woodford Reserve Distillery. The Urban Bourbon Trail is a whiskey trail in the city of Louisville that will lead those who devote their time from one great restaurant or bar to another great restaurant or bar where bourbon is highlighted on the menu. For those who want to travel the Bourbon Trail and want to indulge guilt-free, Mint Julep Tours offers transportation to all of the distilleries on the trail. For those considering traveling either trail please do so responsibly.


About the author:

Albert Schmid is a husband, father, professor and chair of the Hotel and Restaurant Management, Beverage Management and Hospitality Management departments at Sullivan University. He is an award-winning author for The Kentucky Bourbon Cookbook (the 2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Award for Best Book for Cooking with Drinks in the World and Best Book for Cooking with Wines, Beers and Spirits in the USA) and The Beverage Manager’s Guide to Wines, Beers and Spirits (the 2012 Gourmand World Cookbook Award for Best Wine Book for Professionals in the USA).

In 2011, Albert was honored by the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) with an Award of Excellence. In 2012, he was elected to the IACP Board of Directors.

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