Distilling Down South
If you’ve ever thought of hopping into the small-batch-spirits game – or just want to know how to make vodka from your potatoes – head to Moonshine University in Louisville for a one-day bourbon-making workshop ($395) or a five-day distiller boot camp ($5,750). Run by the Distilled Spirits Epicenter, an educational facility near Louisville’s famed Whiskey Row, these classes get your hands dusty: milling raw corn, cooking it into a porridge, handling yeast for fermentation, and blending botanicals to make a one-off batch of gin. “It’s very hands-on,” says Joe Semansky, who owns a winery in Ohio and wants to start making brandy. His 17-person class included would-be distillers as well as “guys just checking it out for a day,” he says. Classes are seven hours long, but getting to drink the fruits of your labor is a sweet reward.
Stay: The Brown Hotel, from $229/night.
Do: Tour distilleries – Maker’s, Beam – or bike the countryside.