UK Happenings

UK James B. Beam Institute Offering 3rd Annual Bourbon Industry Conference in Early 2022

Image of first Bourbon Industry Conference held in 2020
The Bourbon Industry Conference is scheduled for March 14-16 on UK's Lexington campus. Photo of 2020 conference by Matt Barton, UK Agricultural Communications.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 19, 2021) — Bourbon is an $8.6 billion industry in Kentucky and boasts more than 21,000 jobs, accounting for a third of all distilling jobs in the United States. The James B. Beam Institute for Kentucky Spirits, in collaboration with the Kentucky Distillers’ Association, will offer the third annual Bourbon Industry Conference March 14-16 on the University of Kentucky campus in Lexington. 

The Beam Institute, led by the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, has a vision to educate the next generation of distillers through a curriculum and events that develop success skills for undergraduates, graduate students and professionals in the distilled spirits industry.  

“We are looking forward to being back in person for the 2022 conference,” said Seth DeBolt, Beam Institute director. “We are planning a very robust, information-rich event for those involved in every aspect of the bourbon industry.”  

Conference sessions will address key industry topics. Attendees will also earn a certificate of continuing education for participation.  

Early bird registration is $300 through Jan. 20.  Beginning Jan. 21, registration will increase to $350. One-day registrations are $200. Student registration is $25. The price includes educational sessions, exhibits, lunch and snacks and many networking opportunities. Organizers are still accepting vendors. To register as a participant or vendor, visit the conference page at  

The James B. Beam Institute for Kentucky Spirits ensures the welfare and prosperity of Kentucky’s spirits industry. Through teaching, research and outreach, the institute promotes economic sustainability, environmental stewardship and responsible consumption. The Beam Institute is a multidisciplinary effort of experts from the UK College of Agriculture, Food and EnvironmentCollege of EngineeringCollege of Arts and Sciences and Gatton College of Business and Economics. For more information, visit the Beam Institute website at

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $501 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.