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This Husband & Wife Duo Is Opening Lexington’s First Black-Owned Bourbon Distillery

By Parker Diakite

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Traveling the world and talking to people is what inspired Sean and Tia Edwards to get into the bourbon industry.

“When we told people we were from Kentucky, three things would come up,” Sean says. “Kentucky fried chicken,  horses, and bourbon.”

From the Caribbean, Europe, and various cities across America, the power couple was always asked the same kind of questions from people they met along the way and the questions almost always centered around bourbon.

RELATED: Three Brothers Open The First Black-Owned Bourbon Company In Louisville

“We realized that for someone who is not as familiar with bourbon as a spirit, there was no starting place,” said Sean.  “People were all over the board with suggestions on what you should drink and we wanted a fresh approach on that.”

That fresh approach is what inspired their company Fresh Bourbon Distilling.

The two registered the company in 2017 and realized at that moment that they would make history as Lexington’s first black-owned bourbon distillery.   

“It’s something to be said that nobody has done in hundreds of years,” Sean told Travel Noire during an interview. “We don’t take that lightly. We’re proud of that fact.”

Just recently,  the Edwards announced that they are planning to break ground on a $5.4 million distillery in Sean’s hometown by the end of 2020. The estimated 34,000 Sq. Ft.  building will be the home of unique Bourbon recipes developed by Lexington, Kentucky’s first African American Master Distiller since slavery, according to Sean.

Fresh Bourbon Distillery Rendering Concept

In addition to the upcoming development project,  they will release a new beverage alcohol spirits line, Fresh Spirits, that will include whiskeys and gin.

Fresh Bourbon Distillery Bottle Concept

The distillery is anticipated to open in the winter of 2021 where the couple is planning to host bourbon education tours, include a music hall in the facility for large concerts, and function space for small events and weddings.

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