Local News
11:13 am
Tue February 26, 2013

British Coming to Teach Bourbon Country About Scotch. (And Britain.)

Downton Abbey
Credit ITV.com

Perhaps wanting to broaden perceptions of Great Britain beyond Downton Abbey, the British Consulate in Chicago is hosting a five-day "pop-up consulate" in Louisville in March.

The pop-up consulate will include a bourbon vs. scotch event and a performance by the Band of the Scots Guard and the Pipes, Drums, Highland Dancers of the Black Watch 3rd Battalion.

Bagpipes, apparently.

The idea is to "highlight what makes Britain a great place to visit and do business," says a news release from the consulate.

The consulate notes that British companies employ the third most Kentuckians of any nation outside the U.S. and that Kentucky exports more than $1.5 billion in goods to the U.K., second behind Canada.

The British will establish a temporary office in the National City Tower complex on Fourth and Main streets from March 11 to March 15. 

British officials will use the pop-up consulate to meet with Kentucky leaders in civics, business, education and more. They'll also show off British design and manufacturing by displaying vehicles from MINI of Louisville, Commonwealth Motorcycles and Gibbs Sports Amphibians. The public is welcome to drop in on the pop-up consulate to chat. No word on whether tea will be served.

It's worth noting that Kentuckian Matthew Barzun is the leading contender to be the U.S. ambassador to Great Britain.

We've asked to talk to Robert Chatterton Dickson—the very-Englishly named British consul general—to ask more about the pop-up consulate. We'll update here when we hear back.

Update: Chatterton Dickson says this will be the first time the British Consulate in Chicago has done a pop-up consulate; Louisville was picked because they were looking for a growing community in the 13-state region the consulate covers, he added. We'll have more from Chatterton Dickson soon.