Woodford Reserve Hopes Lounge at Fort Knox Will Promote Bourbon to Troops (And Help Them Relax)

A new collaboration between a bourbon distillery and the military will give soldiers a place to relax—and introduce them to one of Kentucky’s signature products.

Liquor producer Brown-Forman has teamed up with the U.S. Army to open a Woodford Reserve bourbon lounge at Fort Knox. Soldiers and Brown-Forman executives opened the Woodford Reserve Room on Wednesday afternoon.

The room features a granite top bar and is decorated with old bourbon barrels. Aside from being a space for soldiers, the lounge will also be available as a meeting space and will host Brown-Forman promotional events.

Joe Bollinger, director of military sales and transportation for Brown-Forman, said he hopes that the constant circulation of soldiers through the base will provide a positive public relations opportunity for the Woodford Reserve brand.

“We’re hoping that when they come in they’re going to see the Woodford Reserve and we’re gonna have a couple promotions a year with Chris Morris, the master distiller, to come out and host a dinner, so when they rotate through we hope they leave with a little Kentucky with them and take the Woodford Reserve brand with them as well,” Bollinger said.

He also said that the base could use the space to promote safe drinking habits among soldiers. 

“We think like having Chris Morris, the master distiller, to come out and do a tasting and do some promotions and talk about the responsible consumption of Woodford Reserve that maybe the young soldiers will heed his message because, you know, he is the master distiller,” Bollinger said.

The Woodford Reserve Room will be the first of its kind to be located on any military base. If the room is successful, Brown-Foreman hopes to open similar establishments in other army bases.

Fort Knox and Brown-Foreman have partnered the past five years through a concert series.

Then Fort Knox approached Brown-Forman with another opportunity—a room that needed updating. They began discussions for the room in November.

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