Keck pitches Somerset to possible bourbon businesses

Alan Keck

There has been no confirmation yet of the possibility of a bourbon distillery coming to Somerset, but Mayor Alan Keck said that he believes there is a group with its eyes on the area.

Keck said that even though he has made progress with that endeavor, he expected it to take many years – possibly into his potential second term in the office.

The buzz around bourbon resurfaced last week when a video Keck made several months ago was recently shared by Keck on his Facebook page.

Keck said that he made the video as a marketing tool to help attract bourbon businesses that were looking for a home.

A statement from Keck’s office said the mayor was aware that the video had “left many abuzz with excitement and curiosity."

“Before even taking office, Keck, his team and other community leaders came together to film the pitch (that) Somerset and Lake Cumberland should be home to a distillery and, in time, [a stop on] the Kentucky Bourbon Trail,” the statement said.

Keck added, “While the larger Heritage Bourbon Trail might take some time, we can hopefully get on the Craft Trail right away and expand the wonderful reach Bourbonism has achieved worldwide.”

The video features Keck, SPEDA CEO Chris Girdler, Somerset Tourism Director Leslie Ikerd, and local personality Brian Simmons expounding on the potential Somerset has for business as a whole and to potential spirits businesses in particular.

In the video, Girdler explains why the area would be a good place for bourbon by saying, “We are considered the horse capital of the world, the bourbon capital of the world, and down here in this neck of the woods on Lake Cumberland, we consider ourselves the houseboat capital of the world. We feel we can mesh all three of those things right here in the city of Somerset.”

Keck said that getting a bourbon distillery into the area was one of the platforms he campaigned on when running for mayor.

The fact that Keck shared the video recently seems to indicate his willingness to step up the process of fulfilling that particular campaign promise.

“Shortly after taking office we made this pitch to virtually anyone who will listen. From the household names to the start up distilleries and many in between. The hope is that we find someone who embraces Somerset as their own and will add to our growing presence as the Spirit of Southern Kentucky,” Keck said.

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