The Spirits of Owensboro: Distilleries and Craft Beverages

In this guide, we’ll take a look at all the best breweries and distilleries in Owensboro and why you should visit them. Being the fourth largest city in the state of Kentucky, Owensboro boasts a rich history of bourbon distilleries and craft breweries. From the 10th oldest distillery in Kentucky to modern craft beer havens, Owensboro is a must-visit for any beverage enthusiast.

Key Takeaways

  • Owensboro is home to the Green River Distilling Company, the 10th oldest distillery in Kentucky, founded in 1885.
  • Brew Bridge offers a unique selection of craft beers, live music events, and a cozy atmosphere.
  • Pub on Second is a local favorite known for its craft beers, delicious pub fare, and strong community vibes.
  • Goodwood Brewing stands out with its bourbon barrel-aged beers and seasonal specialties, offering tours and tastings.
  • Owensboro plays a significant role on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, making it a key destination for bourbon enthusiasts.

Discovering Green River Distilling Company

A Rich History Since 1885

Green River Distilling Co. has a storied past dating back to 1885. Known for producing some of Kentucky’s finest whiskey, the distillery has been revived and is once again crafting exceptional bourbon and rye. Master Distiller Jacob Call, a third-generation distiller, has played a pivotal role in this revival, making it a truly remarkable journey.

Signature Bourbons to Savor

Green River Distilling Co. offers a range of signature bourbons that are a must-try for any whiskey enthusiast. From the Green River Wheated to the Full Proof Single Barrel, each bottle promises a unique tasting experience. The distillery is also set to introduce a historic Green River bourbon whiskey later this year, adding to its impressive lineup.

Visiting the Distillery

A visit to Green River Distilling Co. is a must when in Owensboro. The distillery offers specialty VIP tours led by Head Distiller Aaron Harris and National Brand Ambassador Caryn Wells. These tours provide a behind-the-scenes look at Rickhouse B, a barrel strength tasting, and a bottle of Green River Kentucky Straight Rye to take home. The community is also invited to enjoy music, food, and cocktails at the distillery, making it a perfect outing for both locals and visitors.

Brew Bridge: Owensboro’s Craft Beer Haven

Unique Brews on Tap

Nestled in downtown Owensboro, Brew Bridge is the town’s first brewery since 1903. Since its inception in 2019, Brew Bridge has been crafting exceptional local beers, including a variety of IPAs and selections from regional breweries. Beer enthusiasts will find a diverse range of flavors to explore. Whether you’re a fan of hoppy IPAs or prefer something more malty, there’s something for everyone.

Events and Live Music

Brew Bridge isn’t just about great beer; it’s also a hub for entertainment. The brewery regularly hosts live music events, making it a perfect spot for a night out. From local bands to regional acts, the live performances add an extra layer of enjoyment to your visit. Additionally, Brew Bridge organizes various community events, ensuring there’s always something exciting happening.

A Cozy Atmosphere

The ambiance at Brew Bridge is warm and inviting, making it an ideal place to relax with friends or family. The cozy setting is complemented by mouth-watering BBQ, which pairs perfectly with their craft brews. Don’t forget to take a fun ride on the trolley to complete your experience. Whether you’re a local or just visiting, Brew Bridge offers a welcoming environment that makes everyone feel at home.

Pub on Second: A Local Favorite

Craft Beers and More

Pub on Second is a beloved spot in Owensboro, known for its impressive selection of craft beers. They offer a variety of locally brewed beers, IPAs, and selections from regional breweries. Whether you’re a craft beer aficionado or a casual drinker, there’s something for everyone.

Delicious Pub Fare

The menu at Pub on Second is a culinary tour of Owensboro: the BBQ capital of the world. Explore local BBQ joints, unique menu items, and pairing with craft beverages. BBQ fosters community and supports charity events. From mouth-watering BBQ to classic pub favorites, the food here is designed to complement their extensive beer selection.

Community Vibes

Pub on Second isn’t just about great beer and food; it’s also a community hub. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming, making it a perfect place to gather with friends or meet new people. The pub often hosts events that bring the community together, enhancing the local social scene.

Goodwood Brewing: A Taste of Tradition

Bourbon Barrel-Aged Beers

Goodwood Brewing is renowned for its bourbon barrel-aged beers, which offer a unique blend of flavors that reflect the rich heritage of Kentucky bourbon. These beers are aged in freshly emptied bourbon barrels, infusing them with deep, complex notes of vanilla, caramel, and oak.

Seasonal Specialties

Throughout the year, Goodwood Brewing introduces a variety of seasonal specialties that cater to different tastes and preferences. From refreshing summer ales to robust winter stouts, there’s always something new to try. These limited-edition brews are crafted with the finest local ingredients, ensuring a fresh and flavorful experience.

Tours and Tastings

Visitors to Goodwood Brewing can enjoy guided tours of the brewery, where they can learn about the brewing process and the history of the company. The tours often conclude with a tasting session, allowing guests to sample a selection of Goodwood’s finest beers. It’s a great way to dive into the community’s spirit and culinary heritage.

Goodwood Brewing’s commitment to quality and tradition makes it a must-visit destination for beer enthusiasts in Owensboro.

The Kentucky Bourbon Trail Experience

Owensboro’s Role on the Trail

Owensboro is a key stop on the renowned Kentucky Bourbon Trail, offering visitors a unique glimpse into the rich heritage of bourbon production. The city’s distilleries are the perfect backdrop for any occasion, whether you’re a seasoned bourbon enthusiast or a curious newcomer.

Must-Visit Stops

When in Owensboro, make sure to visit these iconic distilleries:

  1. Green River Distilling Company
  2. O.Z. Tyler Distillery
  3. Glenmore Distillery

Each offers a distinct experience, from historical tours to exclusive tastings.

Tips for Bourbon Enthusiasts

To make the most of your Kentucky Bourbon Trail adventure, consider these tips:

  • Plan ahead: Make reservations at distilleries to ensure you get the full experience.
  • Collect stamps in your Bourbon Trail passport at each stop.
  • Don’t rush; take time to savor each tasting and tour.

The Kentucky Bourbon Trail is more than just a journey; it’s an exploration of tradition, craftsmanship, and the spirit of Kentucky.

Crafting the Perfect Cocktail in Owensboro

Owensboro is a haven for cocktail enthusiasts, offering a delightful blend of local ingredients and expert craftsmanship. Whether you’re a seasoned mixologist or a curious beginner, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city.

Seasonal Events at Owensboro Distilleries and Breweries

Owensboro’s distilleries and breweries come alive with vibrant events throughout the year. These gatherings offer a unique way to explore Owensboro’s riverfront with scenic views and enjoy the local craft beverage scene. From annual festivals to special tasting events, there’s always something exciting happening.

Annual Festivals

Owensboro hosts several annual festivals that celebrate its rich tradition of craft beverages. These festivals often feature live music, food trucks, and, of course, a wide variety of local brews and spirits. It’s a fantastic opportunity to mingle with fellow enthusiasts and discover new favorites.

Special Tasting Events

Throughout the year, distilleries and breweries in Owensboro organize special tasting events. These events provide a chance to sample limited-edition releases and seasonal specialties. Whether you’re a bourbon aficionado or a craft beer lover, these tastings are not to be missed.

Holiday Celebrations

The holiday season in Owensboro is marked by festive celebrations at local distilleries and breweries. From Christmas-themed cocktails to New Year’s Eve parties, these establishments offer a cozy and cheerful atmosphere to celebrate the season. Don’t miss the chance to explore unique shopping boutiques and enjoy riverside dining during these festive times.

Sustainability in Owensboro’s Beverage Scene

Owensboro distillery sustainability

Eco-Friendly Practices

Owensboro’s distilleries and breweries are committed to sustainability through various eco-friendly practices. Many establishments have adopted energy-efficient technologies and water conservation methods to minimize their environmental footprint. Additionally, recycling programs are in place to ensure that waste materials are properly managed and repurposed.

Supporting Local Farmers

A significant aspect of sustainability in Owensboro’s beverage scene is the support for local farmers. By sourcing ingredients locally, distilleries and breweries not only reduce their carbon footprint but also contribute to the local economy. This farm-to-table approach ensures that the freshest ingredients are used, enhancing the quality of the beverages produced.

Innovative Packaging

Innovative packaging solutions are being embraced to further the sustainability efforts. Many businesses are moving towards biodegradable and recyclable packaging materials. This shift not only helps in reducing waste but also appeals to environmentally conscious consumers.

Owensboro’s commitment to sustainability is evident in the way its distilleries and breweries operate, making it a model for other regions to follow.

The Future of Craft Beverages in Owensboro

Owensboro distilleries

Emerging Trends

Owensboro’s craft beverage scene is evolving rapidly, with new trends shaping the industry. Sustainability and eco-friendly practices are becoming increasingly important, as local distilleries and breweries strive to reduce their environmental impact. Additionally, there’s a growing interest in unique, experimental flavors that push the boundaries of traditional recipes.

New Distilleries and Breweries

The city is seeing a surge in new establishments dedicated to craft beverages. These new ventures are not only expanding the variety of options available but also contributing to the historic Owensboro charm. From small, family-owned breweries to larger distilleries, the landscape is becoming more diverse and exciting.

Community Impact

The growth of the craft beverage industry in Owensboro is having a significant impact on the local community. It is creating jobs, attracting tourists, and fostering a sense of pride among residents. The industry also supports other local businesses, from farmers supplying ingredients to restaurants featuring local brews and spirits.

The future of craft beverages in Owensboro looks bright, with innovation and community spirit driving the industry forward.


Owensboro, Kentucky, is a hidden gem for lovers of craft beverages and fine spirits. From the historic Green River Distilling Company to the innovative Brew Bridge, the city offers a unique blend of tradition and modernity in its distilleries and breweries. Whether you’re a bourbon aficionado or a craft beer enthusiast, Owensboro has something special to offer. So, come and explore the rich flavors and vibrant community that make Owensboro a must-visit destination on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Cheers to discovering the spirits of Owensboro!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the must-visit distilleries and breweries in Owensboro?

Some must-visit distilleries and breweries in Owensboro include Green River Distilling Company, Brew Bridge, Pub on Second, and Goodwood Brewing.

What is the history of Green River Distilling Company?

Green River Distilling Company, established in 1885, is the 10th oldest distillery in Kentucky and a significant part of Owensboro’s heritage.

What types of beverages can I find at Brew Bridge?

Brew Bridge offers a variety of unique craft beers on tap, along with hosting events and live music in a cozy atmosphere.

Where can I enjoy live music and craft beers in Owensboro?

Brew Bridge is a popular spot for enjoying live music and craft beers in Owensboro.

What makes Goodwood Brewing unique?

Goodwood Brewing is known for its bourbon barrel-aged beers and seasonal specialties. They also offer tours and tastings for visitors.

What is Owensboro’s role in the Kentucky Bourbon Trail?

Owensboro is the westernmost point on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, making it a great starting point for whiskey enthusiasts.

Are there any seasonal events at Owensboro distilleries and breweries?

Yes, Owensboro distilleries and breweries host various seasonal events, including annual festivals, special tasting events, and holiday celebrations.

How is sustainability being addressed in Owensboro’s beverage scene?

Owensboro’s beverage scene is embracing sustainability through eco-friendly practices, supporting local farmers, and innovative packaging.

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