Did you know that bourbon was actually declared by the U.S. Congress as “America’s Native Spirit”? It’s true; bourbon is the backbone of our fine country. When Congress gave bourbon that prestigious title, they also made sure to give bourbon it’s own month, too: September. We’re only a few days in, so maybe you don’t realize it yet, but this is September right now and we are deep in the midst of Bourbon Heritage Month.

There are probably some interesting bourbon-related events going on in your area this month, but we wanted to focus less on the current state of bourbon and more on its future. Bourbon distillers have been working their butts off the last few years as popularity of the spirit has just totally skyrocketed. That is awesome, but with this surge in sales comes the inevitable fear of a shortage. In Kentucky, one concern revolves around the American white oak casks that bourbon is aged in.

American white oak casks are key to bourbon production, but it is hard to keep up with replanting trees to replenish their stock. In an article in Palm Beach Illustrated, they note that the harsh winter last year led to a lumber shortfall that could last for another two years. Luckily, a couple businesses have teamed together to preserve bourbon’s rich heritage. Louisville Distilling Company and the Arbor Day Foundation have joined forces for a Toast the Trees initiative. Here’s how Toast the Trees works:

  • A person buys Angel’s Envy bourbon (produced by Louisville Distilling Company).
  • They go home and make a drink (neat, on the rocks, as a cocktail – whatever) and take a picture of the drink.
  • They post the picture to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter with the hashtag #AE4THETREES.
  • Toast the Trees plants a new white oak tree.
  • Bourbon lovers rejoice.

We love the idea and we’re so happy to see Louisville Distilling Company and the Arbor Day Foundation making the effort to protect bourbon’s heritage in our country. Happy Bourbon Heritage Month!