University Of Kentucky Opens New On-Campus Bourbon Distillery, The World’s Largest Teaching Distillery

University of Kentucky distillery
University of Kentucky

Is it too late to go back to college?

How did I never know that I could literally go to school for making bourbon? This would have been a hell of a lot better than all of those political science classes I suffered through.

Turns out the University of Kentucky (of course) offers a certificate in Distillation, Wine and Brewing Studies. And sure, there are plenty of distilleries all around the Bluegrass State that they could use for their classes. But now, they have one right on campus.

UK recently unveiled their brand new James B. Beam Institute for Kentucky Spirits, the world’s largest distilling institute. The building features a research distillery with a 30-foot column still and a warehouse that holds 660 barrels for aging.

The institute will offer classes in chemistry, engineering and business, helping prepare students for the more than 22,000 jobs in the distilling industry in Kentucky.

Jim Beam donated $5 million for the institute, which will allow UK to expand their course offering with classes on the engineering, economics, food science, law, journalism and more within the whiskey business.

Speaking on the new distillery, institute director Seth DeBolt said:

“This is the largest teaching distillery in the United States and in the world. It will allow us to train the next generation of distillers and researchers, and to conduct cutting-edge research on the science of spirits production.”

Of course students are required to be 21+ for some of the classes, but you’ve gotta think this is easily going to be the most popular building on campus.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock