I N T E R E S T I N G F I N DS
St. Louis Bourbon Society BY JOE SIESS
n the rolling blue-green hills of the 18th century, Kentucky backcountry bourbon was born. “Recipes” delivered by Scottish, Irish, and other immigrants combined the mineral-rich water with local corn. Then, they fermented it into the sweet, brown nectar explicitly associated with Kentucky. In 1964, the US Government would designate bourbon whiskey “a Distinctive Product of the United States,” creating for the first time an adult beverage that was uniquely American.
18 • BREWVIEW
MISSOURI • 2021 Issue 2
Bourbon has changed since the 1700s, and in 2016 friends Drew Chostner and James Thomas founded the St. Louis Bourbon Society. This rich history is part of what encouraged them to create a community dedicated to finding good bourbon. “We are an educational group,” said Drew. This includes the history of various brands and where to purchase them. According to Drew, “All these labels go back hundreds of years, and they are all interconnected amongst each other.”
Over the years, price points and perceived lack of availability have created this myth that bourbon is an elitist drink. “People get fixated on the hard-to-find bottles when there is so much great bourbon right in front of our eyes,” James said. SLBS isn’t just a private group on Facebook. In addition to social media, they have a website, events, newsletter, and tastings to honor bourbon. For Drew and James, the Bourbon Society is about fellowship, learning, inclusivity, and of