Press Releases

September 7, 2018

Book & Bourbon Stamping Urban Bourbon Trail® Passports at Louisville International Airport

First ever Urban Bourbon Trail stop at the airport

Photo – Toasting the first Urban Bourbon Trail stop at Louisville International Airport, from left to right: Dan Mann, Executive Director, Louisville International Airport; Stephanie Havard, Executive Vice President of Restaurant Development, HMSHost; Katie Kubitskey, Urban Bourbon Trail / Louisville Tourism; Mary Ellen Wiederwohl, Chief of Louisville Forward, Louisville Metro Government.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (September 7, 2018) – Travelers and guests can now start or continue their journey on Kentucky’s Urban Bourbon Trail at global restaurateur HMSHost’s award-winning Book & Bourbon Southern Kitchen at Louisville International Airport. Louisville Tourism and the Urban Bourbon Trail are celebrating Bourbon Heritage Month this September with special events and new locations, including adding Book & Bourbon as the first ever stop at Louisville International Airport.

Part of the criteria to become a stop on the Urban Bourbon Trail is to offer over 50 different bourbons and foster and uphold Louisville’s significant Bourbon culture. Book & Bourbon Southern Kitchen was created specifically to celebrate Kentucky’s deep and rich bourbon heritage and features an impressive list of more than 85 world-class bourbons (including several rare labels), a unique design which gives off a contemporary speakeasy vibe, and specialized service standards that allow guests to engage with the knowledgeable staff to learn about things such as tasting notes and distilling history. 

“It is a great honor to be part of the Urban Bourbon Trail, a Louisville tradition that highlights the city’s best local bourbon bars and restaurants. We are excited to invite anyone interested in the Trail to visit us in the airport for the full Book & Bourbon experience and to get their passports stamped while they take part in Kentucky’s bourbon heritage,” said HMSHost Executive Vice President of Restaurant Development Stephanie Havard.

The Urban Bourbon Trail is Louisville’s version of a self-guided pub crawl where participants get a passport and collect stamps at official participating bars and restaurants. After making a purchase, guests will receive a stamp in their passport. Collecting six stamps is good for an Urban Bourbon Trailblazer T-shirt available at the Louisville Visitor Center.

“Thanks in part to Bourbonism, our city is welcoming more than 16 million visitors annually, and with the addition Book & Bourbon Southern Kitchen to the Urban Bourbon Trail, it’s never been easier for guests to responsibly enjoy our native spirit,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. “I applaud HMSHost and the Louisville International Airport for their support in the growth of Louisville and the Bourbonism movement.”

As an official stop on the trail, guests can now pick up passports, including the new annual edition, at Book & Bourbon Southern Kitchen to begin their Urban Bourbon Trail journey right at the airport. A signature Buffalo Trace Old Fashioned is Book & Bourbon’s featured cocktail for the Urban Bourbon Trail but guests interested in getting their passport stamp can make any food, beverage or retail purchase within the restaurant to qualify.

“This truly is an exciting occasion for Book & Bourbon Southern Kitchen, HMSHost and the Louisville International Airport,” said Dan Mann, Executive Director of the Louisville Regional Airport Authority. “We are proud to be the welcome to the city, and this is a great way for visitors to kick-off their time in our community by taking part in the Urban Bourbon Trail.”

This new honor adds to the special appeal of Book & Bourbon Southern Kitchen, a restaurant widely recognized for its outstanding menu and innovative design, with industry awards including:

  • First Place for Best New Food and Beverage (Full-Service Concept) – 2018 Airports Council International - North America, Excellence in Airport Concessions Awards:
  • Airport Restaurant Bar of the Year – 2018 Airport Revenue News
  • New Food & Beverage Concept of the Year (Regional Winner) – 2017 Moodie Food & Beverage Awards
  • Airport Food & Beverage Offer Best Reflecting 'Sense of Place' – 2017 Moodie Food & Beverage Awards

Book & Bourbon is located in the upper level pre-security area of the airport which, for those taking to the Urban Bourbon Trail, means easy access without having to go through security. A list of all HMSHost-operated locations at Louisville International Airport is available on the HMSHost location finder map.

Stephanie Havard accepts a plaque of recognition for Book & Bourbon presented by Mary Ellen Wiederwohl on behalf of Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.

Buffalo Trace Old Fashioned at Book & Bourbon

HMSHost Leading the Industry
HMSHost is recognized by the industry as the top provider of travel dining with awards such as 2018 Best Overall Food & Beverage Operator (for the eleventh consecutive year) by Airport Revenue News. USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Travel Awards recognized HMSHost’s Summer House Santa Monica at Chicago O’Hare International Airport as Best Airport Bar / Restaurant Atmosphere. HMSHost is a leader in sustainability practices which include plans to eliminate conventional plastic straw use by 2020. The company also creates original award-winning events like Airport Restaurant Month, Channel Your Inner Chef live culinary contest, and the Adrian Awards Gold winning campaigns, #HMSHostLove and Eat Well. Travel Further.

About HMSHost
Global restaurateur HMSHost is a world leader in creating dining for travel venues. HMSHost operates in more than 120 airports around the globe and at more than 100 travel plazas in North America. The company has annual sales of nearly $3.3 billion and employs more than 41,000 associates worldwide. HMSHost is a part of Autogrill Group, the world’s leading provider of food & beverage services for people on the move. With sales of €4.6 billion in 2017, the group operates in 31 countries and employs over 58,000 people. It manages approximately 4,000 stores in about 1,000 locations worldwide. Visit for more information and connect with HMSHost on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.   

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