Today is National Bourbon Day, Flag Day, and the 39th birthday of newly-promoted Britt Kulsveen.
Five generations ago, the Willett family began distilling in Bardstown, Kentucky. John David Willett died shortly before Prohibition after stints with at least five Kentucky distilleries. In 1936, just three years after Prohibition’s repeal, his son and grandson bought land on the highest point in Nelson county and began to build what is now the Willett Distillery.
Martha Willett Kulsveen and her husband Even took over as the fourth generation, and the fifth generation, siblings Drew and Britt Kulsveen, joined the family business in 2003 and 2005 respectively. Drew is the master distiller and, today, Britt takes over the role of President from her mother Martha.
“This is a tremendous honor and I’m incredibly thankful for the teachings and traditions that have been passed down from generations of strong Willett women, especially my mother, that have guided my personal and professional life,” Kulsveen stated in a press release.
“The importance of gratitude, kindness and serving others have been instilled in my beliefs since birth and are firmly rooted in my plans for our distillery’s future. Like our bourbon, the Willett brand of Southern hospitality is unique, timeless, authentic and welcoming without prejudice.
“As president and chief whiskey officer, I pledge to honor these fundamental family values as we continue to shape our distillery, our signature industry, and our beloved commonwealth for generations to come.”