Louisville SWIG 2018 | Old Forester Speakeasy at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage

I absolutely love doing event photography for local Louisville events like Louisville Magazine's Louisville SWIG, and I’m thrilled I was able to photograph the Old Forester Speakeasy for the second year in a row! The event was December 7th, and took place at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage, again celebrating the end of prohibition (Repeal Day).

In addition to fabulous bourbon cocktails and appetizers, guests enjoyed entertainment from magician Richard E. Darshwood and Cirque Louis, 1920's and 30's hairstyles for the ladies by J. Michael's Spa & Salon, shoe shines for the gentlemen by The Executive Shoe Shine, and the beautiful vocal stylings of Carly Johnson. Guests were also able to print their own postcards from the event using a vintage letterpress from Hound Dog Press! Models from Heyman Talent helped guests at the selfie photo booth and posed for photos. There was also the feature Old Forester ice sculpture— definitely a fabulous centerpiece. All in all, a fantastic night celebrating the end of prohibition— but don’t take my word for it, check out the photos!!

Best of Louisville Party 2018 | Event Photography at C2

Being a Louisvillian, I grew up seeing the "Best of Louisville" awards and plaques at local restaurants and businesses, reading the list of winners, nominees, and articles about them in Louisville Magazine. This year, I was thrilled to photograph the 2018 Best of Louisville party at C2 Event Venue

The party started after an awards ceremony for the 60 or so winners-- "Best Foodtruck", "Best Pizza", etc, awards were given to reader-voted winners, and there was also a Critic's Choice selection of awards such as "Best Bar you Haven't Heard of (Yet)". Kelly K of 99.7 DJX emceed the event, and there was a burlesque performance by Ethel Loveless, of the Limbo's Critic's Choice award-winning Titty Tiki Tuesdays. The event raised funds for UofL's James Graham Brown Cancer Center, and a mix of local restaurants and liquor brands provided samples of their dishes and drinks to event goers while they grooved and danced to the music of the Louisville Crashers.

Check out some of the photos from the party below, and check out Louisville Magazine's gallery of photos here. 
And photos of the award ceremony here.

How to Derby | Woodford Reserve and Old Forester at Liquor Barn

If there's anything Kentuckians look forward to as winter warms up into spring, it's the Kentucky Derby and the partying and festivities leading up to it! Louisville really comes alive in anticipation for the horse racing, bourbon drinking, hats, and local flair of the Derby.

A week before Oaks, I shot a fun event called How to Derby at the local Liquor Barn in Springhurst, featuring Brown-Forman's top Derby libations-- Old Forester bourbon, Woodford Reserve bourbon, Korbel Champagne, and Finlandia vodka. Woodford Reserve master distiller Chris Morris and 2018 Woodford Reserve Kentucky Derby 144 bottle artist Keith Anderson were in attendance to sign bottles and posters for excited fans. Between the signing tables, the bar serving mint juleps, liquor tasting tables, swag distribution, and live music by The Porch Possums Bluegrass Band, there were also local vendors mingling and selling their derby inspired collections. Clayton & Crume handcrafted leather goods, Peake Ties ties and bowties, Mysterious Rack hats and fascinators, plus bourbon barrel cake, bourbon balls and chocolates, and cigars. If you weren't ready for derby before the event, you certainly were after!

Woodford Reserve Manhattan Experience | Kentucky Cocktail Competition

A couple weeks ago I documented the Woodford Reserve Manhattan Experience KY Cocktail Competition event at Butchertown Social here in Louisville. It's the state level for a nationwide cocktail competition where bartenders have to submit an original Woodford Reserve cocktail and an interpretation of a Woodford Reserve Manhattan cocktail. 

Butchertown Social's executive chef and Butcher Babe Loreal Gavin served Woodford Reserve and bourbon infused/inspired food, while judges Bobby Benjamin of Butchertown GroceryJeremy Johnson of Meta, and Bar Belle Sara Havens sipped and rated each cocktail in the running.

Out of the seven competing bartenders, one was selected to move on to the next round of the competition. As you can see from the photos below, everyone had a stellar time watching and tasting the drinks, and the competition was pretty fierce!

Louisville SWIG | Old Forester Speakeasy at The Henry Clay

Last Friday I got to time travel! Just kidding-- well, sort of. I photographed the party of the century-- the Old Forester speakeasy room at Louisville SWIG, a local event celebrating the end of prohibition-- Repeal Day, December 5, 1933-- and the publication of Louisville Magazine's SWIG Volume VIII at The Henry Clay. The Old Forester speakeasy boasted tastings of their bourbons-- the 1870 Original Batch, 1897 Bottled in Bond, and 1920 Prohibition Style bourbons as well as their new Statesman bourbon (inspired by characters in "Kingsman: The Golden Circle"). A signature cocktail tasting was also served (crafted by Jeremy Johnson). The bar was stunning with a massive ice sculpture of the signature Old Forester bourbon bottle lit from below. 

To the partygoer's delight, the speakeasy was filled with diversions: a cinema featuring a reel from "Kingsman: The Golden Circle", 1920's and 30's hairstyles for the ladies by J. Michael's Spa & Salon, shoe shines for the gentlemen by The Executive Shoe Shine, Carly Johnson's beautiful singing, Caricatures by Vickie, magician Richard E. Darshwood, a selfie photo booth, and passed food (White Castle, pizza, and Vegan Jerky, oh my!)

It truly was the party of the century! And you know what they say, "a little party never killed nobody"! Check out some of my photos covering the event, below!