Before Kim Newberry and her husband, Peter, opened the Prohibition Bourbon Bar at Newberry Bros. Coffee, she didn’t think of herself as a bourbon drinker.

“I was never the bourbon girl. I stayed away from it, mostly because I didn’t think I’d like it. I’d mix it in with some drinks but I would never drink it straight,” she says. 

However, that changed with the Prohibition Bourbon Bar. The bar serves more than 700 bourbons and rye whiskeys, providing Kim the opportunity to give Kentucky’s native spirit a try.

“I started to develop an interest and a palate for it, and I wanted to talk to other women who were like me,” she says. She wanted a group that would allow her to network while meeting other area women (and men) who were interested in bourbon. While searching the Internet for a way to start that kind of organization, she found Bourbon Women. 

“It’s an organization that brings together likeminded women who share a passion or an interest in bourbon or really just spirits in general. It is Kentucky’s native spirit, so, it’s something that people talk about, particularly people who come to our bourbon bar,” Kim says. 

As of April, the Northern Kentucky Cincinnati branch had 50 members, but Kim and the other members of Bourbon Women are hoping to make it grow even more with the organization’s launch event May 11 at New Riff Distillery. From 6 to 8:30 p.m., attendees will be able to try bourbons from vendors like Michter’s, Buffalo Trace, Heaven Hill, Jim Beam, Old Forester and New Riff. They’ll also be able to try bourbon cocktails from bartenders at some of the region’s best bourbon bars: Wiseguy Lounge, Wellman’s Brands, Papa’s Bourbon and Beer House, and, of course, the Prohibition Bourbon Bar.

“Our goal is for this to be fun, social, an opportunity to network, an opportunity to try some bourbons maybe they hadn’t tried before or have a cocktail from a bar that they’ve never visited before,” says Kim.

In addition, attendees will be able to hear from guest speakers, including Marianne Barnes of Castle & Key distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky’s first female master distiller since Prohibition. Guests will also be able to take tours of New Riff Distillery during the event.

“It’s really intended to be an introduction to Northern Kentucky [and] Cincinnati of what Bourbon Women is, who we are, and why it would be great to be a part of this really dynamic group of people,” she says.

Kim hopes the event can bring together women and men who are already passionate about bourbon as well as those who would like to give it a try, just like she did when she and Peter started the bar.

“I think there’s something there for everyone, but certainly the focus is going to be on enjoying a spirit that we all together collectively are passionate about,” she says. n

Want to learn more about Bourbon Women and the Northern Kentucky Cincinnati branch launch event? Contact Kim Newberry at bourbonwomennkycincy@bourbonwomen.org.