About Us

The Bourbon Barrel Project on Town Branch is a unique public art event which celebrates not only the history and lore of our beloved bourbon, but also the chronicle of a long-buried stream that was a formative basis of historic Lexington, the Town Branch. In a nod to this rich history, LexArts, in partnership with Alltech’s Lexington Brewing & Distilling Company, rolled out the barrels!

The Closing Celebration and Barrel Auction
Of the 41 original barrels, 31 will go to the highest bidders at an auction to be held November 16th at Buster's Billiards & Backroom, 899 Manchester Street, in the Distillery District. The remaining barrels were purchased outright by their sponsors at the beginning of the project.

Adding to the excitement are three additional barrels deemed The People's Barrels. Three barrels in raw form were deconstructed into individual staves and hundreds of artists, from ages two to eighty-eight, joined in to paint a stave. The barrels were then painstakingly reassembled into community art pieces that are the source of great Lexington pride. These three barrels, along with seven others, will have a lasting impact on and a special meaning to other local arts organizations. Eight very lucky groups have been chosen to directly benefit from the auction of these terrific barrels. Fifty percent of the proceeds from ten special barrels will be used to benefit youth arts initiatives of these programs. Join us at the auction to support your favorite artist, sponsor and arts organization! BUY TICKETS NOW!

A special thank you to Alltech's Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co., our partner in the project, to Kentucky Eagle and University of Kentucky Federal Credit Union, underwriters of the project, and to Stoll Keenon Ogden, a sponsor of the Closing Ceremony and Barrel Auction!

The Project


A major initiative of LexArts is to support the creation of public art that not only beautifies our great city but energizes and excites her citizens. Bourbon is art, plain and simple, for as any master distiller will tell you, a bourbon is crafted, not simply created. Lexington’s historic past as an epicenter of bourbon production is being uncovered and the Town Branch is being unearthed. In a nod to our rich history of bourbon, to Lexington’s vibrant creative community and to the ensuing Town Branch Commons Project, this inspiring public art initiative will link our past to the present and to the future.


Once the mash is perfect, we’ll throw some heat to the project! This is art AND entertainment for not only Lexington and the Bluegrass, but for the legions of bourbon fans around the world that traverse our amazing Kentucky Bourbon Trail®. The project will enable LexArts to further fund public art for our city, as well as provide additional support to the many arts organizations that contribute to this colorful, rich and vibrant city, inspired by art, that we love to call home.


The real action! Throughout the project, special events will be hosted for our artists and sponsors, as well as for the public. Making art accessible to everyone is a major tenet of the LexArts mission. As proof of the ability to make that happen, the 2000 and 2010 Horse Mania events saw countless thousands of Lexingtonians and visitors walking our streets, marveling at artistic imagination, eating in our restaurants, perusing our galleries…discovering and exploring downtown. Our partnership with Alltech’s Lexington Brewing & Distilling Company, which lies just off the Town Branch, is a natural fit and we’re glad to have them on board.


Just as a good bourbon ages, creative artistry takes time, both from an artistic and an entertainment perspective. Follow us here to find out when and where everything is happening.

LexArts is a nonprofit community organization that works for the development of a strong and vibrant arts community as a means of enhancing the quality of life in central Kentucky. Through its annual Fund for the Arts, LexArts raises millions of dollars in support of local arts.  In turn, LexArts underwrites the operating expenses for a variety of Partner Organizations, awards grants through its Community Arts Development, Creative Venture Fund and Professional Development programs, and offers affordable exhibition and performance space for arts organizations. Major support for LexArts programs and services is provided by the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government.  The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, supports LexArts with state tax dollars and federal funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information, visit lexarts.org.

Alltech’s Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co. is the producer of award-winning beer and spirits authentic to Kentucky. In 2000, Irish entrepreneur Dr. Pearse Lyons, the founder and president of Alltech, acquired the historic downtown Lexingtonbrewing facility, which has grown to become one of the few joint brewing and distilling operations in the world. Its Kentucky Ale family of brews includes Kentucky Ale®,Kentucky Light®Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale®, Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Stout and  Kentucky IPA. In 2012, the company became the newest stop on the world-renowned Kentucky Bourbon Trail®with the opening of its Town Branch Distillery, which crafts Town Branch®Bourbon, Pearse Lyons Reserve® malt whiskey and Bluegrass Sundown® bourbon-infused coffee liqueur. For more information, visit kentuckyale.com.